How would you describe the main characters in "A Boat to Nowhere?"characters:Grandfather, Mai, Loc and Kien

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thay Van Chi is the head of his village in Vietnam who treasures his culture's traditions. He's an elderly man who is targeted by the New Government because he is a leader and a scholar. When he realizes he must leave, one of the few things he takes with him is a bag of soil from his village. It's natural that Thay Van Chi becomes the leader on the boat, especially since he had sailed as a young man. Due to the hardships they must face, Thay Van Chi dies.

Kien is only fourteen years old, but his past experiences have made him wise for his age. He has lost everything and everyone in his life and has had to live by his wits on the streets. He knows how to survive under the worst of circumstances, and this knowledge comes in handy when they must leave Vietnam. Kien has put up a wall around himself as protection against further hurt from anyone, insisting that he needs no one. When Thay Van Chi dies, Kien must become leader.

Mai is twelve years old, the granddaughter of Thay Van Chi. He took Mai and her little brother, Loc, when both of their parents died. Mai is a warmhearted, earnest young girl who doesn't like Kien at first. She resents his rude, hot-headed demeanor, but then she learns to respect his street smarts and bravery.

Loc, Mai's little brother, is boisterous, providing the only light-heartedness in the story. His innocence and imagination are typical of little boys. When he first sees Kien, he refers to him as the "Monster Man".