What are the characteristics of Thi Bui in The Best We Could Do?

Thi Bui's characteristics in The Best We Could Do include inner strength, bravery, and resilience. She survived a trip from Vietnam to the US as a "boat person" and then endured a difficult childhood. Through it all, she remains brave, choosing to create this memoir instead of allowing herself to be consumed by the difficult times in her past.

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We learn a lot about Thi Bui during the course of this graphic memoir. Firstly, she is an immigrant. Her parents fled Vietnam following the end of the war in the 1970s.

I would argue that Thi Bui shows herself to be an outstanding example of resilience. When the family eventually winds up in San Diego, everything is new. She is required to learn a new language while adapting to a whole new culture. She also survived the loss of two siblings and endured poverty, due to her parents' teaching qualifications not being recognized in the US.

From a young age, Thi Bui has to be brave. Once they arrive in the US, her father spends most of his days trying to scare the children, rather than be a supportive parent or earn a living.

Later, when she thinks about her own role as a mother, she acknowledges that her life has been shaped by the pain that her family endured. Instead of deciding to just live with this pain and potentially pass it down to her son, she decides to tell her story and thereby ease the burden. This shows that Thi Bui is proactive and determined to make a better life for herself and her son.

While Thi Bui does not feel particularly close to her parents later in life, she endured much hardship with her family. The fact that she writes this book shows that she is strong and resilient.

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