Why does Vũ give Mother a different answer from his brothers in the section “Should We?” from Inside Out and Back Again?

Vũ gives Mother a different answer from his brothers because he wants to follow in the footsteps of Bruce Lee and go to America.

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In the “Should We?” section/poem, Kim Hà’s mom calls a family meeting. She explains to Hà and her brothers that they have an opportunity to leave their home. As it’s 1975 and their home is in Vietnam, this means that they have a chance to escape the dangers of a...

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In the “Should We?” section/poem, Kim Hà’s mom calls a family meeting. She explains to Hà and her brothers that they have an opportunity to leave their home. As it’s 1975 and their home is in Vietnam, this means that they have a chance to escape the dangers of a devastating war with the United States.

Hà’s mom—“Mother”—asks for her children’s input. She wants to know how they feel about potentially living someplace else. Quang doesn’t want to go. He thinks it’d be dishonorable to abandon their country. He believes they should stay and help rebuild it.

Khôi doesn’t want to go either. His reasons have to do with their dad. He thinks about how his dad would feel if he came back and his family wasn’t there. In the next section/poem, Khôi provides further reasons for not wanting to depart. In “Sssshhhhhhh,” he tells Hà that they can’t go due to his chick and her papayas.

Unlike his two brothers, Vũ thinks they should go. He firmly tells Mother, “Yes, we must go.” Vũ’s response relates to his admiration for Bruce Lee. The martial arts star was born in America and spent a great deal of time there. Vũ wants to follow in the footsteps of his idol. Earlier, in the “Kim Hà” section/poem, Hà describes Vũ imitating the movements and sounds of Lee. Of course, Vũ gets his wish. He ends up teaching neighborhood children Bruce Lee moves on their front lawn in Alabama.

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