Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The theme of hope is apparent in Catfish and Mandala--this hope that Andrew Pham will find his identity and be able to somehow reconcile with the loss of his sister; the hope that going through this bicycle journey, Pham will be able to move on and be ready to face the future. In childhood and his young adulthood, Pham had faced hard trials that would make anyone grow weary and could make one want to quit. Pham shows both resistance and resilience through to all challenges that he encounters. The memory of his sister and the hope that he carries inside of him to make things right, for himself and for Chi, is what keeps him going on his journey. Although Pham explains that he was "[p]ractically broke and emotionally exhausted," and that he "consider[ed] abandoning [his] bike trip altogether"(199), he never does despite the exhaustion and despair that overwhelms him at time. Yet he pedals ahead to finish what he started, no matter what the physical cost.