When Andrew encounters his Vietnamese roots through seeing the peasants and his visiting his old home, he has an interesting outlook on the people in the village on page 178. In Phan Thiet, the fishing town, he sees the people tending to their daily chores, which fascinates him. The people in the town work collectively as a group as they prepare the fish they have just harvested. However, when Andrew sees this, his first instinct is to "save them" from their environment, showing An feels superior to them. His actions and thoughts show how Americanized he is because he speaks as if he wants to "civilize" the peasants. It also seems as if An subconsciously displays his "American arrogance" proudly, which begs the question: "Why does he want to go back to Vietnam?"
However, there are other ways to interpret An's actions and attitudes towards the people. Could he possibly feel empathetic towards them? Could he possibly have the desire to help them because he knows he is in a better position than them? Is he showing awareness because he empathizes with them, watching their hard work?
In another section of his memoir, An is haunted by the memory of Vietnam, which shows when he visits his old house on page 181.
The memories that flood his mind relate to Chi and the things they used
to do as children. Andrew says that he "felt guilty" and that he is
happy that his family had enough money to escape Vietnam. After that,
An sees the backyard of his house, has a flood of memories, and immediately decides to go.
It is easy to make An out to be a proud, Vietnamese-American man who has a superiority complex, however, it takes a different perspective to see him as a self-aware, empathetic Vietnamese-American man.