This complex sense of erasure experienced by the speaker sheds a great deal of light on why he finds salvation in the body, which unifies the various identities that lead to his societal rejection. Related but perhaps more significant, however, is the speaker’s engagement with mythology in poems like “Telemachus” that links the speaker’s father to a mythic tradition. Considering the complexity and ambiguity of this past is one thing that gets the speaker thinking about his own ability to act violently and tenderly in the present. Not affiliated with Harvard College. / Thus I exist. GradeSaver "Night Sky with Exit Wounds Themes". The experience of immigration is also deeply important to Vuong and his speaker. The Japanese have a word for it: yugen, when you have so little you have to imagine it.". resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Nonetheless, the speaker’s relationships with many different men do progress, reflecting one of the many paradoxes that finds its solution in the body—despite knowing what it may cost, the speaker and his lovers choose to love one another because of how it makes them feel or how close it brings them to the peak of life. Night Sky With Exit Wounds is terrifying, heartbreaking, surreal, and lyrical–I’m not quite sure how a poet can fit so much humanity into so few words. Night Sky with Exit Wounds is an invigorating, razor-sharp poetry collection that meditates with both candor and artistry on themes of war, nationality, sexuality, and violence. Related to the body’s capacity to unify opposing forces is the speaker’s treatment of gay love in America. Night Sky with Exit Wounds study guide contains a biography of Ocean Vuong, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Thus no bombs = no family = no me. In "Self-Portrait as Exit Wounds," Vuong describes the anti-Vietnamese sentiments that cropped up in American culture during the Vietnam, and he uses the example of an audience cheering for John Wayne after he shoots a Vietnamese man in a film about the war. The sacred and the profane meet in the body as the devotional act of prayer is commingled with devotional acts of sex and physical passion (“Devotion”). The tenderness associated with both the speaker’s grandparents and parents in Vietnam makes it all the more heartbreaking that they were displaced from the country, but the speaker himself never forgets his own roots in violent events. Americans came to view the Vietnamese as an enemy, and viewed them with distrust if not outright hatred. As Ocean Vuong navigates the … In one poem, the body is fragile, but in the next, it is a testament to the stubborn truth of simply living despite hardship. He is unable to completely cut off his father in his mind, and he at times even outright refuses to confront his misdeeds (“Deto(nation)”). He remarks on their physical similarity, among other things (“Telemachus”), but he also seems to respect and understand his father as a passionate and kind lover with a troubled past that leads him to lash out (“My Father Writes from Prison”). Central to the speaker’s undertaking of both of these tasks is his choice to foreground and center the body as a site where opposites are unified. Ocean Vuong creates and poses alternate universes within these poems. Night Sky With Exit Wounds examines the legacy of the Vietnam War on both global and personal levels. In "Seventh Circle of Earth," for example, we see how two gay men have so internalized this frail American ideal that they are conditioned to accept their own annihilation or destruction. This deepens our understanding of the relationship between the speaker’s parents and what kinds of stress it was under. And if so, what does that say about the kinds of stories we are conditioned to read and accept? He references Agent Orange, the herbicide sprayed over Vietnam by the United States military during the Vietnam War, and which destroyed thousands of square miles of forest, and caused serious health issues for... Get Night Sky With Exit Wounds from Amazon.com. Vuong, born in Vietnam and raised in the US, threads details of his own family history into his broader narrative verse that centers on Vietnamese identity. Though it might seem odd for a child to fixate on his parents’ sex lives, doing so renders his father as a more sympathetic character and also allows the conflict between his parents to be incorporated into his broader exploration of sex and the body. everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Night Sky With Exit Wounds. Rather, our attention is directed to all those who are victimized in its name but who paradoxically look to it for relief and safety. Thus my mother exists. This, however, is not all: Night Sky with Exit Wounds is not just focused on honestly depicting the experience of being gay, but being gay in America. Based on context clues throughout the collection and also the close correspondence of many unclear … His own body as a recipient of pain and abuse fuels his capacity to receive and deliver both harm and tenderness to others with his body (“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”). This, however, is not all: Night Sky with Exit Wounds is not just focused on honestly depicting the experience of being gay, but being gay in America. Night Sky With Exit Wounds examines the legacy of the Vietnam War on both global and personal levels. In Night Sky with Exit Wounds, the idea of the American Dream is thus presented as just that—a dream with little substance. In poems like “Seventh Circle of Earth,” Vuong and his speaker suggest that being gay is antithetical to the constructed cultural ideal of America, and that to be gay in America is necessarily to be erased at every moment in one’s life. This shift in sentiments is one of the broader impacts of the war in America that Vuong examines, but he also looks at the impact Americans had in Vietnam. He stands at the feet of American poetry and unties the masters’ shoelaces. The strength that the speaker and Vuong see in poetry is unmistakable and linked to the power that they see in the body, but it is also a testament to the necessity of the father in constructing a personal mythos. Order our Night Sky With Exit Wounds Study Guide, teaching or studying Night Sky With Exit Wounds. Of course, this is only one … At times, the speaker attempts to show the various ways in which common struggles or occurrences can take on the significance of myth: for example, he sees himself at times as an isolated or banished lover like Eurydice (“Eurydice”), and other times he maps the experience of immigration to the travels undergone in the Odyssey. Wherever one looks in the collection, they see along with the speaker that the body is central in unifying all these disparate and opposite experiences simply because it is the physical material that underpins life, which itself is so curious and strange so as to connect things that otherwise would seem totally unrelated. The Question and Answer section for Night Sky with Exit Wounds is a great Only in "Untitled," where 9/11 commingles with the loss of a friend of the speaker's, do we really get any sympathy on the speaker's part for America; however, even this sympathy is conditioned by the fact that it is for the experience of loss or sorrow, rather than anything intrinsically linked to America. Regarding the former, the speaker struggles to reconcile his distance from his estranged father, as well as the abuse he knows his mother has suffered at his hands, with the closeness he feels to his father. In poems like “Seventh Circle of Earth,” Vuong and his speaker suggest that being gay is antithetical to the constructed cultural ideal of America, and that to be gay in America is necessarily to be erased at every moment in one’s life. Thus, Vuong and the speaker of his poems see the appropriation of mythology as a kind of challenge issued against fate, the daring desire to fill a real void with something of the poetic imagination. Of course, this is only one type of erasure faced by the speaker in the collection—notably, he also faces marginalization based on his race and his status as an immigrant. Another important theme that runs throughout the collection comes in the form of mythology—specifically, mythology’s encounters with the everyday or mundane. The poem "Homewrecker" is the fourteenth poem in Ocean Vuong's Night Sky with Exit Wounds, and it is the second poem of the book's second section. In "Self-Portrait as Exit Wounds," Vuong describes the anti-Vietnamese sentiments that cropped up in American culture during the Vietnam, and he uses the example of an audience cheering for John Wayne after he shoots a Vietnamese man in a film about the war. This is importantly linked to the speaker’s interrogation of the body as a unifying force, one that connects the struggles of real people to the struggles that are lauded, told, and retold as part of the Western literary tradition. This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more -