The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen Summary Study Guide

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Plot Summary Part 2

All the Captain has to do is distract the Major. This still upsets the Captain because he realizes he will be assisting and killing an innocent man. Even though the Major is an anti-communist and his enemy, he is still innocent of what he is being killed for. Bon shoots him in the head but for the rest of the book the image of the Major haunts the Captain, who feels guilty about participating in his murder.

Meanwhile, a big chunk of this book is spent discussing a movie that is being made about the Vietnam war. The film maker making it is making it from the point of view that the Vietcong are inhuman monsters. The Captain is a technical advisor to the film and naturally from his point of view he thinks the villains are portrayed simplistically. He has a big argument with the film maker and then the film maker tries to kill the Captain, setting off an explosion prematurely on the set which sends the Captain to the hospital. When the Captain recovers, he is give $20,000 so he won't sue the film maker for this "accident". The Captain gives half the $20,000 to the widow of the Major he helped kill. Once again we see the Captain showing remorse for the deeds which his undercover work required but his conscience clearly has problems with.

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The Captain has a flashback to when he was being taunted as a child by other Vietnamese kids. They were watching two dogs having sex but they remarked that the Captain, by his mixed heritage, was rather like the unnatural union of a dog and cat.  This upset the Captain very much and he beat the crap out of the kid who ridiculed him.

The Captain returns home from his film job to find that Ms. Mori has gotten a new p_nis to fill her v_gina belonging to a communist named Sonny. The Captain soon discovers that three is not company and that he will no longer be having sex with Ms. Mori. I guess it's time to look for some fresh squid, heh heh.

Bon, whose family was killed by the Vietcong, is still very upset and has no reason to live, except to kill others.  He says the Americans have fucked the Vietnamese twice, first by promising to defend them, and then a second time by rescuing them, but in the process "cutting out their balls and their tongues". I think Bon is referring to the fact that he has been forced to take a menial job in the United States.

The General is sending Bon to Thailand with several others in order to infiltrate Vietnam. The Captain has already informed the communists of his exact route, but the Captain also does not want Bon to die because Bon is his friend. So the Captain decides to go to Thailand with Bon, even though he has been expressly ordered by the communists (his friend Man), not to come back.

But the General will not let the Captain go to Thailand until he proves himself. He is well aware that the Captain did not kill the Major and wants the Captain to kill someone to prove himself, in this case Sonny. Sonny wrote an article critical of the General and the General wants him dead. If the Captain wants to save Bon, he will have to kill another innocent person.

The Captain has been secretly dating the General's daughter, Lana. Lana is a singer who likes to wear clothes showing off her large Vietnamese breasts. Lana offers to let the Captain put his p_nis into her but the Captain is so upset with the thought of killing an innocent man that he declines.

The Captain goes off to confront Sonny. He tries to tell Sonny he is a communist, thinking that if Sonny is a communist too, which he suspects, perhaps there is some way he can drive Sonny away without killing him.

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