The moment when Duke punches Mr. Chhay is the cultivation of Nea’s ill thought out plan crumbling before her eyes. Her immaturity caused an easily avoidable confrontation. Near the very end of the story, Chai shares Nea’s insight on her situation. “Sourdi looked at me then, so disappointed. I knew what she was thinking. She has grown up, and I had merely grown unworthy of her love.” (83) Nea finally realized she was being foolish the whole time. Chai’s protagonist in “Saving Sourdi”, Nea, is naïve, impulsive, and brash. She is unchanging and narrow-minded. Nea’s journey seems solely based on saving her sister when in actuality she is trying to find excuses to avoid growing up. The tragic hero fabricates false dangers to compensate her desire to be needed by her sister who has moved on with her life. Nea feels abandoned becausen Sourdi matures while she remains a child. Ma and Sourdi remain connected with traditional customs that Nea simply cannot understand due to her exposure to American culture. Her over active imagination, anxiety, and aggression get her into trouble. When Nea tries to rescue Sourdi from her husband, it is the last straw and she knows that she has lost her dear older sister for good. “She had made her choice, and she hadn’t chosen me.” (84) Sourdi has matured and moved on while Nea is stuck in the memories of her childhood.
Nea is being protective by trying to stop Duke from hurting Sourdi. Finally, Nea and Duke go to protect Sourdi from her husband. Nea told Duke that they had to drive to Des Moines to save Sourdi. “We have to go get her. ” (137). She was trying to save her from being hurt. Nea was trying to persuade Duke to believe something was wrong with Sourdi. When there really was not anything major wrong. Nea was trying to protect Sourdi from all the times she protect her. When Nea said “come on Sourdi, let’s go” (140). She wanted to take Sordid back home with her. This is a way of Nea being protective over her sister Sordid and want to save her. Related posts: