In Vietnamerica the author GB Tran uses dramatic words to illustrate when Tri Huu Tran was arrested and held in a jail cell, until he revealed where his father was. Tri Huu Tran could not tell them where his father was hiding because he was not in contact with him. His father left him and his mother when he was a kid and ever since he has not seen him. Regardless of this, he was held there against his will.
On pages 69-70 GB Tran uses words that are not part of the text bubbles to set the scene. Such as, “chuga, chuga, chuga,” to illustrate the car transporting Tri Huu Tran to the jail. The words are huge white block letters that do not have a straight line edge to them instead it is slightly crooked, demonstrating the momentum of the vehicle, these words also get covered up by the cars engine that’s blowing out smoke. There is also the expression, “CCREE,” it has all capital letters and its font is slightly italicized and regular but the size of it is also slightly small. This makes me feel wary of what’s going to happen next because the format of that expression seems to be eerily.
The word, “Shove,” is in all capital letters and there is a symbol that demonstrates the force of the shove the officer enacts on Tri Huu Tran. The other expression is, “Chk, Chk,” which was the sound of one of the officers lighting his cigarette. I noticed that each of these words and expressions was the recollection of what Tri Huu Tran remembered and the dramatic way it is written and formatted in the book is to demonstrate the way GB Tran’s father felt in that moment, he was frightened and confused, he was innocent but accused of being guilty for not revealing the location of where his father was hiding.
The words on page 70 were made bigger and because of that it was cut off. Also, a thought bubble is shown but with no words, it was just dots and that was a demonstration of an officer that spoke but was not heard by Tri Huu Tran. With all the commotion and interrogation being thrown at him these words on Page 70 depict Tri Huu Tran not hearing everything clearly. Everything in his past life that was bad was because of his father.
Tran, Gia-Boa. Vietnamerica. Villard Books, 2010.