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The character of Thuc Ky Tam is an example of an immoral character. This is seen throughout the epic story told in the poem. Thuc is first introduced into the story as a manager in a local brothel. Brothels are known for the immoral actions that take place within their walls. For a man to be working within a brothel especially in the years and times of the publication of this poem, he must have been a womanizer. Despite of the actions that Thuc takes later on in the continuing tale, his character is never cleared of the shame that befalls men who frequent brothels. Thuc was one of the few educated and well-bred men who should have been protecting women out rather than having their way with them in brothels. This tarnishing revelation makes Thucs character an automatically immoral man.
Thucs family is described as well bred and the family ran a trading shop thus the family was well to do. Thuc was a man of passion from an early age, he sings of the beauty of Kieu from the minute he see her. He took it upon himself to woo and fall in love with her for which he succeeded. He had first spotted her in the brothel where she was being and where he was a patron. Kieu went on to meet him on several occasions and their relationship can be described as being more than just casual sex. There was visible closeness between the pair that made them true love birds and seem made for each other. Thuc was professing his true love for Kieu and she obviously felt the same for Thuc. However, Kieus past and current occupation held her back since she knew that she could not ignore it. Thuc was also married and this hindered their wish for a union as man and wife and prohibited a permanent relationship outside of the happenings of the brothel. Kiev said of Thucs wife, “But if the lady lords over you, I shall be tossed to her, your lioness” (Thong 71). Thuc was not shaken by their respective situations that spelt doom to their relationship but rather he kept going the love between them. Thucs character is changed at this point when the love he has for Kieu pushes him to secure freedom for her from the brothel; he does this by paying ransom to the brothels madam, Dame Tu demonstrating that he was a man who kept his word and promises.
Thuc and Kiev went on to spend the following months as a married couple with Thuc taking great care of his wife and they enjoyed their life together. This in contrast to what one may expect of a union between a prostitute and a man who visited the brothels. One may expect that they would get tired of leading an ordinary life and that they would go back to their prior ways of living. However, their union seems so normal and comfortable that there is no end to it. Thucs character changes to be of a good man and one may be tempted to forgive him of his prior transgressions of being a frequent visitor to brothels and picking up prostitutes. Thucs father who had been away is the person who brings the common stereotype to play in the love affair story of Kieu and Thuc. He gives them an ultimatum that his son should send Kieu back to the brothel or they would face a judge for the error they committed for living together as a man and wife, while Thuc was still married. The two hold on to their love and choose to face a judge to hear their case. The issue here is that Thucs father was saddened by the fact that his well to do and well-educated son had gone ahead to pick a prostitute for a wife. He was mad that the union tarnished the name of his family thus his ultimatum to Thuc and Kieu. The couple faces a judge and in the beginning, the case seems to have turned on Kieu for being the breaker of the relationship that he had with Miss Hoan. However, this changes when Thuc takes the stand to defend his actions and profess the love he has for Kieu. It is a change in character again for Thuc who is first introduced as a passionate man who could not get enough sexual charm from his wife thus his visits to brothels. This time round, he seems settled on Kieu as his only woman. He pleads for their love to be respected and the judge believes him thus declaring that they should in fact wed.
For a man who visits brothels, Thuc should have been a fearless man who was in charge in his house. However, this is not the case in the relationship, he had with Miss Hoan (Uaricks 102). Thuc spends a year with Kiev and all this time he does not go back to his first wife or say a word to her about the relationship he has with Kieu. Kieu pushes him to go and tell his first wife about their relationship and consequent marriage. He does go but Miss Hoan is already plotting a plot to teach them a lesson for their disrespect towards her. He does not speak a word of Kieu and thinks that Miss Hoan does not know about it. She manages to kidnap Kieu and puts her through hell of torture for a year before finally reuniting her with Thuc. He had sought the services of a shaman to find Kieu in the other world of the spirits instead of finding out what had befell her. All this time she was in the hands of his first wife.
Thuc is not the man that one would expect him to be. He lacks wisdom and strength to stand for his course in the presence of his first wife Miss Hoan. He leaves Kieu to go to tell Miss Hoan of their union but slacks when he gets to her. He lives a life of torture with Miss Huan in silence for the lack of Kieu in his life but still he would not agree that he had taken another wife. His character changes from the one he was as he is introduced in the play as the story progresses. He takes on moral and immoral standings as a character, although the moral side stands out further than the immoral side. He is only sane and moral when in the company of Kieu.