“Year Zero” addresses the experience of the younger generation of Cambodian immigrants in Long Beach, California. In the 1970’s the Khmer Rouge regime committed devastating genocide in Cambodia, wiping out a generation of families. These links provide further information on the Cambodian genocide.
1. Describe each of the following characters in detail. Their age, ethnicity, goals, attitude and personality.
2. Plays are built on conflicts.
What is the conflict between Vuthy and Ra?
What is the conflict between Ra and Han?
What is the conflict between Vuthy and Han?
What is the conflict between Vuthy and Glenn?
3. The playwright introduces his play with the following quote: “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.” [Bobby Sands] What is the significance of this quote and how does it relate to Golamco’s play?
4. What does “Year Zero” have to say about tensions within the Asian-American community? Please provide three examples from the play – as well as any personal insights.
5. In an immigrant culture, such as America, the struggle to assimilate quickly often occurs at the expense of “self.” Choose one of the characters – Vuthy, Ra, Han or Glenn – and address the subject of lost identity.