There is no truer and more able companion than Giac Duyen from the Tale of Kieu. Giac Duyen is a Buddhist nun who is defined as a compassionate prioress during the first encounter with Kieu. Even though the tale does dwell much on her history, a single clue provided about her past dwells on her looks, described as an old. It is through the honesty in her actions that we understand the life of Giac Duyen. Giac is a tool that the leading role, Kieu, is capable of getting a key alteration in fate or karma (Nguyêñ, Huỳnh and Thong 25).
Giac comes into the tale the moment Kieu is escaping from Miss Hoan, the envious wife of Thuc, Kieu’s lover and spouse. Kieu has conveyed during the night and stumbles upon a Buddhist place of worship, where Giac is the prioress. Kieu offers Giac bell and gong that she claims are presented from her own prioress, an event that will be carried out before long. Giac lets her in and Kieu resides there for a period until a pilgrim comes along and recognizes the gong and bell as perhaps belonging to Miss Hoan (Nguyêñ, Huỳnh and Thong 62).
Giac is calm, tolerant, and actually concerned when she supposes Kieu might have embezzled a bell and gong from Miss Hoan. When Kieu reveals her actual biography, Giac is compassionate, feels profound sympathy for Kieu, and wavers between utter disappointment and dire fear. Diaz tells Kieu, “…Buddhas gate is open wide to all. But things I can’t foresee are what I dread. Id sorely grieves if something struck you here…” (Nguyêñ, Huỳnh and Thong 71) Kieu is encouraged to go away and in the process, inhibits her from encountering bitter Miss Hoan once more.
Giac interprets the tablet, gives details on the existence of Kieu, and leads the relatives to her. Kieu comes back to her relatives with Kim and puts together a place of worship for Giac, but the monk is never found (Nguyêñ, Huỳnh and Thong 151). Kieu constantly burns incense candles in Giac’s tribute, and at this moment, Kieu had completely changed her fate and leads a life of joy and richness with her relatives. Giac Duyen seems to be the most liberated character in this tale. She is agile by her individual destiny and appears to be wholesome, and capable of utterly committing herself to the joy of another person.
Nguyêñ, Du, Huỳnh, Sanh and Thong, Huynh. The Tale of Kieu. Michigan: Random House, 1973