In Sinxay we write that Sinxay, as the son of Phanya Kousarat, honors his duty to his father, despite his having been banished from the palace when he was only several days old. He, unlike his six younger brothers, is willing to make the necessary sacrifices and heroic gestures in pursuit of fulfilling his father’s request. This is in stark contrast to his six younger brothers who covet the fame, glory, and power that would be Sinxay’s if he was successful in rescuing his aunt. The six brothers, although yearning to be acclaimed as heroes, cowered at the thought of actually doing anything heroic. They were unable to comprehend, as Joseph Campbell writes, that the hero can only be heroic when “we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self preservation,” because that’s when “we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
It seems in current times that few want to take on the hard work of being heroic. Sinxay offers an excellent opportunity to discuss what being heroic means. In the high school library where I work several English teachers are having their students read books that reflect strong coming-of-age themes. In literary criticism this is often known as bildungsroman, a novel of formation, a coming-of-age story. The story of Sinxay fits nicely into this literary genre that where the focus is on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood.