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Book Report: Ties that Bind, Ties that Break by Lensey Namioka

Due date: January 15
by

Justine Paul Berina

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Book Report: Ties that Bind, Ties that Break by Lensey Namioka

Ties that Bind, Ties that Break A NOVEL BY LENSEY NAMIOKA I saw another bunch of bamboo shoots, poking like green spearheads out of the ground. “What about those shoots over there?”
“They’re too tough to eat,” said the cook. “They’ve been outside in the air and sun.”
“What if I cover them with sand?” I asked. “Will that make them tender again?”
The cook laughed. “No, it’s too late. Once they’ve become tough, nothing will make them soft again.” My Favorite Passage Illustration: Explanation: “Once, when I was a small child running away from my amah, I had skipped into the kitchen garden. The cook had shown me a clump of bamboo. Only the tiny shoots were showing. “Look, these shoots are good to eat,” he had said, pushing some sand aside and uncovering two small plants. “They’re still tender.” I realized that I was like a bamboo shoot that had been outside in the air and sun. I could never be like my sisters and other delicate Chinese girls with bound feet who spent their days in an inner chamber. I was tough now. [1] I was no delicate shoot buried in the sand. I was a stalk of bamboo, strong enough to stand against wind and snow. Page Numbers: Page 111 and Page 118 This is my favorite passage from the book because this is one of the rare flashbacks in which the main protagonist, Tao Ailin, compared herself to other characters in the story. Her vivid comparison reflects how many people, including her own family resented and treated her as a social outcast for deciding not her feet bound. With all adversaries, challenges, and hardships she endured in her life, she became too tough like a bamboo, strong enough to withstand wind, snow, rain, or anything that makes life too rough. She can never be too soft like other Chinese women with bound feet who stay inside an inner chamber. With bold conviction and a resolute spirit, she is ready to forged her own destiny and overcome any challenged life could offer. Challenging Word From: Ties that Binds. Ties that Break by Lensey Namioka Idolatry Definition:
the worship of a physical object as a god; excessive devotion to something Sentence from the Book: Confucianism involves idolatry Book Page: 100 My Own Sentence Many students doubted their classmate of idolatry because they saw her possessing several enigmatic devil symbols and items. My Illustration..... This is a painting of girl practicing idolatry. She is worhispping something (an object)...... Theme of the Story Everyone has at least a favorite passage of their novels and all of us has different explanations and perceptions of our likes. In this section, you will get know my one favorite passages from novel. The paragraph is the exact copy of the passage directly quoted from the book. Look Closely Similarities and Differences With Favorite Character Two Sentence Description Picture That Symbolize Character Explanation Character Description and Symbolism Big Uncle "Society should not be bounded by old ways and traditions forever. Breaking some of these ties with the old ways can open new worlds filled with different and new ideas Gates usually open new doors to people but most of the times we can't bring everything. we have to leave some unneeded things in our cultures and traditions to make way for new ones. The 4 Quotes that supports the Theme "Well things are changing these days, Elder Brother. We can't stick to the old ways forever." Quote 1 SPeaker: Ailin's Father
Page Number: 23 Quote 2 "We cannot expect our old customs to remain forever- even customs that prevailed for thousands of years. I will thinks of a plan, there must be something to do for a girl with unbound feet." Speaker: Ailin's Father
Page Number: 41 "Not all new ideas are strange... We can't shut our eyes to what's happening in the rest of the world. We don't have to reject everything borught by the foreigners. The Lius are pretty conservative, and they are sending their sons to a public schools run by the foreigners." Speaker: Ailin's Father
Page Number: 23 and 25 Quote 3 Quote 4 "Our country has been isolated for too long. It's because of our ignorance that we were humiliated by foreign powers." Speaker: Ailin's Father
Page Number 46-47 Big Uncle was a very unfriendly, callous, and harsh, uncle of Tao Ailin, who threw her out their house after he became the family head when Ailin’s father and grandmother, had died. He hated everything foreign and always criticized and blamed foreign ideas for eroding the traditions of the Chinese empire. I chose this symbol to symbolize Big Uncle because this symbol represents him in many ways. In the story, Big Uncle was very ruthless, insolent, and prideful to the Tao family. It was high time of change in the China where foreigners in China gradually erode the traditions of the Chinese empire by introducing western philosophies. Big Uncle however was against these changes brought by foreigners and he believes everyone must keep ancient traditions (such as foot binding) and he wanted all Chinese people to be “locked and suppressed” and must shut their eyes from the rest of the world. He thinks foreign ideas gives bad influence. After Ailin’s father had died, he was successful at halting Ailin’s education and offered her the choices of becoming a concubine for the Feng’s family, marrying a farmer, or becoming a nun. Unwilling to be locked from the ill, disgraceful, and miserable future she would receive from her uncle, Ailin chooses none of the given options and is thrown out of the family. Descriptive Scene Importance and Significance This Painting shows Ailin's Second Sister showing her bound feet! "I stared at the pitiful stumps at the ends of second sister's legs The sight made me sick. I had expected to see miniature toes at the ends of Second Sister's feet, because how else would they fit into the pointed ends of her tiny shoes?

Now I saw how her foot had been squeezed into a wedge: The big toe had been left undeformed, but the rest of the foot with the other toes had been forced down under the sole of her foot, like a piece of bread folded over. The only way the toes could be folded like that was for the bones to be broken.

Having bound feet must have been an agony for Second Sister, Eldest Sister, Mother, Grandmother, and generations of other women. What was more, they didn't suffer just for an instant. The pain must have gone on and on for weeks, months, or years.

I'll never let them do this to me, I vowed myself. Never! Never!" Page number: 28 This scene describes the event when Ailin first saw how bound feet actually looked like and how painful it was to see her sister squeeze a wedge shaped deformed toes into the pointy ends of her shoes.

This passage was very descriptive and as I continued to read this passage, I felt I was in Ailin's place experiencing the sickening sight of what she saw. I don't want to imagine how bound feet actually looks like in person.

The passage's vivid descriptions created suspense, tension, and foreshadowing. Many readers would want to know what would happen to Ailin next. How will she continue to defy her country's cultures? Will she able to convince her parents not to get her feet bound. Would she escape from home if her parents didn't approve unbound feet. These questions convinced me to continue to read and find out more.
The passage also foreshadowed that Ailin would probably do something for her feet not to be bound from the last sentence. "I'll never let them do this to me. Never! Never!" page 28 Key Symbol Antique Unbound Chinese Shoes I chose Unbound Chinese Shoes as my key symbol because it symbolizes and summarizes the hard and long struggles of Ailin against the ancient traditions of China, including foot binding. She refuses to have her feet to be bound so she wears shoes different from everyone. This picture is similar to Ailin's situation because it was different (unbound) compared from the others.

Being different from everyone else made life too rough and sometimes dangerous for Ailin in her early teens, but this didn't stop her from pursuing her dreams and loosing hope. Ailin endured many hardships in life by standing alone on her "two big feet", together with immeasurable courage and determination. This opened new doors and boundaries in her life. One character I am like the most in the story is Tao Ailin. Ailin is the main protagonist in the story who experienced many adversaries in life as she struggles against her country's traditions and customs. Similarities: Some characteristics we both share is that we are both hardworking, determined, decisive, intelligent, creative, and has great dedication to our work. Ailin shows that she is strong-willed when she didn't allow her relatives to bind her feet. Despite of the many attempts of her mother to convince her, all of them failed because Ailin was a very strong-willed person and believes that foot-binding in simply an unnecessary tradition she would never want to follow.

Ailin also shows she is smart and decisive when she made a wise decission for going to a foriegn school, working for a foriegn family, and migrating United States. She know that her Uncle and her country can never give her the future she wanted. Like Ailin, I fight for what I believe and I don't want anyone or anything to control and ruin my life and the decissions I will make. Also, I sometimes defy our own customs in the Philippines. I believe its up to a person to follow them or not. Difference: One significant difference we share is that Ailin loves and was good at taking care of little children. She knows many ways to keep them happy and entertained. However, I don't like little kids because they can't keep quite and stay in one place. I know several things that would make people in my age entertained, but i don't know how to make a little kid happy while he/she is crying. Ailin was a sporty type of person when she was 5 while I hate any kind of outdoor activity until recently. Connections As I read across the pages of the novel. I noticed that there are several important connections between something from the novel and something in society today. Many of these connections focused in society, people, ways, customs, beliefs, and many more. Discussing theme all here would be long so in the next slide I will introduced you to one significant connection. Respect is one of the most significant virtues portrayed in the novel that makes strong ties to society and life today. In many cultures around the world today, most people still consider that "children owe respect to their parents. Parents don't have to earn it." page 33. This creates a huge impact on peoples lives today. For instance, "Giving out orders is not a child's responsibility but to take orders" page 37. Even the parents made something undesirable to them, people still belives and consider them worthy of high regard and still trust them in their lives Important Values and Ethics This Drawing Show Ailin (Right) enters the world of foreigners with courage overcoming her fears An important value portrayed in this novel is determination, bravery and courage. The main character, Tao Ailin displayed incredible amount of these important values in several occasions in the story. One example of an event that show real bravery is when Tao Ailin confronted Big Uncle when she was about to leave her home to search for a better future for a girl with unbound feet. Before Big Uncle became the head of the Tao family, he already show too much toughness, pride, and madness. Ailin already saw how bad, abusive, and evil to people as he bangs the tables, destroy cookwares, and yells and shouts at people. Worst of all, Ailin saw Big Uncle's two wives and his sons beaten up. On her confrontation, Ailin had been so careless of her words that Big Uncle was about to let loose his anger. He started to give a threat the Ailin would be hung to the well and lowered down. Her courage overcome her fears as she immediately leave before anything bad happens. Armed with only her knowledge determination, and courage, Ailin started to work, live and enter the world full of foreigners, a world unknown to many Chinese. After working for them for so many years, she finally decided to stay in the new world (America) because she knew she would have a better future there . I hope You enjoyed you my presentation and learn something from the novel The theme of the story of is mostly depicted in the actions between the protagonists and the conflicts of the story, most of the shown in the actions of Ailin. Also, the story theme is metioned directly in serveral ocassions. Before Ailin's Father passed away in the story, he gave the most hints about the story's them or the author's message. The theme becomes clearer as the story reaches its falling action stage of plot.
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