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Chinese Cinderella: Analyzing Theme
Transcript of Chinese Cinderella: Analyzing Theme
Adeline Yen Mah
Autobiographical novel, Memoir
September 7, 1999
What is Theme?
1. The subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.
"the theme of the sermon was reverence"
Theme is the underlying meaning or message that the author is trying to give through his/her writing piece or a significant idea/statement the story is making. They are usually about society, human nature or the human condition.
In the book,
, the author,
Adeline Yen Mah
, presents the thematic idea that, if you stay determined, no matter the hardships endured, you will ultimately triumph.
What is the message?
Marieliz DeJesus-Torres P.4
In the book, Adeline was often put in terrible situations by those who were supposed to love and support her. In order to escape her harsh reality, she dedicated herself to learning and as a result overachieved academically. Despite her unparalleled intelligence, she sometimes did not recognize her own self-worth. Even so, she stayed determined and dedicated herself to learning. In the end, her hard work and determination payed off and she was able to realize her own importance.
The mood in the story changes as the story unravels. Usually, throughout the story the mood is gloomy and depressing but occasionally it is more upbeat and inspiring. This relates to the theme of determination and endurance leading to triumph because as the mood changes, so does the main character. The mood created by the event and thoughts in the story changes as the character Adeline changes. Adeline evolves from an insecure child to an independent woman. Because she endured all the hardships going on and stayed focused on her goal of leaving and traveling as well as her goal of recognizing her self-importance, she was able to accomplish these goals.
During WW2 around the 1940s through the 1950s when the story took place, in China, daughters were not regarded as highly as sons. In addition, she was living in times when China was divided and was being taken over by the communist party. These affected the story because they contributed not only to her family's resentment towards her but also to the culture, values, and ethnicities involved in the story. They were contributing factors to a lot of the hardships endured by Adeline. This relates to the thematic statement because, the situation she was in and the hardships that came along with them encouraged her more than ever to persevere and accomplish her goals.
The book Chinese Cinderella is a heart-felt story about an unwanted daughter. This book can be a little sad and a little graphic at times but nevertheless, it is a good book. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy novels about different cultures, inspiring true stories, and to those who enjoy a book about an underdog.
The theme, or message, I believe that the book Chinese Cinderella gives is that determination and endurance will ultimately result in triumph.
In the story, Adeline is the unwanted child that is viewed as a waste of time, money and space. Because of this, she was often abused or neglected and on many occasions her parents attempted to abandon her. Despite these awful events in her life, Adeline remained loyal to her goals and was determined to stay strong. In the end, she ended up achieving her goals. For example, she was on one occasion taken away from home and abandoned at a school in Shanghai during the time that the communist were invading and people were fleeing in the other direction. During this, she never lost hope and eventually found her way to her family.