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Jade Peony by Wayson Choy

Brief summary, description of the protagonist, description of the key features of the setting, identification and description of the primary internal and external conflicts, and identification of flashbacks throughout the story.
by

Nicole Lee

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Jade Peony by Wayson Choy

By: Wayson Choy The Jade Peony Main Points of the Plot: In the short story, "The Jade Peony", by Wayson Choy, the conflict that the story is based around is Sek-Lung's Grandma vs. Death. His grandmother died at age 83. She was harmlessly crazy, and often embarrassed her grandchildren by the way she acted. Sek-Lung didn't have a problem with this; he was loyal to his grandmother and enjoyed spending time with her helping to make chimes because it was something she wanted as a symbol of her after she dies. Eventually his grandmother becomes more and more ill, and one day she declares to Sek-Lung “I can’t last forever.” This is when the theme of facing reality comes into the story. The whole family knows their time with her is limited. Description of the Protagonist: The protagonist, Sek-lung is the main character in the story, "The Jade Peony." He is also the narrator. Sek-lung is a very unique character. He is very devastated when his grandma dies at the age of 83, because he loved her immensely. Sek-Lung is a very loving, caring and understanding character. At the end of the book, we can see his tender side when he takes the jade peony in his hands and starts crying, thinking about his grandma. Sek-lung adds to the sadness of this story, and he plays an important role in achieving the heartfelt storyline. Description of the Key Features of the Setting: In the story ``The Jade Peony,`` Sek-lung`s
family are Chinese-Canadians who live in Victoria, British Columbia. The story took place around the 1930`s and 1940`s. Throughout the story it was mostly set in Sek-lung`s home but also in the hospital.
One of the important settings in the story was when the grandmama and Sek-Lung went into the alleys to look for stuff for the wind chimes. Identification and Description of the Primary Internal and External Conflicts: In this story, "The Jade Peony," there are several examples of conflict, both internal and external. One example though, is Sek-lung's grandmother attempting to fight death. She would not give in to the temptation, no matter how much she wanted to be with her already-deceased love again. But, she knew that when the time came, she would let death take her. This example of conflict is evidently internal, as she continually battles with the wrongs and rights of making her final choice. This conflict could also be considered as external, though, as death deepens its fierce wrath, invoking it solely on her. The effects do not only harm her mentally, but physically as well. She has taken on a case of violent shaking, showing that her end is near. Until her time comes, Sek-lung's grandmother will continue to fight against death.

The next example of conflict is Sek-lung and his grandmother versus the rest of their family. Sek-lung's family was not very supportive of him and his grandma scrounging around alleys for what treasures they might find for their precious wind chimes. In fact, they all thought the act made them look like a poor immigrant family. Not only is this conflict external, as his siblings try to pressure their brother into stop making wind chimes with their grandma, but this conflict is also internal, as what his family thinks about all of this comes into play. His family believes that constructing the wind chimes is a way of showing their friends and neighbours that they are poor and needy, unable to sustain themselves. They are worries about what other people think, and not about their dying grandmother. Identification of Flashbacks: In the beginning of the story the narrator,
Sek-Lung, starts off the story by a memory of his grandmama's death at age 83. Throughout the
story he remembers specific things that his
grandmama said that are important. Sek-Lung
also remembers specific things and moments
he did with his grandmama. All these things
represent flashbacks that happen throughout
the whole story. Thank you for watching! This has been a presentation by Jade, Nicole, Kylie and Kaylin!
Full transcript