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The Jade Peony

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Mona So

on 13 June 2014

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Transcript of The Jade Peony

The Jade Peony
Immigrant Chinese family living in Vancouver's Chinatown


Consist of memories of their childhood

Book consist of 3 individual accounts

3 siblings: Jook-Liang, Jung-Sum, and Sek-Lung

Encounters inevitable human situations ( Separation, Self-discovery, and Death)

Learning from these events
Psychological or moral growth
Youth to adulthood
Maturity is achieved gradually

The End
Wong Suk
2nd youngest, Only female out of the siblings
Born in Canada
Separation from loved one
Ideology and traditions
Gender discrimination (Boys are better than Girls)
Traditions and Gender Discrimination
Immigrated --> Build Railroad
Old friend of Poh-Poh (Grandma)
friends with Liang
Suddenly have to go back to China
Shipments of Miner's Bones
Liang learns the ...
realities of separation
importance of friendship
2nd Oldest out of the siblings (Adopted)

Pursuit of masculinity (Boxing Lessons)

Had a fight, developed feelings towards Frank Yuen

my whole body suddenly lit with an unbidden, shuddering tension; a strange yearning awoke in me (Choy, p.131).
Yin and Yang
" Jung-Sum is different" (Choy, p.87)

"Jung-Sum is the moon... Mrs. Lim knew the moon was the
principle, the female..." (Choy, p.88).
Yin-Yang is a concept of 2 opposing force (interdependent)
Acknowledging his sexuality, leads to personal growth

Accepts he is different from other men
Internal struggle of forbidden desire/love

Trapped in Heteronormative society

"Frank Yuen is the sun... I am the moon" (Choy, p.133).
Youngest out of the siblings
Born in Canada
Believes and hold on to Chinese traditions
He and Poh-Poh (grandmother) close relationship ( shopping, tell stories)
Poh-Poh dies at age 83

Deeply affects Sek-Lung (loves and respects her)

Sees her spirit for a period of time

Sek-Lung finds the jade peony in pocket

Special treasure, assures his spiritual connection with Poh-Poh

Passed down item to keep culture
Death Cont.d
Family decided to pay respect to dead ancestors

After Sek-Lung could no longer see Poh-Poh's Spirit

Tragic life event shapes Sek-Lung's psychological growth,

Comes to better terms with reality involving death

Gender Discrimination
Boys > Girls
Jook- Liang looked differently from her brothers
Girl is "Useless"
"Jook-Liang, if you want a place in this world," Grandmother's voice had exasperating let-me-remind-you tone, "do not be born a girl-child" (Choy, p.27).
Tries to break away from traditional existing gender bias ideology
Ethnic minority children in Canada

Process of their growth (Young children to Teenagers)

Unfolds their childhood experience
Full transcript