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"The White Umbrella" by Gish Jen
Transcript of "The White Umbrella" by Gish Jen
~ she throws the white umbrella that she was obsessed with into the sewer
"... I threw the umbrella down a sewer."
Page 425 ` 1970s
`protagonist and antagonist
is the narrator, a Chinese girl
` set on the coast, probably in New York City
"Who do you think you are, lady? You're blocking the whole crosswalk."
` the conflict is person vs. self ~ mom starts to work
` the narrator goes to her piano lesson with her sister and sees a white umbrella
"Not that we need the second income."
` the two sisters wait for their mother outside after their lessons are over
` the teacher offers for them to go inside as they are waiting for their mother
` the teacher gives the narrator the white umbrella to keep as her own
` the mom arrives to pick the two girls up
` the mom, the narrator, and the narrator's sister get into a car crash ~ the narrator looks to the front seat of the car and thinks her mom is dead from the car crash
"Then I noticed my mother's head, tilted back onto the seat. Her eyes were closed."
Page 425 ~ the narrator shakes her mom to see if she was dead
~ the mom wakes up and tells her that she has crazy ideas and that she is sick for thinking that her mom is dead Resolution/Conclusion "The White Umbrella" POV
"When I was twelve, my mother went to work without telling me or my little sister.'
Page 417 Protagonist
"I wanted to be able to let myself go inside."
- Chinese girl
- older sister to her only other sibling, a younger sister
- mom just started to work
- twelve years old
- has glasses
- plays piano
"The Lees were the only other Chinese family in town."
Page 417 Antagonist
"See, I told her with my fingers. You don't have to feel sorry for me."
Page 420 Flat Character
Miss Crossman- the narrator's piano teacher
- reveals only one or two traits that do not change throughout the story
"Stupendous! You are a genius, young lady."
Page 420 Static Character
- traits of the mom are revealed and do not change immensely throughout the story
"Sick," she confirmed. "Some kind of sick is ggiving you crazy ideas."
Page 425 Theme
The theme of "The White Umbrella" is to live your own life because everyone is different and cherish what you have and sometimes take for granted instead of wanting more or something different because what you have may be gone before you know it. Supporting Themes
- acceptance takes time
-love is strongly showed during dire situations
- help is something that everyone needs at one point or another because you cannot do everything in life alone Gish Jen
- daughter of Chinese immigrants
- grew up in Yonkers and Scarsdale, New York
- one of Gish's fellow writers described her situation when he said making fiction is like making soup
"There's lots of different ingredients: some of the ingredients come from your life; some come from things you've read, or from other people's lives; many, many things you've just made up." Conflict
- person vs. self
- the protagonist does not want her mom to work
- she is embarrassed by her mom working
- her mom will not quite
- the narrator or protagonist struggles with excepting the fact that her mom is working The End