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English TimeLine Mental Leaves
Transcript of English TimeLine Mental Leaves
Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian
An Autobiogrphy by Sui Sin Far
The story begins with Sui Sin talking about her chilldhood.
The first line of the actual story contains the line
"I wouldn't speak to Sui if I were you. Her mamma is Chinese." (16)
This portrys a theme which occurs throughout the story, that CHinese people are lessers.
Later she describes how she often would fight with local Boys due to her origins, and therafter porudly declaring that they "won the battle" (46).
Sun describes a party, at which she was inspected like an animal than allowed to play like the other kids, older men calling her a "Very interesting little creature!"(25)
At the end of the first part, a little girl exclaims in school, "Why should she have to sit beside a-----------"(86) The story is about Sui Sin's life and the difficulties she faced due to her origins in China. This is the main theme throughout the story and this is the basis for all the side stories and conflicts in the story. This first part of the passage focuses on Miss Far's work colleges having a conversation about Chinese people.
- unaware that Miss Far is half Chinese and are making racist comments such "A Chinaman is, in my eyes, more repulsive than a nigger." (191)
- openly admits she is in fact Chinese and her work colleges apologize
- this indicates to the readers that she is not embarrassed by her nationality
The second part of the passage focuses on her relationships with men.
- Miss Far is hard working, serious and has very little interactions with men
- There is a Lieutenant who comes to Miss Far's house
- "I had an idea that you might like to know me. I would like to know you. You look such a nice little body... I will tell you all about the sweet little Chinese girls I met when we were at Hong Kong. They're not so shy!". (251-252) The third and final section of my passage discusses Miss Far's health financial struggles
- She has suffered from "another attack of rheumatic fever and has left " (258)
- moves to San Francisco struggles to find work
- finds a job that pays "$5 a month" (267)
- "I still limp and bear traces of sickness, I am fortunate to secure any work at all." (270) · When she is young, she is unusually sensitive about her race. She is also sick, saying 'I have no organic disease, but the strength of my feelings seems to take from me the strength of my body' (95-6).
· Her family does not understand why she is so sensitive about her race 'I do not confide in my father and mother. They would not understand' (126).
· She does not get a proper job, like her sisters, she makes and sells lace 'I tramp around and sell my father's pictures, also some lace which I make myself' (133-4).
· She gets a job at a newspaper, writing about the Chinese living in America. She defends them. ' "The Chinese in America owe an everlasting debt of gratitude to Sui Sin Far for the bold stand she has taken in their defense."' (156-7).
· She then discovers that Chinese people are just as prejudiced as her father's people. 'all people are the same. My mother's race is as preju diced as my father's' (172-3). Sui discovers that Americans are more accepting of Japanese Eurasians than Chinese Eurasians,
Thereafter she agrees to marry a young American man despite not loving him. She makes this decision so her family will not gossip about her independent lifestyle.
Her fiancé suggest that she pretend to be a Japanese Eurasian after their marriage. It is at this point that she recognizes that she cannot continue this charade and calls of the marriage.
With her new found freedom Sui pursues her writing, meeting literary people who are more broadminded and accepting of her
As a result Sui becomes more accepting of her Eurasian ancestry, considering the strengths of each and realizing individuality is more than nationality