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The Jade Peony- Wayson Choy
Transcript of The Jade Peony- Wayson Choy
The white cat can arguably be the most significant symbol in the story. When the white cat with pink eyes appears outside the house it symbolizes death and fate. The grandmother knew her time has come and she must move on to the next life. The white cat is also important because it reminds her of the “juggler,” her lover. The story is told in first person by Sek-Lung’s point of view. By the story being written in first person, it lets the reader know how Sek-Lung is feeling and how all the events that take place affect him. What makes the way this short story was written so powerful is at the end of the story when the grandmother dies and you can’t help but sympathize for Sek-Lung. He not only lost a family member, he lost his best friend. The flashbacks of all his treasurable memories allow you to see how strong of a bond they shared with each other. The jade peony’s symbolism stood for the grandmother’s home. Since the grandma lived in China for most of her life, she treasures the jade amulet. Jade is very valuable in the root of Chinese culture, it could also be a symbolic reminder of her Chinese heritage. There were a couple different aspects of symbolism portrayed in this particular short story for instance the jade peony, wind chimes and the cat. The story "Jade Peony" expresses Vancouver identity by bringing up an immigrant experience. In order to start a new, and have a better life for both yourself and your kids, people immigrated in hopes to achieve this. It brings us into the location of Vancouver Chinatown describing the neighborhood, which is a place that was similar to a China village to Suk-Lung's family. Wayson Choy’s central structure of the story is the binary opposition of old vs new. The old traditional ways may be a burden, but it is a necessity to learn the new way as well. In Jade Peony the kids are reluctant to learn the new ways because they feel as a Canadian, they shouldn't be following their parents old ways and traditions. They are a bit confused on their identities. Even though they are Chinese Canadians, they do not know whether or not to show the Canadian or Chinese side. Jung, Kiam, and Liang were embarrassed by their parents. They were embarrassed on how people would look at them, and what people would think of them. Even though they were Chinese Canadians, their parents still followed the old traditional ways, but the kids felt like they needed to follow the modern way.
Sek-Lung loves and treasures his Grandmama. Since his parents went to work, and his siblings went to school, he spent a majority of his time with his Grandmama. Sek-Lung’s grandma was a big part of his life. Although his siblings were embarrassed with him and his Grandmama going around exploring stranger and more distant neighbourhoods, and searching for junk. These were the things that brought great excitement for him. Although he was taught by each member of the family on Sunday, but he learnt much more from the time he spends with his Grandmama. Psychological Our Responses Wayson Choy was the author of one of the famous short stories and novel called the Jade Peony. He was born in Vancouver in 1939. He also attended Gladstone Secondary, and took creative writing in UBC. He taught writers in Humber College, Ontario from 1967 to 2004. Besides the ‘Jade Peony’, Choy also wrote his last novel called ‘All That Matters’, the sequel to his first novel the Jade Peony. His book the ‘Jade Peony’ won the Vancouver Book Award, the Trillium Award and was also nominated for the Giller Prize. Biography of Wayson Choy The wind chime’s main symbolic aspect is culture. While the grandma teaches Sek-Lung how to build wind chimes she is also educating him on Chinese culture.