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Chinese Cinderella ABC Book
Transcript of Chinese Cinderella ABC Book
Chinese Cinderella ABC Book
A is for Adeline
C is for Miss Chien
Miss Chien was Franklin's (Fourth Brother's) tutor-nanny. She lived with the Yen family and acted as a spy for Niang. She fed Niang twisted lies about the 5 stepchildren and all of Niang's enemies. In return Niang rewarded her with gifts and pay checks. Throughout the story, Niang's stepchildren loath Miss Chien, with the exception of Big Sister, whom, when brought over to Niang's side, becomes acquainted to her.
E is for Elections
Adeline's class elections are a disastrous part of her childhood. She applies for class president and, to her delight wins, only making matters worse. Throughout her early school days, Adeline is constantly invites to people's houses only to have to think of a way to decline the offer, since Niang forbids it. However, when Adeline wins the class president elections, her friends think of a way to meet Adeline and celebrate. They go to her house and surprise her, and unfortunately, both of Adeline's parents are home. They are furious, and in the end make her spend the rest of her school days in remote boarding schools.
F is for Fourth Brother (Franklin)
Adeline's fourth brother,or half-brother that is, Franklin, remains throughout the story, a vicious and greedy little person, whom is thoroughly spoiled by Niang. While treating her 5 stepchildren like poison, Franklin is given total adoration and attention from Niang, and is treated like a prince during the entire story, and he never misses a chance to rub this advantage in Adeline's face.
I is for Irene
B is for Baba (Aunt Baba)
D is for Duck Meat
After the tragic death of Adeline's duckling, P.L.T, or Precious Little Treasure, Adeline seemingly develops an aversion to duck meat. As she remains permanently traumatized by the death of her beloved pet, Adeline finds it to difficult to eat the same species as her late pet, thinking of it as the ultimate betrayal.
G is for Gregory
Aunt Baba was one of the few caring, or loving figures throughout Adeline's childhood. Throughout, she nurtured every one of Adeline's wishes, hopes, and dreams, acting like the loving mother Adeline yearned for and was deprived of.
Gregory is the eldest boy in the Yen Family. He has an on and off relationship with Adeline, sometimes being cruel and vindictive, sometimes an idol for her, sometimes a caring brother. Though he was never close to Adeline, and he loved to mess with her, Gregory was one of the few of Adeline's siblings who knew who where to draw the line for hurting Adeline. He knew when he went too far.
Adeline Yen Mah is the main character in the Autobiography, Chinese Cinderella. Throughout the book, we learn of her hardships, dreams, hopes, wishes, fears, and just about every aspect of her childhood. In this book, Adeline yearns for nothing more than the acceptance of her parents and to be treated as a normal child.
H is for Huang
The Huangs were a family in the book, but one of the few who knew of the existence of Niang's stepchildren. Since Niang was only 11 years older than Big Sister Lydia (the oldest stepchild), in public she gave off the impression that she only had 2 children, her 2 real children. Most others didn't even know that Niang had stepchildren. However, the Huangs were old family friends so they did know of Niang's stepchildren. When the visited once, they brought little ducklings as a present for all of the children, not just Niang's kids. This all leads to Adeline actually having the joy and comfort of her very own pet, the little duckling P.L.T.
Irene Tan is a fellow boarder/classmate of Adeline's while she is at the Sacred Heart boarding school in Hong Kong. One Sunday, while Irene's mother is visiting Irene, they run into Adeline in the library. Mrs. Tan is startled and amazed by Adeline, whom that day was wearing a beat up, tight brown dress, while reading an extremely advanced book called King Lear
J is for Jackie
Jackie is Niang and Adeline's father's pet, He is a ferocious German Shepherd, that seems to really dislike Adeline. Jackie always bared his teeth at her, on one occasion harshly bit her, and was furthermore responsible for the death of Adeline's pet duckling P.L.T. Jackie has caused Adeline much grief, and the two never got along
K is for Kindergarten
Kindergarten was the beginning of Adeline's academic journey. Within the first week of school, Adeline learned to love learning, and had earned her first medal. Throughout her life, school was Adeline's safe haven, a place where she could forget her troubles and be whoever she wanted to be.
L is for Lydia
Lydia is the oldest sister in the Yen family. She has a funny relationship with Adeline, because she has a tendency to be very fickle towards Adeline. However, Adeline never truly looked up to Lydia, since she was always acting in ways that Adeline thought to be disloyal or dishonest. Furthermore, when Lydia went over to Niang's side she became a different person altogether; almost as a minion for Niang. The two after that and throughout the story, never truly became close.
M is for Mandarin
Mandarin is the native language of Tianjin, China and the primary language Adeline learned to speak in. When she went to boarding school in Tianjin, Adeline was not allowed to speak in Mandarin and had to hastily learn to become fluent in English. It was the only way for her to communicate.
N is for Niang
N is for Niang. Not to put this in too harsh of a way, but Niang is the reason behind everything that ever went wrong for Adeline. Ok maybe that is a little too harsh. But sadly, it's true. Most every problem Adeline has ever had started from Niang. She is the reason Adeline was sent away to boarding school, and also the reason why Adeline was torn away from the few people who cared about her and loved her (like her aunt). Over the years Niang probably tormented Adeline the most all and caused Adeline to have such a horrific childhood. She had to live her life in fear, which is a terrible thing to have to do.
By: Aarzoo Arora
O is for Opium (The Opium War)
As mentioned in the book, the first Opium war rose because of a conflict between China and Britain. The character Victor Schilling mentions on page 144 of the book, how when China lost the war against Britain, the entirety of Hong Kong became a British colony
P.L.T was the name of Adeline's beloved pet duckling. As previously mentioned, her duckling was a present from the Huang family. Adeline was overjoyed to have someone to care for and love. She put her heart and joy into P.L.T. and actually believed that the duckling understood her. However, Adeline's joy was soon sadly shattered when P.L.T. died due to the ferocious dog Jackie. P.L.T. afterward, remained a subject of unspeakable grief and sorrow for Adeline.
Q is for Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was one of the last dynasties to rule China. This dynasty ruled China for 374 years until Sun Yatsen overthrew it in 1911. Both of Adeline's grandparents were born during this Dynasty.
R is for Reine (Aunt Reine Schilling)
Aunt Reine Schilliing was Adeline's savior, the person who rescued her from the Tianjin convent school on her way to go to her sister in Hong Kong. Adeline sincerely wanted to go back to Shanghai where her Aunt Baba was living alone with Mrs. Chien on avenue Joffre, but Aunt Reine dismissed the thought and whisked Adeline away to Hong Kong. Though grateful to her Aunt Reine, Adeline could not help but feel a pang of sorrow that she could not be with her Aunt Baba.
S is for Shanghai
Shanghai was the city where Adeline spent most of her childhood living in. She loved her school friends there and simply adored spending her time with her Aunt Baba, since the two of the shared a room. Shangai is the place where Adeline had the most friends, and she longed to go back there and live with her Aunt Baba even after her parents moved to Hong Kong.
T is for Tianjin
Tianjin is where Adeline spent her first years, before it was taken over by the communists. After Adeline's father and Niang left for Shanghai, there was a short time of peace and carefree fun for Adeline living with her grandparents and her Aunt Baba. This short time was the only time where Adeline was treated as a normal child. Afterward, when Tianjin was in danger of being taken over by communists, Adeline was sent alone to study at a convent school there as punishment for bringing her friends to her home. Around this time, Big Sister Lydia and her husband ran off to Tianjin with there new daughter against everyone's advice and warnings. Surely enough, soon after this Tianjin was seized into communist control.
U is for Uncle Jean
Uncle Jean is Aunt Reine Schilling's husband. He is not mentioned too often in the book, except when the Schillings visited Adeline's family in Hong Kong when Aunt Reine reveals Niang's safely shipped diamond collection, all the way from Communist China.
V is for Victor
Victor Schilling is the only son of Reine Schilling. He is actually a very nice person, and is very kind. On many occasions he sticks up for Adeline and is also very kind to his little sister Claudine. On one occasion while they are on a boat, Victor sacrifices his safety for Claudine by giving her his life jacket.
W is for Wu-Chun Mei
Wu-Chun Mei is Adeline's closest friend from her old Shanghai school days. She was a very bold, outgoing, and athletic person, and was the daughter of a very wealthy businessman. She was always very kind to Adeline and always stood up for her friends and what she believed in. Adeline became very good friends with her.
X is for Xian ( Ye Xian )
Y is for Ye Ye
Ye Ye is Adeline's grandfather. He and Adeline are very close, especially after Adeline returns from Tianjin to Hong Kong where Aunt Baba is not staying. Ye Ye is the one person besides Aunt Baba who looks out for Adeline, and he is the reason she actually had the chance to go to college in England. He tells Adeline that she can be anyone she wants to be if she puts her heart into it., which motivates her to enter an international playwriting contest which she ends up winning. This contest is the reason Adeline's father actually permits her to go to college in England.
Z is for Zedong (Mao Zedong)
Mao Zedong was the former chairman of the Communist party of China. As mentioned by Adeline while she is in the Tianjin airport, China was changing rapidly at the time. Chiang Kai-Shek was losing the battle and more and more of China was being siezed into communist hands.
Ye Xian is the original Chinese Cinderella of myths. As the story goes, like the modern version, Cinderella, Ye Xian had an evil stepmother and step siblings who where jealous of her beauty, talent and intelligence. However, Ye Xian had a special talent, and made beautiful pots which were very famous. The stepmother was so filled with hatred and spite, that one night while Ye Xian was in bed, the stepmother impaled Ye Xian's hand with a rusty nail. Ye Xian got the nail out, but the wound became infected and pus started to come out. However a strange thong happened. The worse that her wound got, the better Ye Xian's pots got. Soon they were famous all over China, much to her stepmother's frustration. Hatefully, Ye Xian's stepmother banned her to going to the festival that year, where suitors court maidens. Ye Xian really wanted to go, so she sold one of her pots to a shoemaker and got a beautiful pair of shoes that she wore with a gold dress. Now, like the modern Cinderella, Ye Xian meets a prince and there is a happily ever after. The moral, when Aunt Baba told this story to Adeline in her letter, was to remember that anything is possible, and to remind Adeline that she is a talented person.