Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah Essay

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah Essay

Length: 838 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Chinese Cinderella is a compelling autobiography by Adeline Yen Mah, a struggling child, yearning for acceptance and love in her dysfunctional family. In this novel of “a ‘secret story of an unwanted daughter”, Adeline presents her stepmother Niang, as a violent, impatient, biased, domineering and manipulative demon. Analysing the language used by the author, we can discover how effectively she does this.

Although Niang explicitly demonstrates her blatant favouritism towards her actual birth kids, shunning the likes of her stepchildren, some of her nasty traits cannot be avoided by even the most loved of her children. In this case, her violence and impatience. Little Sister, being only a baby and having not seen her actual mother Niang, was understandably uneasy when meeting her for the first time. Not even thinking of letting Little Sister adapt to her new environment, Niang’s impatience at her less than warm welcome from her favourite daughter led her to slap the poor child. She began “beating her daughter in earnest”, with her blows landing “indiscriminately on Little Sister’s ears, cheeks, neck and head”. Such brutality demonstrated by a mother to her daughter shows vividly how Niang couldn’t control her destructive nature, choosing instead to let her exasperation take over.

Immediately after moving into their new Shanghai house, Niang adopts an even more domineering, superior tone than ever before, not even bothering to disguise her biased feelings against her stepchildren, Ye Ye and Aunt Baba. This is elucidated in the Chapter 5, where she informs her stepchildren about the new living arrangements. It is visible to the reader how unfairly Niang treats her stepchildren, Ye Ye and Aunt Baba, having given separate rooms t...

... middle of paper ...

...She could move into a bedroom “on the first floor, their floor”. With Big Sister out of the picture, no one would be able to unmask Niang’s discrimination. With Big Sister having “allegiance to Niang written all over her face”, Niang managed to disband the cooperative step-siblings. This incident was one that displayed her scheming and conniving ways in full view. Niang is a professional in manipulating, and knows how to make things work in her favour.

Adeline Yen Mah’s literary skills explain comprehensively how Niang’s flawed personality cause great agony for Adeline. However, it is being mistreated by Niang that ultimately fuels her to undertake the seemingly impossible task of trying to succeed in life. Adeline’s great accomplishments in life were the result of her unfaltering determination in the face of injustice. Niang inadvertently helped her achieve that.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Adeline Yen Mah's "Falling Leaves" Essay

- Adeline Yen Mah's "Falling Leaves" Works Cited Missing      For years, the world has been oblivious to the painful, degrading traditions toward women that take place behind the “Bamboo Curtain” of China. Falling Leaves , by Adeline Yen Mah, unveils the darker side of Chinese culture through her eyes as an unwanted Chinese daughter. Shocking mistreatment, of not only the author, but also the females in her extended family keep suspense alive throughout the book. My heart sobs at each account of Adeline’s tortured life, but through it all, there was a flicker of her spirit that could not be put out....   [tags: Mah Falling Leaves Gender Girls Essays]

Better Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Adeline Yen Mahs Presentation of Chinese Culture in Chinese Cinderella

- Adeline Yen Mahs Presentation of Chinese Culture in Chinese Cinderella Adeline Yen Mah was born in 1937 in China during cultural upheaval. 'Chinese Cinderella' is an autobiography of Yen Mah's life during the ages of 4-14 years. As the book is a portrait that is only written from Yen Mah's view over life it would differ if someone else wrote it. The Chinese culture, traditions and history changed dramatically when the French involved themselves in their lives. Yen Mah actually lived in a French concession, this meant that she and any other Chinese people living in the area, were classed as second-class people over the French in their own country....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1671 words (4.8 pages)

Journey in Rainbow’s End by Jane Harrison and Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

- It is the journey toward a sense of belonging that allows a person to understand what the concept means. How have the composers of your set text and one text of your own choosing explored the journey toward an understanding of a sense of belonging. Journeys assist a person’s understanding in their sense of belonging. The person’s journey is illustrated with techniques. This is explored in Rainbow’s End and Falling Leaves. The play Rainbow’s End by Harrison explores how a person discovers their sense of belonging through their newfound love on their families....   [tags: Belonging, Identity, Culture]

Better Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Summary Of ' Chinese Cinderella ' And Falling Leaves ' Essay

- Good evening special guests, John Paul College staff, parents and most importantly, students. I’m Adeline Yen Mah, author of “Chinese Cinderella” and “Falling Leaves”. Thank you for having me in this very special night. Firstly I will start with something simple. Please close your eyes and open your hands. Now imagine what you would like to place in your hands. It could be anything: a school report full of A+ and certificates, a wallet, even a house; it doesn’t need to be a specific object that fits....   [tags: Chinese Cinderella]

Better Essays
1383 words (4 pages)

Book Report on the Chinese Cinderella Essay

- Chinese Cinderella Book Report Summery: Chinese Cinderella is about I girl named Adeline Yen Mah growing up in an unloving family. Adeline's mother died from an illness caused by her birth. After her mother died, her whole family blamed Adeline for her mothers death and claimed she had "bad blood." The only people who truly loved her was her grandfather, Ye Ye, her grandmother, Nai Nai, and her aunt, Baba. Everyone else would tease her, steal from her, and call her names. Since Adeline and her aunt shared the same room, they became very close....   [tags: family, school, location, place, region]

Better Essays
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Cultural References in Ah Mah Essay

- Cultural References in Ah Mah      In almost every piece of literature there can be found references to the author’s or the narrator’s culture. Having an understanding of this culture can help one better understand a literary work. Reading a work that contains references to a culture can also spark interest and inspire the reader to learn more about the culture that is represented in the work. One such piece of literature is the poem "Ah Mah," written by Shirley Geok-lin Lim. This poem contains many references to Chinese culture that are very interesting and inspire curiosity....   [tags: mah]

Free Essays
1448 words (4.1 pages)

Chinese Food As A Chinese Cuisine Essays

- Around the globe, people are very fond to try and experience food they 've never tasted. Sometimes your own ethnic food and taste can seem boring to you at a certain amount of time. When that happens, it 's the time to actually go out there and find an ethnic food that catches your attention. One of the most popular ethnic foods in America is a Chinese cuisine. People are so blindly in love with it, they can 't seem to notice that the tradition Chinese food isn 't the authentic food as it is in China....   [tags: Chinese cuisine, American Chinese cuisine]

Better Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

The Character of Adeline from Falling Leaves Essay

- The Character of Adeline from Falling Leaves Adeline is quite a likable character. The reader is encouraged to empathize with her right from the beginning of Chapter 6 of the autobiography "Falling Leaves". The reader sees everything from Adeline's point of view, and the injustice Adeline suffered was very serious indeed; it makes the reader angry and indignant despite the fact that he/she is powerless and could not have helped Adeline in any way. Adeline presents herself as a constrained, mistreated person; unloved partly because she was the cause of her mother's death....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Chinese

- This essay will explore how Classical Chinese literature written during the Ming Dynasty illustrates the social role that women played in the traditional Chinese marriage. Issues and traditions that greatly affected women`s roles in the family and society included lineage, male dominance, families position in society, grounds and repercussions for divorce. In the vernacular short story ``The Shrew: Sharp Tongued Ts`ui-lien``, anonymous is a story in the collection Vernacular Short Stories from the Clear and Peaceful Studio (Qingping shantung heaven) which was writing during the Ming dynasty, the main character Ts`uilien, exemplifies a woman in this time period, subject to its rules and socie...   [tags: Classical Chinese Literature, Ming Dynasty]

Better Essays
2484 words (7.1 pages)

Japanese Yen Essay examples

- Japanese Yen The Japanese Yen When Richard Nixon suspended the convertibility of US dollars to gold in 1972, the fixed rate between the dollar and the yen was exchanged for a floating rate. The international value of the yen rose sharply and is today one of the most attractive currencies on the market as it directs the world's second largest economy. The yen is controlled by a central bank known as the Bank of Japan or BOJ. This central bank is under the supervision of the Minister of Finance....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)