A Narrative Structure The Eyes to Someone Elses Life

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A Narrative Structure The Eyes to Someone Elses Life

There are many literary means, available to an author, which offer insight into a realm, which is unknown to the target audience. For an author, deciding the vehicle of expression and description is perhaps the most significant factor in the success of a literary work. Narrating allows a writer to provide personal account and persuade the reader without the use of outside facts or incidence. In “Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian,” Sui Sin Far utilizes the technique of first person narrative, in the form of flashbacks, in order to establish credibility and to invoke an emotional response from her readers. Truly, this decision offers support to the themes Far wishes to convey. By incorporating stories from her own personal experiences, Far appeals to the desire for individuality and personal identity, which we all harbor.

The first words written by Far display an imagery of looking back into her past at the moments that seem to dominate her memories. She begins the narrative with a vision of herself at the age of four. At this young age, Far remembers “the day on which [she] first learned that [she] was something different and apart from other children” (Sui Sin Far, 833). Even at this young age the word ‘“Chinese”’ (Far, 833) appears to have negative connotations, regardless of the true meaning. For the first time, but not for the last, Far has been made to see herself as less of a person than those who do not have Chinese in their blood lines. Young children are easily influenced and tend to be filled with an immense amount of curiosity. For Far, the idea of being Chinese meant nothing until her surroundings began to develop around her nationality alone.

Far manages to amplify emotions by illustrating them in a heightened sense. The use of childhood flashbacks allows the audience to experience the detrimental effects of racism and ignorance through the innocent and uniformed eyes of a young child. Adults have grown up in a cynical world and have been cultured in a society of inequality and injustice. If Far had chosen to speak of experiences of racial injustice suffered in her adult life, then the work would have far less emotional appeal on the audience.
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