Butterfly Effect in Bone

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Directed and written by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, the movie “Butterfly Effect” is about a young man (Kutcher) who blacks out harmfull memories of significant events of his life. As he grows up he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life. This movie teaches a simple lesson about life: one little thing in the past can change the whole outcome of life later. The book Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan, also has something to do with past, as it is narrated by two people, mother and daughter, who talk about themselves, constantly referring back to the memories of their childhood. They regret the mistakes they have made as a little girl. If only they didn’t make the mistake in the past, they would have a totally different fate then. Ruth’s life is much affected by her childhood memories with her mother LuLing. Whenever Ruth doesn’t obey her, LuLing threatens by saying, “Maybe I die soon!” (54), and “LuLing’s threats to die were like earthquakes” (54). Ruth’s childhood earthquakes caused Ruth to “think about death every day” (121). If one’s mother threatens to kill herself, nothing would be worse than that for a child. Ruth had to go through all those in her sensitive years, and as a result death became an overwhelming figure in her life. Ruth also remembers how LuLing would embarrass her by seeming too Chinese at a time when she was so anxious to consider herself American. Tan skillfully portrays the growing pains of Ruth humiliated by her mother’s inability to accept the Western culture: “Her mother couldn't even say Ruth's name right. It used to mortify Ruth when she shouted for her up and down the block. ‘Lootie! Lootie!’ Why had her mother chosen a name with sounds she couldn't pronounce?” (49). Both LuLing and Ruth are unable to connect with their mothers, who have hidden their past. The secrecy has deprived mother and daughter from the shared fate and emotions that are necessary for understanding each other. Art tells her, “In all these years we've been together... I don’t think I know an important part of you. You keep secrets inside you. You hide. It’s as though I’ve never seen you naked” (360). Though she has nothing to hide, Ruth has unknowingly adopted this attitude of secrecy and remains distant from those she loves. As a girl, Ruth could only express herself freely in a diary, which her mother repeatedly found and read.

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