How Paper has revolutionized the World

1559 Words7 Pages
In 2nd Century BC, when papermaking was first invented, the Chinese inventors created an object as light as a feather that contains more power than all the armies of the world. Paper has unquestionably been a force that has revolutionized the world. While it is universally accepted that paper has been a liberating force for society it has also been a medium that has led to misfortune for many people. Like a double-edged sword; paper can acts as a vehicle for sharing and a catalyst for great change and opportunity, but just as easily be used to imprison and constrain individuals and societies. Wayson Choy highlights both the positive and negative effect that paper has on each character throughout his novel All That Matters. The journey into Canada for the Chen family was made possible by the existence of falsified immigration documents. These papers gave the Chen family the opportunity for a better life in a new country and provided a means of liberating them from their old life. However, it was these same papers that applied a constant constraint to each person’s freedom, erecting barriers in the formation of identity and dictating roles rather than allowing the characters to create their own future. Alena Chercover, in her analysis of All that Matters, writes that the negative effects of paper outweigh the positive opportunities that it may create, arguing, “while paper […] effectively transgresses national, ethnic, gender and class boundaries in lieu of embodied mobility and sometimes facilitates survival in the diaspora, it often carries a steep price” (12). In the essay that follows, I will explore the role paper plays in the hardships faced by characters in Choy’s All That Matters, and how paper influences the development ... ... middle of paper ... ...blem that limits diasporic success. Chercover takes this analysis of unhomliness one step further by concluding that paper acts as the underlying mechanism behind this problem. Paper traps females into constrictive gender roles, which results in the feelings of resentment and unhomliness. On balance paper is a negative force that limits the diasporic movement of Chinese Canadians and ultimately leads to the other themes of resentment and not belonging, which are feelings that are still at play in today’s society for immigrants in a new nation. Works Cited Chercover, Alena. ““His paper family knew their place”: Diasporic Space in Wayson Choy’s All That Matters”. Postcolonial Text 6.3 (2011): n. page. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. Madsen, Deborah L. “Mo No Boy, the negative rhetoric of nation in the work of Wayson Choy”. West Coast Line 42.3 (2008): 100-111. Print.
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