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

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

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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. This was a
result of the Chinese losing the Opium war in 1842, which led their
country to fall under foreign control. In 1941 the Japanese bombed
Pearl Harbour, which involved the United States in the Second World
War, although Tianjin (The place where yen Mah and her family lived)
was occupied by the Japanese the French concession was still being
governed by French officials. 'French policemen strutted about looking
important and barking out orders in their language, which they
expected everyone to understand', even though the French had taken
over parts of China no one could understand them, 'at my school,
mother Agnes taught us the alphabet and how to count in
French…bilingual store signs were common but the most exclusive shops
painted their signs only in French'. In restaurants French people
overpowered Chinese people. If there was a queue of Chinese people
trying to get in French people would walk to the front, give their
French name and walk right in.

As soon as she was bor...


... middle of paper ...


... announced
today that 14-year-old Hong Kong school girl Adeline Jun-Ling Yen won
first prize in the International Play-writing Competition…our sincere
congratulations Adeline Yen for bringing honour to Hong Kong'. Yen Mah
finally had a father, 'I was quite pleased to tell him you are my
daughter'. The superstition that Yen Mah was 'bad luck' had been
lifted, she had her father back and the chance to go to medical school
in England. 'That's a foolproof profession for you…father I shall go
to medical school in England and become a doctor, thank you very, very
much'.

Adeline Yen Mah had overcome all of the traditions, culture and
historic problems that faced her, and had been rewarded with her
father classing her as his daughter again and she was able to travel
to England, far away form all of China's upheavals.

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