The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine

The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine

Length: 671 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine


Anchee Min, a Chinese novelist, has written many books about life in China revolving around the Cultural Revolution, including her autobiography Red Azalea. In her novel Katherine (1995), readers are exposed to life after the Cultural Revolution. The story focuses on two bold characters—Katherine and Zebra. Katherine, an American schoolteacher, comes to China to teach English to the younger generation. Her western ideology—free spirit, free will, and her stylish appearance--influences her students to think differently about the ways they live. Zebra, a student, has aspiring goals to be like Katherine in every way possible. Min portrays these two characters as very close friends, lost souls with only each other to turn to and rely on.

During the Cultural Revolution, Zebra was sent to work in a mine where she used dynamite. She was raped by her party boss and became pregnant. Zebra confides in Katherine that she took a drug to kill the baby and at work she felt a stream of blood run down her leg (101). Zebra has never before told anybody what has happened to her in this mine. After Katherine hears the story, Zebra cries in her arms. The only reason she tells Katherine this horrible story is because she trusts her. But before Zebra actually tells Katherine what happens she comments: “I don’t know how it happened, but all at that moment, my heart felt a sudden tenderness” (97).

Katherine also confides in Zebra when telling her about her childhood. Katherine’s biological mother was mute, and it was very hard for the two to communicate. Katherine says that she struggled to have a normal childhood. “Because my biological mother was deaf and blind I thought that I might become deaf and blind at any moment” (102). Zebra is there for her and can relate, Zebra having a rough family life as well. Her mother is not blind and deaf, but the communication between the two is not there. Zebra spends little time with any of her family members, and hardly ever speaks to them. Zebra and Katherine’s lives merge because of the things they share in common—similar ages, having rough pasts, and having nobody to rely and confide in.

Zebra also turns to Katherine when she has a relationship with Lion Head, a classmate of Zebra’s.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Relationship Between Katherine and Zebra in Anchee Min's Novel, Katherine." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=30832>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on Anchee Min's Katherine: A Lesson In Survival

- Anchee Min's Katherine: A Lesson In Survival Born in Shanghai, China, in 1957, under the rule of Chairman Mao, China’s communist leader, Anchee Min followed the teachings of Mao (Book Reporter). In 1974, she worked at a labor camp for some time. In 1984, she came to America, and by 1994 her memoir, Red Azalea, became an international bestseller (book jacket). Katherine, her first novel, was published in 1995. Min’s Katherine has been called by a Vogue reviewer, “a powerful lesson in survival” (book jacket)....   [tags: Anchee Min Katherine Essays]

Free Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Feminist Struggle in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

- Katherine Mansfield belongs to a group of female authors that have used their financial resources and social standing to critique the patriarchal status quo. Like Virginia Woolf, Mansfield was socioeconomically privileged enough to write influential texts that have been deemed as ‘proto-feminist’ before the initial feminist movements. The progressive era in which Mansfield writes proves to be especially problematic because, “[w]hile the Modernist tradition typically undermined middle-class values, women … did not have the recognized rights necessary to fully embrace the liberation from the[se] values” (Martin 69)....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield]

Research Papers
2631 words (7.5 pages)

Katherine Sheppard Essays

- "A great woman has gone whose name will remain an inspiration to the daughters of New Zealand, while our history endures". This quote was read at the funeral for Katherine Sheppard. The political advancement of women in New Zealand was brought about by a handful of courageous women, particularly Kate Sheppard. Kate Sheppard was born on March 10, 1847 in Liverpool, England. Her full name was Katherine Wilson Sheppard, but she preferred the name Kate. After her father's death in 1862 when Kate was only 15, Kate's mother, took her and her two older brothers over to New Zealand, in 1868 and settled in Christchurch....   [tags: Katherine Sheppard]

Research Papers
1329 words (3.8 pages)

The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Essays

- The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Born as Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand in the year 1888, Katherine Mansfield has long been celebrated as New Zealand’s most influential and important writer. Daughter of Annie Dyer and Herold Beauchamp, Mansfield was born to a wealthy businessman and a mother who was often thought to have been “aloof”. Attending school at a young age, Mansfield went to Wellington GC as well as Miss Swainson’s private school before being sent to Queen’s college in London for a more formal education....   [tags: Biography Katherine Mansfield Essays]

Research Papers
3644 words (10.4 pages)

Katherine Mansfield And Sexuality Essay

- One of the themes that can be found in the stories of Katherine Mansfield centres upon the role, status, sexuality, and "place" of women in society. According to Chantal Cornut-Gentille d'Arcy, "Mansfield's succinct narratives … are triumphs of style, a style which challenged the conventional parameters of nineteenth-century realism, constrained to plot, sequential development, climax, and conclusion" (244). More specifically, maintains that "even though Mansfield never acknowledged any profound engagement with Freudian approaches to sexuality or psychic disorder … Mansfield moved in a context which undoubtedly indicates she was aware of Freud's ideas and discoveries" (245)....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield Feminism Sex]

Research Papers
1598 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Katherine Anne Porter's Rope

- Katherine Anne Porter's Rope Part I: Abstract: Like the majority of literary criticism of Katherine Anne Porter's "Rope," Jane Krause DeMouy's comments are part of a larger work examining the thread of characteristics, themes and techniques woven throughout Porter's writings. In her "Katherine Anne Porter's Women: The Eye of Her Fiction," DeMouy focuses primarily on six stories published in "The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter" between 1922 and 1928. She characterizes them as "all stories of women caught in constricting circumstances who must recognize and confront two burdens in their lives: Their sexuality and their social position." DeMouy suggests that...   [tags: Katherine Anne Porter Rope Essays]

Research Papers
1036 words (3 pages)

Essay on Katherine Mansfield's Bliss

- Katherine Mansfield's "Bliss" Katherine Mansfield¡¦s short story Bliss is filled with a lot of underlying mean-ings and themes. There are as well many symbols that Mansfield uses and among those the pear tree is an important one. In this essay I will prove that the pear tree is both a symbol for for Bertha and her life and the awakening of her sexuality. First I will sketch on the symbolic meanings of a pear and a tree as they are described in symbolic books and I will then focus on the pear tree in relation to Ber-tha throughout the story....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield Bliss Essays]

Research Papers
1562 words (4.5 pages)

The Metamorphosis of Bertha in Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss Essay

- The Metamorphosis of Bertha in Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss” is quite an interesting story full of underlying meanings and themes. Upon a first reading, it seems to be a simple story of a woman who feels uncontainable bliss one day, only to have it end when she discovers her husband is having an affair. Although this is a correct interpretation, after a second reading, much more is apparent. “Bliss” is a story of the revelation of a vibrant young woman, of criticism of society, and of sexual revolution....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield Bliss Essays]

Research Papers
2155 words (6.2 pages)

The Well by Elizabeth Jolley and Relationship of Hester and Katherine Essay

- The Well by Elizabeth Jolley and Relationship of Hester and Katherine Hester Harper is a lonely, single lady in The Well. It was her loneliness, lack of love and need for companionship that made her bring Katherine home. She did not have a life of her own. Katherine was an unloved child, who had already been rejected by people in her country until she luckily met with Hester. Katherine formed a close relationship with Hester, and soon realised that Hester was quite fond of her. Katherine fulfilled all her requirements, and Hester believed that it is the beginning of a secure and loving relationship....   [tags: Jolley well Hester Katherine Essays]

Research Papers
758 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The Zebra Mussel

- Populations of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas), were first found in the Laurentian Great Lakes in 1988 (Hebert et al., 1989). This species is native to the Caspian, Aral, and Black Seas and the rivers that drain into them but has spread throughout Europe, principally during the 18th century. Since it is restricted to estuarine and freshwater habitats, it is presumed that it was introduced into North America by ballast waters of transoceanic vessels. Based on the substantial amount of genetic variation found in these initial populations, as estimated from electrophoretic variation of allozymes, the colonization of the Great Lakes was by a large number of immigrants and...   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
624 words (1.8 pages)

Related Searches

After this happens, she runs to Katherine to talk about it. Zebra says that she finally felt something for another person again. Zebra also finds herself asking Katherine questions about members of the opposite sex; this is a sexual awakening for Zebra. Katherine is able to makes Zebra feel for another person: “Through Katherine’s imagination I found Lion Head irresistible” (76).

Katherine turns to Zebra when she goes to adopt Little Rabbit. She asks Zebra to accompany her when they visit the orphanage. Zebra must lie to her factory boss and say that she is visiting her dying grandmother. Being a good friend, she takes the trip with Katherine, jeopardizing her job. Zebra does not hesitate about helping her friend although she is aware that she could get into serious trouble. Zebra says, “I must get a permit to leave my job for three days. The unit head wouldn’t grant me permission unless someone in the family was dying, I lied” (146). Katherine also turns to Zebra to take care of Little Rabbit when she is back in America. Zebra visits the child, takes care of her, and even takes off from work to visit Little Rabbit who is sick in the hospital (286).

When Katherine is sent back to America, it is very hard for the two to say their good-byes. Katherine tells Zebra to meet her in an apartment, where the two say their partings. In this emotional moment, Katherine and Zebra both choke up and cry. Yet, Min is successful in showing Katherine and Zebra’s growing relationship without the emotional aspects of their friendship overpowering the novel.

Work Cited

Min, Anchee. Katherine. New York: Berkley, 1996.
Return to 123HelpMe.com