How Paper has revolutionized the World

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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…show more content…
Initially, Choy shows how paper is a positive force and instrumental in the creation of opportunities for the Chen family, like the ghost papers that facilitated their passage to Canada. However as the book progresses it becomes clear that the crossing of physical boundaries comes at the price of relinquishing one’s freedom. This is evident in the character of Stepmother whose passage to Canada came at the price of her body. Choy dramatically illustrates this exchange of passage for body during the scene of Stepmothers arrival into Canada: “ I remember the dark-coloured papers sticking out of the opening as she let the envelope fall into my hand; its weight a thousand times the weight of the butterfly.” (42) This physical exchange of these “dark-coloured papers” symbolizes the surrender of Stepmothers body to the Chen family. The description of the documents represent Stepmothers feelings toward the loss of her freedom where the “dark-colour” symbolizes the unhappiness felt towards her new subservient position. The diction of the transaction, “as she let the envelope fall” show how stepmother does not resist or create conflict in the release of her rights. This unprotested resignation of her rights foreshadows the role that stepmother will play. The exaggeration of the weight of the documents symbolizes the significance of these papers
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