Nea: Saving Sourdi Character Analysis

1339 Words Mar 20th, 2012 6 Pages
Alida Lamagna
2/12/12
Literature and Composition
Turner
Nea: Saving Sourdi Character Analysis

“Saving Sourdi” by May-Lee Chai, discusses a classic plot of the metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood. In her story, the two main characters Sourdi and Nea develop in stark contrast to one another. Nea, the younger sister, has difficulty growing up and maturing as her own life, as well as her sister’s life, progresses. Her naivety, aggression, and anxiety influence her decisions throughout the story in a negative way. Chai’s character is easily believable and relatable, everyone has had a point in their lives where they didn’t want to grow up, handled a situation poorly, or realized that their relationship with someone has changed
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Sourdi is the prettier and more desirable sister. Chai highlights the incongruity of the sisters’ looks by solely depicting Sourdi’s beauty. By depicting Sourdi as a China Doll so early in the story when the two men are harassing her in the family’s restaurant, Chai sets us up to believe that she needs defending and isn’t strong enough to do it herself. Nea thoroughly believes that is her role in life. As the plot progresses, however, it is easy to see that Sourdi is in fact quite strong and unbreakable. As Nea interacts with the other characters, she is always brash and rarely takes the time to understand their side of a situation. In many cases, she lies to manipulate people and her situation to achieve her selfish goals. Nea fakes her remorse about attacking the customer just to please her sister: “I was glad I’d stabbed that man. I was only crying because life was so unfair.” (72) When Nea needs to find a way to Sourdi’s home she lies to Duke about the severity of the situation because she knows deep down that it is not as bad as she wants to believe. If Sourdi was in trouble, it would ultimately mean that Nea could get her sister back. Nea fabricates this story to make up for the loss she felt when Sourdi moved on and abandoned her. She would rather believe that it was someone else who caused her sister to mature and move on than to believe it was her own fault or that