Short Story : Alive But Not Living

1484 Words6 Pages
Alive but Not Living
All around the world, it is believed that men are superior to women. In some countries it is worse than others but nevertheless, almost every woman in the world has or will have to face gender discrimination at least once in her lifetime. In nineteenth-century China, since the day a girl was born, she was taught that she was useless. She was told that as a child, her job was to obey her natal family and as a married woman, it was to obey her husband & in-laws. In a remote Hunan County, Lily is a girl who, her whole life, has longed to be loved. However, as a girl and later a woman it was considered wrong of her. At the age of seven, Lily is paired with a laotong or “old same”—an eternal friendship that bonded two girls as kindred sisters who are even closer than a husband and wife. Her laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan where she has written a poem in nu shu, the unique and secret language created by Chinese women. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories, on handkerchiefs, to share their hopes, dreams and accomplishments. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See shows the pain, the hardships, and the pressure that girls and women, like Lily and Snow Flower, living in nineteenth century China had to go through because of their culture’s beliefs.
In nineteenth century China, almost all girls had to go through the pain of footbinding—a custom in which the toes and arch of the
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