In the 1999 novel “Chinese Cinderella”, author Adeline Yen Mah explores the theme of acceptance and belonging throughout the novel, as a result of her tragic childhood. The autobiography reveals the experiences of a young Chinese girl called Adeline, and her sense of isolation. The young girl is neglected by her family because she is being held liable for the death of her mother, who died during childbirth and leaving the family in poverty. As a result of this his heart-wrenching story, the author challenges the idea of belonging in an unkind family, to ultimately depict a sense of loneliness
Our culture is full of fairy tales. Girls are taught at a young age about Prince Charming and happy endings while boys are taught to be the girls’ heroes. They are taught these dreams and desires through fairytales and movies. These fairy tales started out as entertaining stories, but as they were handed down from one generation to the next, they slowly became more than that. They became bedtime stories for children, and as such, they have great importance because they teach children how to be in the world. One such fairy tale I want to focus on is Cinderella.
This memoir, Chinese Cinderella, tells us of a little girl who has an abusive childhood. No matter that she was the top student of her class or was one of the kindest people around, her new stepmother made her childhood one that she wouldn't want to remember. “You have defined the odds and garnered triumph through your own efforts. Your future is limitless, and I shall always be proud of you” (Yen Mah 197). This quote said by her aunt, Aunt Baba, shows how she always believed in Adaline. She told her by doing what she was good at, she could accomplish what no one thought she could. Adaline has always been fighting a never ending war in her childhood, that couldn't have been minimized without Aunt Baba and YeYe. Aunt Baba and YeYe are always
Culture is similar to personality. In a person, the personality is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, and experiences that create a person’s behavior. Culture is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes and behaviors shared by a group of people. Culture is the behavior that results when a group arrives at a set of rules for working together. Chinese Cinderella; an autobiography written by Adeline Yen Mah expresses the Chinese culture through Yen Mah’s personal experiences as a child. In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph
The autobiographical novel Chinese Cinderella, is about protagonist Adeline Yen Mah’s 1940 childhood in China. Our main antagonist in the story is Adeline’s stepmother, Niang, who is portrayed throughout the story as the ‘evil-stepmother’ figure. But is there the possibility that Adeline has unfairly depicted Niang? The time period in Naing’s life which this book takes place in, would have been an extremely difficult and stressful for her. She was forced into a marriage with man twice her age and expected to become maternal towards his five children from his previous marriage. Under Niang’s circumstances she also had to take measures to protect, manage and discipline 7 children, which we only see as cruel and violent because of the modern viewpoints.
“Every thought is a battle, every breath is a war, when I look back at the flashbacks, I don't want to remember them any more”(anonymous). These words have many attributes of Adeline's bleak life as a child. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah is a depressing story in many ways. The main character Adeline is discarded by her family, she is physically and mentally bullied by her parents, and her loved ones and friends are taken from her.
Chinese Cinderella is a very sad story where a little, unwanted girl is being abused every day. The novel Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah is depressing. The main character, Adeline, is always being treated the wrong way, this story could not be more sad.
Authors James Poniewozik and Peggy Orenstein are both concerned with the increase of princess culture among young girls. Poniewozik’s article “The Princess Paradox” and Orenstein's article “Cinderella and Princess Culture” discuss similar aspects of princess culture that could be potentially harmful to it’s audience. Both Poniewozik and Orenstein take on a feminist perspective in their articles. Specifically, both authors discuss feminist themes in princess culture but Orenstein focuses on toddler to pre-teen aged girls while Poniewozik is more concerned with specifically teenagers.
Chinese Cinderella, by Adeline Yen Mah is a heart-rendering autobiographical novel. Throughout the text, Adeline describes her cruel family and the trauma she was confronted with at school, trying to satisfy her heartless father with educational achievements. Together we relive the childhood life of Adeline through her words and hear, what it feels like to be a rejected and unloved daughter. Furthermore, Adeline owns a special quality that helps her to handle the cruelty of her upbringing and rise above many obstacles. Adeline has been always resilient. She is very strong and tackles everything that comes her way. By being friendless and having a pet duck as a friend, she distracts herself from her coldblooded reality.
Chinese Cinderella is a depressing story because of Adeline Yen Mah’s abusive childhood, and how much her parents mistreated her. They physically and emotionally hurt her. In this novel, Niang and Father would insult Adeline. How they talked to her or talked about her wasn’t pleasant. She was an unwanted daughter who usually felt hopeless and empty.
In choosing my cultural Cinderella theme. My goal was to promote a love of fairytales, an appreciation for the cultural retellings and instill the idea that kindness is crucial in life, a moral presented in each story. Here come the Fairytales was the final poem I chose because I hoped to take time reading through it and lend voice and emotion into the reading so that it would have a lasting impact. My mistake, I believe dwelt in overestimating the patience six and seven-year-olds possess. A better move on my part would have been to cut one of the books out of the reading yet I did not want to do that because I had been extremely precise in my selections. I was aware that the children I would be reading to consisted of a mix of girls and boys. Taking this into consideration, I wanted
Adeline's characters and actions are greatly influenced by her environment and what she observes everyday. She carries her family's actions and words to heart and acknowledged she shouldn't ask Aunt Baba. Her family could have just been so abusive and negative towards Adeline since her birth that it shut her out of the family and gave her more time to think and realize why they never talked about Mama. As we read, we'll notice how badly neglect and hate distorted and discouraged Adeline and her life. But some of her traits seem to be natural, such as leading (her class), using imagination, and being smart as she not just observed, but applied those ideas at age four.
“Though mine is a simple, personal tale of the journey of one unloved little Chinese girl growing up in Shanghai and Hong Kong, please do not underestimate the power of such stories. In one way or another, every one of us has been shaped by the stories we have read and absorbed in the past.” (Yen Mah xi) All of Adeline’s life she was fighting a never ending war when all she wanted to do was succeed. In the memoir, Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah, Adeline lives a harsh life of many ups and downs.
The book Chinese Cinderella, written by Adeline Yen Mah has four main themes. They are: family & relationships, abandonment & loneliness, self-esteem and history. The author Adeline Yen Mah, also wrote the book Falling Leaves but Chinese Cinderella was written for younger audiences. Chinese Cinderella is actually an autobiography, not a fairy tale. Adeline (the protagonist) has to work for her dreams, not by wishing from a fairy godmother. This book was set in the 1900’s (1941-1952). At that time WW2 was happening making Adeline’s life harder. The moral of this book would be that no matter your circumstances, you can work hard and achieve your dreams. This book is really captivating and it tells the reader not to underestimate anyone. That’s why I think this is an amazing book for everyone to read.