Chinese Cinderella Essay Example
Chinese Cinderella Essay Example

Chinese Cinderella Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (833 words)
  • Published: November 21, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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The novel Chinese Cinderella is an autobiography written by Adeline Yen Mah about the harsh life she had whilst growing up. Adeline? s childhood shapes her character, the reader can see these developments throughout the novel. One characteristic easily seen is her love for reading and writing. Adeline is also a very intelligent school student who accomplishes many achievements in the novel. Her intelligence also leads to her success. Adeline? s modesty of her intelligence and impressive writing skills make her very humble.

Can these characteristics help Adeline through the struggle of her harsh childhood? Adeline has a strong love for reading and writing. She finds pleasure and thrills from both of these activities. Adeline spends her spare time either writing or in the


library reading books. Writing and reading distracts Adeline? s mind from her discriminating family and lets her be whomever she wants to be. It also gives her an activity to do. In the novel Adeline quotes “From then on, I wrote whenever I had a spare moment. To me, writing was pure pleasure.

It thrilled me to be able to escape the horrors of my daily life in such a simple way. I could be anybody I wished to be. ” She also quotes “I sauntered into the library and picked out a few books. My haven. My sanctuary. The place where I belonged! My real world! ”. With these quotes the reader can see that Adeline feels very compassionate toward reading and writing and with this characteristic her intelligence is aided and helps her to become successful. A characteristic of Adeline that can be seen i

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the novel Chinese Cinderella is her intelligence.

Adeline receives high marks and is acknowledged for her intelligent mind used on her schoolwork. At boarding school in Hong Kong, Adeline is taken up three years from her original grade from her intelligence and is thought of as brilliant and a brain from her schoolmates. Adeline studies hard to try and gain honour for her family and approval from her parents. Adeline receives the award for top of her class many times in her school years, the first time to receive it she had only been at school for one week.

These aspects can be seen through the quote “I was winning the medal every week and wearing it constantly. It was the only way to make father take notice and be proud of me. ” Adeline? s intelligence defines her character and later leads on to her success in school. Adeline? s characteristic of success can easily be seen throughout this novel. Adeline? s intelligence and love for reading and writing has gained her success in competitions and school. Adeline won the award for top of the class so many times that she received another award for getting it for more weeks than any other student.

She also moved up three years from her age group at the boarding school she attended in Hong Kong and had her writing published in the school magazine. She succeeded in winning two writing competitions, one being international, which bought her great honour to Hong Kong. Adeline? s success makes the reader have hope for Adeline, because she has a harsh childhood the reader is looking for

a way Adeline can break through from the discriminating grasp of Niang, her stepmother. Adeline is a very humble person.

Her characteristics can be seen through this quote in the novel; “Being top of my class and skipping grades and all that. My friends probably think I? m some sort of freak: reading all the time. Not that it? ll get me anywhere. They nick- named me “scholar” but I don? t know if that? s complimentary or derogatory. I read because I have to. It drives everything else from my mind. It lets me escape to other worlds. ” Through this quote, Adeline is recalling her good characteristics but using them to make her sound useless and unwanted.

Adeline is unsure whether to enter the international play-writing competition or not because she does not think she is a good enough writer, she is also very surprised when she wins. Adeline has no hope in herself. This makes the reader feel more sympathetic towards Adeline because she is always degrading herself. Despite the fact that Adeline had a harsh childhood, her characteristics bought her success and the opportunity to study at a University in England. Because of these characteristics the reader is influenced by the author to have hope for Adeline so that she can have great achievements in her discriminating childhood.

Although Adeline does have these characteristics which have come to a great advantage to her, the novel is an autobiography written by Adeline herself and aspects which degrade her characteristics may not have been added into the novel. Her characteristics are believable because they all link together and aid one

another. Overall, her characteristics work together to make her into the reading and writing loving, intelligent, successful and humble person she is.

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