Memoir Essay Examples
Chinese Cinderella, a memoir written by Chinese-American author Adeline Yen Mah, is a story describing her experiences growing up in Chinese culture. After Adeline is born in 1937, her mother dies two weeks later due to complications related to her birth. Since this occurred, her family members believe that she brings the worst luck. A short time after Adeline’s mother dies, her father remarries another woman who treats Adeline with the same disrespect. Niang, her stepmother, stays at home to watch Adeline’s other siblings and her own two children. She treats Adeline with contempt, while showering the other children with expensive gifts. The only person who seems to care about Adeline is her Aunt Baba, who always praises and rewards her for her successes. In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah is very persistent in achieving her goals because her personality is shaped by the people and environment she is surrounded by.
Throughout the memoir, Adeline’s personality is driven by the temperament of her parents. Adeline’s father and step-mother both have cruel and unloving personalities. Her step-mother punishes her for going to a friend’s house, which is a normal activity for any child of Adeline’s age. After scolding her, Niang says, “Not only are you a liar and a thief, but you are manipulative as well. Nothing will ever come of you. The problem is that you have bad blood from your mother” (103). Even though Niang is not an immediate part of Adeline’s family, she still looks down on her and accuses her of bringing bad luck. Adeline’s father also treats her with disrespect and transfers her to many boarding schools within China, where each time she is stripped from her family and friends. Even though these are events that children today could never imagine going through, Adeline remains positive and brave through it all. She says, “Though my parents tell me I’m worthless, I’ve proved them wrong! Of all the girls in my class, my classmates chose me to be their class president. I must forget about my home. In my other life-my real life-I’m not worthless. They respect me” (112). This shows Adeline’s perseverance to stay strong and continue to work hard for herself and her future. She knows that she is worth something to other people, besides her family.
For the majority of the memoir, Adeline’s Aunt Baba shows support towards her goals and rewards Adeline for her successes. Since her other caretakers treat Adeline in an unloving way, Aunt Baba is the only person that comes across as caring for her. She is the one person who appreciates and sees the true potential in Adeline. Aunt Baba saves and keeps all her report cards in a special lock box, so that she can look back on Adeline’s achievements. Aunt Baba also rewards Adeline for her accomplishments, since no one else notices her. Adeline says, “On Tuesday morning, I put the silver dollar Aunt Baba had given me for leading my class the previous term in my pocket…” (99). Aunt Baba shows admiration and caring traits toward Adeline that keep her driven toward her goals to make her family proud. Adeline knows that she will have the support of at least one person, which keeps her persistent personality alive.
The actions of Adeline’s family members help develop and shape her personality throughout the memoir. The harsh ways that her father and step-mother treat her push her to try her best in life and her schoolwork to show them that she has worth. Even though she has been pushed to the side by her guardians, there is a drive within her that pushes her to succeed. Aunt Baba’s opposite and supportive actions keep Adeline motivated to eventually be successful. Even if she does not have the love and support of her family, she knows Aunt Baba will guide and reward her along the way. At the end of the memoir when Adeline wins an International Playwriting Competition, her father eventually realizes the potential in her and allows her to go to college in England alongside her siblings. Throughout Chinese Cinderella, the cultures and actions of Adeline’s family shape her persistent personality and drive for success.
In Said’s memoir, Out Of Place (1999), the author talks about his sense of alienation, of the dual parts of his conflicting western and Eastern identity and name. He has never found out where he really belongs. He is stuck in between those two contradicting worlds, ever since he was a child. Said starts by […]
In Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, Lauren Slater attempts to create a new kind of truth called metaphorical truth: emotional truth explained using metaphors instead of facts. She confuses fact and fiction even though it is a memoir and thus creates a convoluted tale of herself where she may or may not be epileptic. Initially, the […]
In John Bul Dau’s memoir, God Grew Tired of Us, he tells the inspiring and heart wrenching story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. This two hundred and eighty one page book was published in 2008 in the USA. John’s moving story begins by explaining the tense political situation in his beloved homeland, Sudan. Sudan […]
Philosophy is a worldview, as represented by the Sanskrit darshana, derived from the verbal root drish, “to see”. Generally speaking, the modern Philosophical approach seeks to find an objective vantage point from which to analyze and properly order the many subjective perspectives which constitute what is then termed “reality”. The Indian approach, by contrast, has […]
I took a few days of classes and received my hunting education certification. Looking back, the actual class time is Just a blur of what not to do, but I was reminded of them when I took drivers education last December, with the what not to do teachings. I also remember being very nervous about […]
Maathai was a woman from Kenya who struggled against oppression due to her gender, ethnicity, and political belief. This woman achieved many first for the women of Kenya. She established the international Green Belt Movement, earned her Ph. D, and was the first African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This story […]
Question one) look at the cover of the book. Does the cover of the book show that it is a biography/autobiography and not fictional book? How? The responder’s first look at this autobiography does not appear or resemble a life story until the words that are displayed across the cover advert your attention. “His record […]
Literature > Richard Rodriguez’s Aria Richard Rodriguez’s Aria is a personal memoir about bilingual education. Throughout his essay he represents the power of the individual to defeat the language barrier and he tells how he overcame this particular problem as a child. He is very happy to celebrate his new name because he feels that […]
Active reading techniques learned in Module 1 promoted my understanding of meaning and writing technique in Roger Angell’s memoir. Rather than reading to get the story, I was reading with a determination to understand and evaluate the memoir for its relevance. Therefore, I read the memoir by actively engaging with the content, highlighting specific areas […]
On August 1914, War World I was underway, and Ernst Jünger went to war as a German soldier. While in his trench and looking back on the war, Jünger wrote an unemotional historical account of his time at the front. In Storm of Steel, Jünger provides a memoir of savagery while serving for the German […]
Ever since author and primatologist Robert Sapolsky was little, he has always been interested in animals, especially primates. Although he originally wanted to study gorilla’s, he quickly discovered that for the research and questions he was asking, studying baboons would be better. One of Sapolsky’s books called A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among […]
The Comet’s Tail is a memoir penned by Amy Nawrocki, which describes her summer after her freshman year of college. This summer would be a notable one, since it is one she does not remember. Nawrocki collected information from family, friends, and doctors notes and stitched them together to create a narrative about her struggle […]
The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong is a story all about filial piety. In each memoir, we get to look at how Lady Hyegyong and her son Jeongjo try to preserve the family line and the name of Crown Prince Sado after his eventual downward spiral into madness. Each part is unique in its own way […]
Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead, forcing me to be constantly wiping my forehead. My heart was beating so vigorously that I could hear my heartbeat becoming faster and faster. My eyes were glassy and my expression was dazed. I tasted the bitterness of the rosin which was footing amongst the humid air. The […]
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” Everyone has a time of joy and everyone experiences a change in their point of view in the world. About 5-6 years […]
The Connection between the New Deal and the Great Depression on American’s Future The Great Depression started with the fall of stalk market (Temin 144-145).Value of shares in the stalk market dropped drastically leaving a huge financial gap and tension in the market .This was the first renowned collapse in the market which left a […]
Tobias Wolff was born on 19th June 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama to Rosemary and Arthur Samuels Wolff. His parents divorced, and Wolff followed his mother to the Pacific North-west. His mother remarried and relocated to Newhalem. He schooled in Concrete High School in Washington and proceeded to Hill School but was later expelled. He enrolled […]
Media ethics are put in place to guide journalists and media houses deliver reliable information to its users. Black and Roberts addressed media ethics in an attempt to shape the media houses and give the users a view of what they need to expect from the media houses of their choice. It’s also aimed to […]
This is a book that comprises several first-hand accounts of former slaves before the civil war and it’s entirely non-fictional. It is a must read. It is intriguing and at the same time emotion-packed. It is not so easy to read though since it is composed of short and many stories and one has to […]
The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong and the Diary of Lady Murasaki are famous in the contemporary sense. These two authors have in the same way employed styles and themes in their prose that bring out a clear significance of the cultures they talk about. For instance, Lady Murasaki uses the matter-of-fact chronicles of proceedings which […]
In our daily lives, we have come about the term postmodernism. This is a wide-ranging term that it’s mostly applied in the art, literature, architecture, fiction, philosophy, and cultural and literally criticism as well. This term broadly gives reaction to the assumed certainty of either scientific, objective, efforts that expound on reality. It comes from […]
Music is the science or art of setting tones in order or having succeeding sounds or the combination of the two. Music is of great importance in my life. Living without songs and accords would not be a pleasing thing in my life. It will instead create displeasure and live non comfortable life. Listening […]