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Explain How Two Critical Incidences in Chinese Cinderella Are Described by Adeline Yen Mah in Order to Engage the Reader in the Storey

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Explain how TWO critical incidences in Chinese Cinderella are described by Adeline Yen Mah in order to engage the reader in the storey

Critical incidences that occur in Chinese Cinderella are numerous and form the structure of the novel. Two critical incidences that occur in Chinese Cinderella are fifth sister’s arrival in Shanghai and the death of PLT in these passages. Adeline Yen Mah has used adjectives, detailed descriptions, rhetorical questions, direct speech and similes to describe these two events, allowing the reader to understand Adeline’s ability to persevere with composure and to accept her positon within the family.

“PLT’s left leg dangling lifelessly and her tiny webbed foot twisted at a grotesque angle. Blood spurted from an open wound” Yen Mah’s descriptive language before and during the incident helps visualize the building tension as Adeline foresaw the impending death of her precious duckling. The simile “father’s announcement was like a death sentence” summarises Adeline’s concern over the future of her duckling knowing with almost certainty of it’s upcoming death.

When describing Niang’s beating of her child, Adeline’s uses snake like attributes using onomatopoeic words like “simmered”, “glared “and “hissed” to describe the mother’s anger. The rhetorical question: “Why wasn’t anyone objecting?” along with her descriptions of the crowd’s reactions: “an unnatural hush” and “Everyone cowered” helps communicate the discomfort of the witnesses. The portrayal of Niang as dangerous and fire-like “fuming with rage”, with long “red” fingernails adds to the fear the reader feels for this threatening woman.

Memoirs often reveal a great deal about people other than the authors themselves. Select ONE person other than Adeline Yen Mah from Chinese Cinderella and discuss how that person has been represented in the text.

Memoirs are a great source of knowledge and insight into understanding a person’s character. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah exposes the behaviours and background of the characters in the autobiography. One character in particular, aunt baba share similarities of experiences with Adeline and therefore the bond between the two develops into a close caring relationship. Most of what we know of BaBa is through Adeline’s eyes and the way BaBa interacts with her. BaBa is like a mother to Adeline, the only person who looks out for her.

Baba takes pride in Adeline’s achievements and awards and keeps them safe for her when no one else cares to. Adeline describes Baba keeping “all my report cards from kindergarten to the most recent” , “as if my award were also some precious jewel impossible to replace”. She is the only one who regularly praises Adeline. Adeline feels close to BaBa, when Nai Nai dies Adeline comforts



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