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Hist 3390 - Memories of Peking: South Side Stories

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Natalia Nogueira


HIST 3390

Book Critique

July 12, 2011

Memories of Peking: South Side Stories

Worth to talk about every single story of the book. The five of them represents the life of a little girl full of ideas and interest in life. The book describes the five stories of Peking from the vision of a little girl. There is a really big difference from the view of a child than the view of an adult. Main differences will be discussed below.

The curious thing about the book is how the author writes on the view of a little girl for that specific time. When reading through the book it really feels that a little girl with maturity is talking. The author had an excellent outcome in the performance of the short stories through the novel.

Ying tzu starting the novel she is about 6 years old. Later on through the stories she grows until she is 12. Always accompanied by her "mama" and "papa" Ying tzu was a normal kid wanting to always play. Also the brothers and sisters keep on growing, this helps to notice that the family was wealthy by having a wet nurse with them so many years. Her character could easily get every reader's attraction. As a kid in all of the stories she experiences meeting different people. People who in some way got touch by her, and seemed to always remember Ying tzu. Described as having always a braid, and getting hot from being nervous by any given circumstance, Ying tzu shows through the novel her honesty of being a child.

From the first story "The hostel" it describes Ying tzu as good girl, curious and worried about others. As a girl she wanted to get involved with some friends, but the reading gives the feeling that Ying tzu had a special heart and everyone would love to tell stories to her or more than stories, personal life. Ying tzu would not go to school yet, so she finally met some friend, which she defended, here she shows a good act, soon her friend reveals to Ying tzu that her dad would beat her up. (With this stated we can see the setting of the story, the 1920's. When men would get angry if they did not had their own child.) It is amazing how Ying tzu was put through this story and was able to help a mother find her daughter and she was so smart to put stories together. But at the end of the book it is a different feeling, every single story would end on Ying Tzu saying good bye to the people she got involved to. Even her father! If there was a second part Ying tzu would end without any brothers and sisters. She was kind of destined on leading people through the right way. But what will Ying tzu way will be in the future?

The second story is after they moved out, "Let us go and see the sun". shows



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