Posted: June 19th, 2021

The Jade Peony

Thesis: one’s personal culture and sense of tradition will always be a strong part of the self, regardless of external factors which can have a profound influence on one’s life. Subtopic 1: one’s value, habits and loyalty to his culture and tradition are not easily changed. Example:“ But we collect for the heart, Kiam-Kim,” Father said. “We help all the people of China. ” I was puzzled. “Even those who kill other Chinese? ” “Yes,” Father said. “Of course. ” “But never help the Japanese? ” “Never. ”(Page 208)
Explanation: This discussion is between Kiam-Kim and his father, which is a Chinese family in Canada for a long time. At that time, there is just a war between China and Japanese, and Kiam-Kim, who is the main character in the novel, is collecting money for the donation of Chinese soldiers. Kiam-Kim thinks this money is for blankets, medical supplies, food for orphans but not for bullets or guns. Because at that time, Kiam-Kim just 9 years old, his child’s mind wants everyone in peace but not in war. But in fact, there are so many wars in China.
Not only between Chinese people but also between China and Japan. When he asks his father about what these denotation is for, his father tells him that is for all Chinese people including the people who is fighting with another Chinese people. Because of the hatred of Japan, his father never wants to give anything to Japan. That proves that he will never help his country’s enemy because of his loyalty of China . Subtopic 2: One’s culture can have a profound hold on one’s personality, gravity influencing a course of behavior.

Example: “Teach Jung-sum how to kick and pass the ball,” Father said to me. “Canada never need soldiers. ” “Need soldiers in China,” Poh-Poh said, slapping the last bandage on my arm. She poured her stinging homemade lotion on one of Jung’s battle wounds. “Fight the warlords!Fight the Japanese! ”(Page 230 ) Explanation: Poh-Poh is an old lady from old China; she used to be in China for such a long time so the impression of China’s culture has a important part in her life. Although she is in Canada, but she still memorizes the Old China and cares about the things happening here.
When the war between China and Japan is broken out, she is always worried about the Old China’s situation although there is not any war in Canada, so no soldiers are needed. But Kiam-Kim’s father said “Canada never needs soldiers”. Poh-Poh thinks about her country, the old China, which needs so many soldiers to attend to the war. So she said “ Need soldiers in China! ” because the culture of China has such a influence to her. Subtopic 3: We are all placed in a category and perceived in a certain way become of our background’s culture, and the human aspect of prejudgment will probably never changed.
Example: Overnight, the news ran through Chinatown. Perfect Meiying had given herself to a Japanese boy. She had to do something and failed terribly. She had bled to death. Two ambulance arrived, and a crowd gathered to watch them take away the bundled body. Explanation: When the war between China and Japan becomes more and more intensely, every Chinese people including the aboard hate Japan because Japan invade their land and attack their compatriots. But Meiying, who is a wonderful girl in Chinatown, has a boyfriend as a Japanese people.
In that time, it is such a terrible thing because the Chinese people believe that people who has communication with Japanese is a traitor. Meiying keeps the secret for such a long time but finally it is exposed so she can not be under this hard pressure and also don’t want to Implicate her parents so she decides to kill herself. So at that time, people think all Japanese people are bad and harmful and attribute them into a category which is bad. So whether the people is good or bad, if he is a Japanese, he will be judged into a harmful people.

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