Alone by Yiyun Li

Topics: Death, Interpersonal relationship, Soul Pages: 5 (1733 words) Published: February 1, 2011
Alone by Yiyun Li
Sweetheart Sorrow by David Hoon Kim


The parallels of “Alone” by Yiyun Li and “Sweetheart Sorrow” by David Hoon Kim were portrayed beautifully in the characters Fumiko and Suchen. Both young women of Asian decent were haunted by the elements in their lives. This awakens one’s consciousness that to be haunted by one’s innermost demons can become the catalyst of one’s freedom or demise. Therefore, the power lies within one’s self to assent and change those innermost elements to be free.

Superbly written, by both authors, these two riveting stories convey, the poignant haunting of both Fumiko and Suchen’s souls by their inner demons. Fumiko’s nervous breakdown was brought on by the demanding expectations of the Asian culture; enslaved by her demons she choosing chose death: “I finally understood what Fumiko had been trying to tell me in her garbled, mispronounced French: not Ta voix but Au revoir. Gazing up at the rows of windows, I saw the white of the bed sheets and Fumiko’s silhouette” (David Hoon Kim, 12). Fumiko was never to be haunted again by the elements of her culture. Give another sentence of explanation. When readers view Also, Suchen’s life trajectory they realize her suicidal pack gone wrong choosing to live but was in actuality her death sentence in actuality was dead, forever to be haunted by the spirits of her deceased friends: “Yet through their absence the girls had made themselves more present than anyone else in Suchen’s world, and she lived not only for herself but for their unconsumed lives”(Li, 5). Suchen held herself prisoner for living with a contrite heart of never forgiving herself because they had perished (Yiyun Li, 5). Add another line.

Showcased in the lives of Fumiko and Suchen is the valiant effort to escape these elements by relocating to new places. ”Your girlfriend came to France as a cure. But one of the conditions of her recovery was that she avoid things, elements that are reminiscent of her Japanese culture. At least, for the time being.”Fumiko departed Japan for Paris, France to embark upon a successful road to her recovery from a nervous break down (David Hoon Kim, 4). Conversely, this was somewhat impossible as Fumiko was unable to escape that which bound her spiritually. The similarities are uncanny, Suchen’s mother, in an effort, to have her daughter escapes the tragic memories and the talk of the community, relocated the family. “In the eyes of her neighbors and her schoolmates, Sachem had seen fear and awe, as if she carried rear infectious disease, and in the end it was her family’s move to another province that had ended the episode” Nonetheless, this obviously was not possible for Suchen. Each breath she took was spent in captivity of a soul imprisoned by the spirits of her five deceased friends. Fumiko and Suchen were never able to find solace as they succumb to that which haunted them.

In essence, both Fumiko and Suchen were never able to achieve the success of an intimate relationship because of their demons. Suchen’s marriage of sixteen years with Lei failed and “The divorce papers had arrived six months later, mailed to the cottage that Suchen had rented, not far from their house. She had signed them at once and mailed them back” a marriage that was cursed and in actuality was doomed to fail ( Yiyun Li, 2). Suchen’s soul was unable to be committed to Lei and to their marriage “He had been worn out by her, Lei had said toward the end of the marriage, not without bitterness. Sixteen years was a long time for anyone to endure a wife who had neither faith nor interest in the worldliness of marital life, he said, and she wondered if, by letting her go, he finally outgrown his youth”(Li, 3). Suchen was immensely devoted to the pack with her five deceased friends, and any other committed relationships would virtually be impossible (Yiyun Li, 3). Profoundly, all her relationships would be licensed for failure...
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