An Analysis of Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

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Chinese Cinderella.
The novel ‘Chinese Cinderella’ was written by Adeline Yen Mah. It tells the readers a story about herself during her childhood times and that she was an unwanted daughter. In the preface, Yen Mah stated ‘Please believe that one single positive dream is more important than a thousand negative realities.’ In this novel Yen Mah tells her story and proves that the statement is true. The start of the novel states the first negative reality for Adeline was her mother’s death. Adeline’s mother died after giving birth to her. Everyone except Ye Ye and Aunt Baba thinks that Adeline brings bad luck. Big Sister said ‘If you had not been born, Mama would still be alive. She died because of you. You are bad luck.’ (Page 3) The positive thing is Aunt Baba and Ye Ye love Adeline and they will keep encouraging her to pursue her dreams and achieve the goals in her life. In sixth grade, Wu Chun Mei, Adeline’s friend, nominated Adeline as class president and got chosen. This made Adeline happy because she had recognition from her friends and teachers. ‘Though my parents tell me I’m worthless, I’ve proved them wrong.’ (Page 124) When Adeline was at home doing her calligraphy, her friends came to congratulate her. Niang, Adeline’s stepmother, then called her up to her room. Niang questioned and slapped Adeline like she was a criminal. ‘Tears streaked down my cheeks and I found it hard to breathe’. (Page 127). Niang and Father decided to send Adeline to Tianjin. Adeline was going to be separated from Aunt Baba and Ye Ye. On the last day in Shanghai, Aunt Baba said, ‘I’ll be here for you as long as I’m alive. Surely you know that. But you must never forget the dream. You have something precious and unique deep inside you which must not be wasted.’ (Page 137). With that Adeline had hope and felt positive. In Sacred Heart, Adeline wanted to enter a play-writing competition. Adeline was left undecided and she didn’t have faith in herself. She asked Ye Ye and he said...
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