By: Adeline Yew Mah
I always disagree with the way Chinese authors portray the women in the republican period. They are emphasized as the representative of feudalism and have a lack of knowledge. The typical story of 19th century of China is that every family wants to give birth to boys because they can continue their family name. Therefore, girls are treated as unwanted children. They do not have the right to gain knowledge or enjoy a social life. Their feet are bound; they should do family work since they are young and watch helplessly as their parents spoil their brothers with good food. After they are married, the daughter’s relationship with her family is automatically stopped. The coming life is even harder because they will have to bear the abuse of their husband’s family and have the pressure to give birth to boys. However, the writer of the book Falling Leaves, Adeline Yen Mah, has represented traditional Chinese women in a different light. She used her own story, to write about the ambitiousness, commitment and success of a 19th Chinese lady from a traditional family.
Adeline Yen Mah is an ethnic Chinese writer who is famous for writing Chinese historical stories in English. She was a neglected child not only because she was a girl, but also because her mother died while giving birth to her. However, she had the courage to follow her dream and make her family proud. The book Falling Leaves is an autobiography of her legendary life. This well-known book made the New York Times Bestseller list; it has sold over a million copies all over the world, and has been translated into twenty-two languages. This book encouraged millions of neglected women all over the world to stand up and be themselves.
The author has used the writing style that is like an old grandma telling her story to you. She uses very simple analogies to make her deeply moving story easily understood. For example, when...