Effects of Being Called “Useless” on Jook-Liang’s Development

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Most people need some people who they can tell their hearts to and express their feelings. These people usually your parents, grandparents or friends, help provide emotional wealth. However some members of a family and some friends can not provide this type of wealth, in some cases they may even do the opposite. In Chinese culture around the time 'The Jade Peony' takes place, females especially, young females, were not treated with the respect that males were. To quote Poh-Poh in the Jade Peony, "A girl-child is mo-yung - useless". As a result her family does not treat Jook Liang with the respect that she deserved. Because she is a girl, she is labeled as less useful than the boys. This means that her opinions are not as valued as the opinions of some of the brothers of the household. She is considered as the weaker member of the family. As Jook Leung says, "He told Kiam and Jung that Wong Bak might appear 'very strange', especially to me as I was so young, and a girl, and therefore might be more easily frightened." It seems that she feels that she can not open up to her family and that they do not provide her with the feeling of wealth that she needs. Unlike members of her family, Wong Suk gave Jook Liang emotional wealth. He spent money on her but the most important thing in their relationship was that he spent time with her and valued her as a person. He said to her, "you are my little girl, my family." He also played games with her calling her his 'bandit-princess' and taking her out of the house for a movie or for ice cream. He even went to lengths to get her some ribbon for her shoes, when it had cost him an hour of labor. Poh-Poh the grandmother thought that it was a waste of money. Wong Suk treated her as a person worthy of his time and his affection.
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