When someone is said to be Canadian, it does not just mean being one who lives on this land, or has lived on this land long enough to obtain this citizenship, it means living the Canadian life, it means waking up in the morning wearing a ton of layers and going outside in the freezing cold to do whatever a person needs to do during the day, to be Canadian it also means to belong.
Canada is known for the diversity of culture, religion, color, and beliefs, as well as our ability to be able to create a status acceptable to everyone, making Canada, despite our individual diversity and differences, to be united as one. However, what we don’t realize is that Canada has not always been this way; this is the perspective that Wayson Choy expresses through his novel "The Jade Peony". His text and word play emphasizes on a world so unknown, yet so important to not only our history, but to our understanding of what our ancestors of our various ethnic origins fought through every day of their lives to create the world in which every day we take for granted. Where he lays his emphasis on our history is not from the point of view of the adult, but through the eyes of the children who, today, are our fathers and grandfathers.
Divided into three major chapters, Wayson Choy begins the narration of his history through the eyes of Jook-Laing, a five year old beautiful girl of Chinese origin born in Canada after her family immigrated to Canada. Isolation is slowly starting to become a major theme in the novel, not only created by the Canadian Government, but by her very own family. The Canadian Government in the 1940's, the time period the novel takes place, created harsh laws against immigrants, making it near impossible to live happily: one was never to leave the household, as immigrants must live within the same household even when one becomes married, as well as harsh laws on illness, where, if one were to become sick with any illness- even as innocent as a...
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