The Jade Pendant

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“The Jade Pendant”
(Catherine Lim)

In THE JADE PENDANT, Ah Soh is an older lady living in her rich relatives’ house. She is treated like a servant to the family and lives in the shadow of Mrs. Khoo, the house owner. Mrs. Khoo is rich, Ah Soh is not. Mrs. Khoo is well respected in the city whereas Ah Soh is mostly unknown. All the money Ah Soh makes by selling homemade pudding and cake, she saves. Ah Soh and her daughter live frugally, living off the leftover food and past down clothes of the Khoo family. After so many years in Mrs. Khoo’s shadow who looks down on Ah Soh and her daughter, Ah Soh plans her revenge. She ensures her revenge is complete by taking the necessary steps of secrecy, prominence and association.

First, Ah Soh makes sure that her plans are carried out in complete secrecy. For example, in Ah Soh's first appearance in the story, she is conveniently sweeping in front of Mrs. Khoo's door where Mrs. Khoo is showing the Jade Pendant to Lian Kim's fiancé. Ah Soh is, in fact, listening in on the conversation and hoping to have a look at the pendant. Most important, as a member of the household who is free to move about in the Khoo residence, and who is basically also a servant, Ah Soh has the means to secretly listen in on conversations without being noticed. She does this specifically under the guise of cleaning. Therefore, by deduction, an assumption can be made that this is how she finds out about the Khoos' need to sell the Jade Pendant as well as how, where and when its sale will take place.

Secondly, Ah Soh carefully organizes how she shows the pendent with prominence being a key factor. For instance, Ah Soh takes care of her appearance in dressing appropriately at the wedding for once in Mrs. Khoo’s eyes. In doing so, Ah Soh raises her visibility. She also makes sure her daughter and herself attract attention from other guests but are not noticed by Mrs. Khoo. In other words, Ah Soh does not want Mrs. Khoo to find out that Ah Soh...
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