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It's Not Easy Being Unwanted

By 15mlawrence Oct 14, 2012 776 Words
Mackenzie Lawrence
Queen Workman
Honors Nine, 6
10 September 2011
It’s Not Easy Being Unwanted
Adeline Yen-Mah’s life as an unwanted daughter is unpleasant because of two factors: Her parents, and her siblings. In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen-Mah writes an auto-biography about her depressing childhood as an unwanted daughter in the Chinese culture in the time frame of World War Two. This book describes in-depth her depressing life; how her siblings despised her, and became jealous after she started getting awards in school, how unfair and harsh her parents were towards her, and how Yen-Mah’s only forms of happiness where from school. It is miraculous that Adeline Yen-Mah is able to lead a semi-normal life after all of the cruelties of her childhood. Yen-Mah was seemingly despised by her siblings, and once she started school, they became jealous. Yen-Mah often endured harsh criticism from her siblings, and some of her siblings seemed to almost hate her. Big Sister, for example, blamed Yen-Mah’s birth for killing First Wife (Yen-Mah’s mother). “If you had not been born, Mama would still be alive. She died because of you. You are bad luck” (Yen-Mah, location 7 of 2662 in Amazon Kindle®) Yen-Mah was indeed treated like bad luck from most of her siblings. “While I was basking in Third Brother’s praise, I suddenly felt a hard blow across the back of my head. I turned around to see Second Brother glowering at me.”(Location 210 of 2662) This citation is when Yen-Mah was telling Third Brother of her first award at school, and Second Brother hit her on the head for “showing off your medal” (Location 219). Yen-Mah’s life is filled with little moments like this that just scream unwanted. Throughout Yen-Mah’s life, her parents’ are mostly harsh and uncaring, and they failed in treating all of their children equally. The Second Wife’s children were treated above everyone else, only because they were her children, and not First Wife’s. “’what gets me,’ Big Sister said, ‘is the blatant inequality between her children and us’” (Location 596). Big Sister said this after Big Brother was complaining about his clothes to his siblings’. Yen-Mah showed us exactly how cruel her parents are, because when she went a tiny bit out of order, she was subjected to cruel punishment. “He ordered me to lie face down on my bed and he whipped me” (Location 1325). This was the cruelest physical punishment Yen-Mah was subjected to. This happened when Niang found out about the birthday party at one of her friend’s house. Niang is a harsh character in this book, and she seemingly despises all of First Wife’s children, except Big Sister. Yen-Mah seemed to have got the worst of it because when she first started school in Sacred Heart, everyone had forgotten about picking Yen-Mah up, and dropping her off at school. “Eventually, I was the only one left. Nobody had come for me” (Location 424). This is one of the most recognizable points’ in the book that lead the reader to giving Yen-Mah the title “Unwanted Daughter.” Some of Yen-Mah’s only non-depressing moments in her childhood are at school. Yen-Mah found it amazing when she was treated like an equal, and not an unwanted daughter. “My classmates made me feel as if I ‘belonged.’ Unlike my siblings, nobody looked down on me” (Location 263). This was one of the few happy moments that Yen-Mah experienced during her childhood, and it showed exactly how Yen-Mah was used to being treated. Yen-Mah was ecstatic when she was voted for Class President, and she won. “How is it possible? I, the same despised daughter publicly rejected by my parents yesterday, am now being honored by my teacher and classmates” (Location 1531). It was truly a heart-touching moment when the reader read this, because people around Yen-Mah made her feel truly wanted in someplace in her life. To be an unwanted daughter is emotionally hard to endure, and also physically tough to bear as well. Unwanted daughters are uncared for from parents’. Siblings do little to help, and they even can make it worse. Most are subjected to unfair punishment for the tiniest reasons. Being an unwanted daughter is one of the worst experiences one can have, to be uncared for by the people you love most, and having no way out. It was painful to read Chinese Cinderella, so it must be ten times worse to actually go through what Adeline Yen-Mah went through.

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