Brown Mackie College-Atlanta
Saving Sourdi” by May-Lee Chai, discusses a plot of the metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood. Chai writes “Saving Sourdi” in first person point of view told by Nea, who is also the protagonist of story. The purpose of this essay is to examine the conflict, setting and theme of “Saving Sourdi” to tell the story of two sisters. In Saving Sourdi, the two main characters Sourdi and Nea develop in contrast with each other. Nea, the younger sister, has problems maturing into her own life, as well as her sister’s life progresses. Her naïve mind, anger, and anxiety influence her decisions throughout the story in a negative way. Chai’s character is easy to relate to because everyone has had a point in their lives where they didn’t want to mature. The story’s conflict surfaces in the tension between reality and fantasy. Sourdi exemplifies what Nea hates, by taking life for what it is and that infuriates Nea because of how strong her love is for Sourdi. Nea wants Sourdi all to herself and does not like the bond between Sourdi and her husband. Nea’s dreams and memories that Chai embodies throughout express Nea’s wants for Sourdi. Within Nea’s conflict with reality and men, her relationship with her sister is tested. The setting of this story takes place in South Dakota where the struggling Asian family operates a bar. The setting of the bar plays a key role in developing the protective characteristics of Nea. The theme of companionship ties in greatly with the setting of the story. This is present in the beginning of the story because the girls are growing up as sisters living together. They develop their friendship and love for each other as they mature together. Nea matures slower than her sister, but she is also younger than her sister, which is ironic because Nea feels protective over Sourdi. The setting changes as Sourdi moves away after her arranged marriage to Mr. Chhay. This places burden on the...
References: Chai, May-Lee. “Saving Sourdi.” Literature to Go. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s. 2011. 69-84. Print.
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