Monday, February 8, 2010

Reading log - "Falling leaves"

Reading Log

Name : Tan Xi An (David)

Class : Arts

Title of narrative : Falling Leaves

How does the text relate to the theme of a journey?

The storyline of the novel “Falling Leaves” is about Adeline Yen Mah’s life. Her true life journey in China during the civil war was a time of fear, isolation and humiliation and how she beat the odds. Her mother died two weeks after her birth and Adeline was considered to be a source of bad luck by her family. Her father remarried a beautiful Eurasian woman one year later who was incredibly abusive, and her siblings treated her horribly except James. This is the story of how she survived to become a doctor and most successful in the family.

What is the main issue in the text?

The important point is that all Adeline wanted was the love and acceptance from her family, even though her step-mother who treated her like dirt, she became a successful person in spite of that. Adeline always had this dream of a united family where no one was treated badly. Her step-mother was neither kind nor good, yet she yearned for her approval for her entire life. Despite her family members mistreated her again and again, she never gives up on her dream.

What quality do you admire or dislike in a character?

My least favourite character would have to be Niang, the step-mother as I cannot believe how selfish, mean and cruel any person could be especially to a child who is not their own. Although Adeline excelled in her studies, she didn’t say a word of praise or encouragement; on the contrary, she ill-treated her. As for her own daughter, Susan, I couldn’t believe she chose to disinherit her with a ridiculous excuse. Her irrational act causes her to be forlorn and childless. She died without a friend.

How does the text develop your understanding of the world?

It was horrible during the civil war in China. From the novel we understand the concept of inflation by the illustration of Adeline’s second brother, Edgar stole two American dollars and change it to two bags of China currency and buried them in the backyard. Besides that, in Shanghai, there were cars and trams, beautifully dressed people listening to jazz. Meanwhile, there was a lot of poverty, too. Apart from that, a money-driven society in Hong Kong somehow had neglected the importance of love in family. In order to be respected by society, one has to be rich and well off. Money makes the world go round.