Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Without Wood - 2/28/12 - Four Quotes

"I used to believe everything my mother said, even when I didn't know what she meant." (185)
-This is the first line of the reading. The first line always intrigues me, because depending on what the sentence is, I try to predict what will be the concept, the theme, and the plot throughout this particular section. This line makes me think that we will see Rose confront a situation in which her mother tries to control her. She says she believes everything her mother says, even when she "didn't know what it meant." That last bit is extremely powerful, as if she sees her mother's opinions and beliefs as her only options.

"I clung to the bed, refusing to leave this world for dreams." (186)
-This sentence shows how much Rose's dreams scare her. She is clinging onto the bed, as if she's holding on for her life, fearful, because if she lets go, she will fall to her death. 'This world" is the real world where she feels safe, while her dreams are foreign grounds that she is extremely afraid to explore.

"You are getting too thin." (187)
-I think the theme of women losing weight and being too skinny is a recurring thing in this book. It isn't only partial to one section, because we've seen this repeatedly. Maybe being too thin is being too vulnerable, unable to protect yourself? Or maybe it's being frail, lacking the wisdom to make your own decisions? I can't help to think it also has a literal meaning, because wood is thick and strong. When you're thin, you most likely aren't strong, hence being without wood.

"Over the years, I learned to choose from the best opinions. Chinese people had Chinese opinions. American people had American opinions. And in almost every case, the American version was much better." (191)
-This passage again brings up the old generation vs. new generation conflict. The old generation has its way of doing things, and the new generation feels like the American way is better than their Chinese heritage. The old generation seems to get offended when the new generation doesn't know about or doesn't appreciate the old culture, and the new generation is assimilating to the new American culture, which isn't the correct way to go about things in the old generation's eyes. This is also a recurring theme throughout the book.

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