Characterization In The Paper Menagerie

840 Words4 Pages
Paper Menagerie Characterization Essay The Paper Menagerie is a short story written by Ken Liu. This story is written from first point of view and it has a plot of a child named Jack becoming more mature through his mistakes made during his adolescence. Author Ken Liu uses characterization to demonstrate the universal truth of pain of our human need to belong. There are two important points the author made. The first Point is associated with Jack’s alienation, how he got excluded because of his looks and food. The second point connects to Jack’s mother’s experience of being an orphan, because her parents went missing. Ken Liu used Jack’s isolations to demonstrate the pain of our human need to belong. From the paragraph below from the text,…show more content…
'Sha Jiao chink?.’ ‘English', I said. 'Speak English.’ She tried. 'What happen?’ 'I pushed the chopsticks and the bowl before menagerie away: stir-fried green peppers with five-spice beef. ‘We should eat American food’” (69). In this quote Jack went to school with Americans and he figures out that he was different from his peers. He looked different; American students called Jack a chink and they made fun of Jack, so as his neighbour Mark. Another thing to mention from that paragraph is that Jack always wanted for his mother to cook American food because they were in America, in wanting to reject his Chinese culture. Last thing that one can infer from the quote is his mother’s language barrier. She always speak Chinese to Jack, in the quote his mother uses Chinese word such as “Sha jio chink?”. By saying this Chinese sentence in America, it taunted and made Jack embarrassed because Jack always thought he will not get accepted and his mother was one that is blocking his way to get recognized since, she made Jack different from peers. In the part of Jack rejects many things including the looks , talking to his mother in Chinese and rejects his culture. The toy that his mother made for…show more content…
Read this quote from the text. “There I was, a ten-year-old orphan.…six years I lived like this…She told me about American men who wanted Asian wives. If I can cook, clean, and take care of my American husband, he’ll give me a good life. It was the only hope I had. No one understood me, and I understood nothing But then you were born!”(75~76). In the quote the Jack’s mother mentions that she was 10 year old orphan for six years. Until she met her “American” husband which is Jack’s dad. Jack’s Dad could not understand her until the birth of Jack. Since she had no friend and the family, she felt more Lonely. This actually leads to other part of story, where she is going to Hong Kong see her brother, on the way however was forced to get adopted. She got force adopted to a family, where they treated her like if she wasn’t human, also she couldn’t see her brother again forever until she died. For her, Jack was the only family that she had, it break her heart when Jack tried to reject everything from his mother food, culture, paper menagerie and even talking to his mother. “can you understand how it felt when you stopped talking to me and won’t let me talk to you in Chinese? I felt I was losing everything all over again”(76). That is why she felt really lonely and possible reason for spreading the cancer on Jack’s mother’s body. That
Open Document