Mambo In Chinatown Themes

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Mambo in Chinatown, Kwok’s second novel, is a full-blown Cinderella tale, where everything comes out right in the end, no matter how improbable the plot twists required. The protagonist and narrator is Charlie Wong twenty two years older, American-born, and seemingly untalented. When she was 14, her ballet-dancer mother died, and the rest of her world changed for the worse. Charlie Wong is toiling long hours as a dishwasher at a Chinatown restaurant where her father, “Pa,” is the star noodle maker. She also assumes quasi-parental responsibility for her younger sister, Lisa, the family scholar. Charlie’s dream escape from her life as a drudge and discovers it when she answers an advertisement for a receptionist at an Upper East Side dance studio. Despite her unprepossessing appearance she’s dressed in grandmotherly hand-me-downs she gets a pass to enter this magical world. She’s a terrible receptionist, but since this is a fairy tale, that turns out to be a fortunate twist of fate. When she botches the schedule, she is serendipitously offered the chance to fill in as a dance teacher. Predictably, on the dance floor, Charlie is a natural. It helps that her mother once schooled her in ballet and that she…show more content…
But its character development is paltry, and the narrative flirts too often with melodrama. In the contest between East and West, the Old World fares poorly. Both the protagonist in the novels, Kim and Charlie they have a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of their obstacles. So this determination occurs prior to goal attainment such as Kim finally became pediatric surgeon that she promised to her mother and Charlie became famous ball dancer. Their self esteem serves to motivate behavior that will help to achieve their own

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