Memoir Bound & Western Dress

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Over the course of a person’s life they will grow, learn, and change. In Natasha Chang’s Memoir Bound & Western Dress, there is a character whose life story emanates this. The book is based on the interviews the author has with her great aunt – Chang Yu-i. Natasha explains how Yu-I went through many trials and tribulations throughout her life but through it all became a better person. One of Yu-I’s earliest struggles was growing up in a very traditional household. Although she believed firmly in the rules she was taught Yu-i always longed for something more. As as Yu-I got older she learned that the only way to become who she wanted, was to turn to a more modern lifestyle. This realization helps Yu-i to learn to support not only herself but…show more content…
We first see this when Yu-i decides against the abortion that Hsu Chih-mo wanted. When Hsu Chih-mo learns about Yu-I’s pregnancy he immediately orders her to abort the baby. Shocked by the idea Yu-I is left to make a decision. After consulting with her brother Yu-I decides to keep the baby and raise the child with or without her husband. This is the first move that Yu-I ever makes against Hsu Chih-mo, showing the beginnings of Yu-I progression with thoughts. While Hsu Chih-mo wants to become more modern by having Yu-i get an abortion, in the end it is Yu-I that becomes more modern by disobeying her husband. Shortly after Hsu Chih-mo requests an abortion, Hsu Chih-mo disappears and leaves Yu-i. This is a big turning point for Yu-I because it makes her realize that Hsu Chih-mo does not care for her. During this time Yu-I analyzed the situation and figured out on her own what to do. She decided to move to Germany, first living with seventh brother then living with a woman named Dora. Here Yu-I is able to raise Peter and go about her life on her own terms. Yu-I even starts going to school. Once turning to the modern life Yu-I learns to make her own decisions. Yu-I even realizes this change herself when she says “I always think of my life as “before Germany” and “after Germany”. Before Germany, I was afraid of everything. After Germany, I was afraid of nothing.” (149) Yu-I’s peaceful life in Germany came to a swift end when her son Peter died causing her and Dora to go their separate ways. Still Yu-I learned many things from her time after her divorce and even got to experience a more modern

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