Summary Of Saving Sourdi

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Point of View on Culture

Among many literatures about Asian and Chinese culture “Saving Sourdi” by May-Lee Chai is one. This short story is about a young girl, Nea, and her sister, Sourdi, and what happens when Sourdi grows up when Nea does not want her to. Their family are Chinese and they moved to America. Throughout the story one of the supporting characters, Ma, constantly reminds Nea what she should do as a young woman. Ma is used to the Chinese culture and it is clear in the arranged marriage that Sourdi is involved in, how Ma goes about punishment, and in general Sourdi and Nea’s interactions that the Chinese culture is a huge influence on them. In many obvious ways, Chinese culture is much different than American culture. Nea’s
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In “Saving Sourdi” two women tend to fall in line with the stereotype that surrounds them and one breaks the mold. Just as any Asian mother stereotype, Ma falls right in line with it. She is strict, she believes that her children should obey and listen to her and she believes that there is always a job to be done. These traits were passed down to Sourdi having her as the daughter that obeys and knows that when she is told to do something she must do it. Nea is nothing like this. She is opinionated, she is always going to do whatever is right in her mind and she is headstrong. In the story, Ma runs a family owned restaurant. This is important because as author Pratibha Parmar states in their article, “Gender, Race and class: Asian women in resistance”, “It is also important to look at how common-sense images of West Indian and Asian women have helped to socially construct certain roles for them in the labour market.” Ma being such a strong female character in this story has its purpose. Ma knows how to do hard work and how to make it count. Just as the “roles” Parmar is talking about, asian females are typically known to be hard workers, and they do not take anything lightly. They will work until the job is
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