The Girl Who Played Go Analysis

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The Girl Who Played Go Shan Sa was born in Beijing, China. In 1990, she moved from China to France to study in Paris. From there she traveled all around Europe and became an assistant to Balthus, a painter, and his Japanese wife, Setsuko. The novel, The Girl Who Played Go, focuses mainly on Chinese culture and also weaves in Japanese culture, while touching on some European cultures. The fact that Sa has been to Europe and studied there impacts the novel right from the start. It is revealed in the beginning that the Chinese girl, Song of the Night, was born in London and her father had studied in England and translates poems to English. I picked this novel because it focuses on Chinese culture and I was adopted from China. The novel has…show more content…
These are common words associated with women because of gender roles. They play a big part in the novel, an example being the Chinese girl’s mother staying home to copy her husband’s manuscripts, cook, and take care of the family. There is an exception in the small town that is opposing and resisting gender roles, and that is Chinese girl and her talent in the game of Go. She is one of the best players and everyone is shocked at not only her age, but that she is female. She likes to rebel against the gender role standard and is very much a tomboy. This is what drew the soldier to her, the fact that a woman is playing a male dominated game. As he enters the playing grounds he notices her and thinks to himself, “At home it would be unthinkable for a woman to be alone in a place where there are so many men” (148). Although he is referring to his homeland, the gender roles are somewhat similar. She doesn’t care about what the unspoken rules are and is focused only on playing the game. The girl is very similar to Felice, in Woman Hollering Creek, who drove Cleofilas away from her abusive husband. They are similar in the sense that both of them rebel against the female gender role of housewife and do as they please, not caring about those who judge. Cleofilas comments many times about how shocked she is to see this woman living her life without a husband. As they two women are driving Cleofilas is stunned, “ Everything about this woman, this Felice, amazed Cleofilas” (Cisneros 228). The same goes for the Japanese soldier. He was thrown off when he sees this young woman playing Go around all men. Both the girl and Felice do what makes them happy and refuse to succumb to gender
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