Memories In Ona Ng's Novel Bone

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Memories are an important component to Ng’s novel “Bone.” I think it’s important to note that “Bone” could be called a memory book, because of how it moves in reverse chronological order and through flashbacks. Memories make up the book, but they also play a role within the novel. Memories are a fragment of an important past event. Through memories, we keep the feelings and people in those memories alive, which is what Leila says in the quote above. Leila later says, “If Ona was here, she would count the living; Ona would tell us that there are more living than dead” (Ng 86). People live on because they are remembered. This is essentially what the quote is saying. Every time Ona is mentioned in the novel, her spirit is kept alive by Leila remembering her. Memories allow Leila and her family to remember those who are important to them, it keeps them alive, even if it’s just in their minds. Right before this quote, Leila talks about how her sister Ona used to count things all the time. The sentence before the quote states, “Every night that Leon was gone, [Ona would] count out ninety-nine kisses to keep him safe, to bring him back” (85).…show more content…
The word and the image of bones allow Leila and Nina to reminisce about their childhood with Mah and Ona on page 28. Bones are also important culturally to the Leong family. It is custom for a Chinese family to transport a loved one’s bones back to their home country for a proper burial. For Leon, Grandpa Leong’s bones are a constant reminder for Leon. Leon blames any bad luck and Ona’s death on his inability to take Grandpa Leong’s bones for a proper burial. Bones in the novel show up throughout the novel differently, but memory is most linked with bones. This is based on my interpretation of the novel, but my classmates tend to have different views than me, so I’m interested in seeing what they think of
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