Unpolished Gem Analysis

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Unpolished Gem is a thought provoking tale that explores the journey of Alice Pung from girl to woman. The memoir fluidly transitions between a series of themes and ideas, but through these a constant concept is explored; the cultural divide. Alice’s culture and background are the foundation of every decision she makes and thus, throughout the entire autobiography, the reader observes the implications of this, and often, the divide this creates. The reader perceives the social division Alice’s culture generates and the impact this has on relationships in and out of the home, and also in Alice’s ability to assimilate. Cultural divide is also apparent to the reader when comparing the expectations of Alice’s family to those of her classmates. Alice Pung’s memoir highlights the cultural divide and explores it through the eyes of youth, reflecting upon the indentations her culture has made upon…show more content…
Alice presents the idea that the relationship between Chinese children and their parents is one quite different from that of Australian children and their parents. ‘These were questions Chinese children never asked their parents.’ (Page 144) She suggests that different etiquette and customs are undertaken and that the bond between them differs. Alice alludes to the idea that these differences in the home are the foundation for the differences Alice perceives socially. ‘He probably began to see me as a series of dos and don’ts’ (Page 265) Alice feels that her relationship with her parents impacts her relationships with others and this is again seen as a barrier her culture creates. ‘Don’t you feel frustrated sometimes?’ (Page 239) Alice observes the views Michael has of her relationship and she sees it to be different. Alice demonstrates to the reader the problems and issues this cultural divide presents for her and those around her and how such differences create
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