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Bone By Fae Ng

Bone By Fae Ng

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Published by Tony Pham

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Published by: Tony Pham on Jun 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Tony PhamBoneBy Fae Myenne NgStudy Guild• What happens in the story? Why?The story takes place in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown here a Chinese immigratedfamily struggles with death, honor, hope, and creating a gap between two worlds. Leila is the maincharacter as she tells the story through her view. Ona was her sister who's life ended young andtragically when she committed suicide by jumping off the roof. Mah and Leon are the mother andfather who struggles to repair the family honor as the entire town knows about their story. Nina is theyoungest of the sisters and she manages to escape the drama that unfolds in Chinatown as becomesflight attendant in New York. Leila is left to pick up the glass of her shattered family as she stays behind in order to comfort and help her parents. She learns to move on and accept Ona's death butrealized that no matter how far she wants to get away, her heart and roots remains in her home, inChinatown. As Leila prevails also does hope as the pain of Ona's death starts to ease as Mah and Leonare able to move pass their daughter's death.• Against whom or what is the main character struggling? Why?Leila is the main character of “Bone' and she struggles the most because she is left in the middle between two worlds that she desires to escape. An eternal conflict that Leila faces is the tradition of her culture and how it interferes with what she actually wants to do with her own life. She seems to can'tfind the perfect balance between keeping her parents and herself happy and therefore she struggles inaccepting Chinatown as her home. Leila wants to live with her boyfriend but due to Mah and Leon'straditions she is left to ponder. The death of her sister Ona, affects everyone and Leila is left to consoleher parents as Nina wants nothing to do with the family.• How is suspense built into the story? How does the author reveal characters?
 
Suspense is built into the story by creating a different time setting, flashbacks from the past, inwhich it occurs in almost every chapter. As Leila continues to tell the story through her point of view,something is always reminding her of this that occurred in the past. Through those events, character traits are reveled. The suspense continues as scenes from the past of Leila life replays over and over like a movie, we the reader can understand her life and feeling as if we were watching a movie.• Are there any twists in the plot? What do they add to the story?“Bone” is filled with many twists as they add emotions of heartbreak, sorrow, and sympathy tothe story of a Chinese family searching for the American dream but at the same time struggles withtragedy. Ona's suicide was probably the biggest twist in the story. Leila and Mason's marriage broughtconflict between Leila's desires and family traditions. Mah cheating on her husband with her boss,Leon's trip out to sea, Nina's abortion, are just a few examples of the twists that occurs throughout thenovella. The twists adds a different dynamic and allows the reader to know each characters' strugglesand how each individual got to where they are now.• How does the main character change from the beginning to the end?In the beginning Leila wanted to abandon her Chinese culture and be lost in the Americansociety but the problem was that she couldn't leave her parents behind in order to chase after her ownlife because she was afraid that Mah and Leon couldn't take care of themselves. As time progress Leila became more independent as her courage grew also. By the end of the story, Leila manages to honor her family traditions while at the same time create her own.• What forces or circumstances make one of the characters act in a certain way?Ona's suicide and Nina leaving the family behind forces Leila to stay back and take care of her  parents. Another reason Leila stays back is because Ona and Nina left and she doesn't want to bare theguilt of being a ungrateful daughter.• Do the characters' actions seem believable within the story?The characters' actions are believable within the story because it is in human nature for people
 
to act a certain way. A chain of cause and events happen and it kept on adding to the plot. Whenconflicted with a challenge, their actions define who they are.• Who is vulnerable in the story?Everyone is vulnerable from Leila, Nina, Ona, Mah, and Leon, each of of them share their owninternal and external struggles. Mah and Leon doesn't understand western lifestyle and remain verytradition which conflicts with Leila because she wants to be more Americanized. Nina wants to escapeit all and doesn't want to fly back to visit her family but unwillingly complies. Ona's suicide clearlyimpacted everyone's life in the book and they are all vulnerable.• Is the story optimistic or pessimistic?“Bone” is an optimistic story even though it may seem depressing to read at times. The storyshows the harsh reality of life and more specially the challenges an immigrant family of any race or culture faces when the find a new home. “Bone” reflects on the theme of having hope and learning tomove on with life even through tragic times. With every challenge that doesn't kill you only make youstronger.•What universal situations and general values are involved?Finding one's true identity is the universal situations and general values because we are alltrying to find ourselves as we all search for a peace of mind. Some live to serve others while many liveto serve no one. We're all walking the same in different shoes. Some people follow their own dreamssome people follow other people's dream. At the end of the day we're all just trying to be satisfied withwho we are.• Who is telling the story? How much does the speaker know and tell?Leila is telling the story through her perspective. She only speaks of events that have occurredand all the information that she acquired she have either saw or heard.• How familiar are you with the cultural context?Coming from a Vietnamese traditional family I am very use to the cultural context of “Bone.” I

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