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The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

I. Setting - The story took place in San Francisco, California, USA & in a remote village of Southern China. - The story is set in the present time. Characters a) Olivia o Olivia is the narrator of the story. She is scared when she knows that Kwan will be coming to live with her family because she thinks that Kwan is coming to replace her. b) Kwan o Kwan is the 18 year old half-sister of Olivia from Olivias fathers previous life in China. After her dads death, Kwan comes to live with Olivia and her family. She is very open and trusting to Olivia because she tells Olivia all about her life in China. c) Olivias Mother o The mother of Olivia is not a very good mother. It looks like that public is much more important than her own family because she always spend her time with charities and friends. Conflict Man vs. Man Kwan believes that she has yin eyes. She can see ghosts, souls of other dead persons and talk to them. Well, her personality is very different from her half-sister. Its very opposite from Olivia. Olivia doesnt believe ghosts and she really stick to the real world. And thats why Olivia hated Kwan so much. Plot




Exposition The novel starts with Olivia describing her life as a child and how when her older sister, who she knew nothing about, comes to live with her and her family; after her father dies. Olivia thinks that Kwan is going to be this tall, skinny, beautiful, amazing, older sister, but is disappointed when she sees her at the airport. Kwan ends up being this short, roundish, Chinese girl with long black hair. Right from the start Olivia doesnt like her. Kids bully Kwan and instead of defending her or getting upset that her sister is being bullied; Olivia gets mad that Kwan is so stupid. Climax Olivia grows up never changing her thoughts towards Kwan. Once she gets into college, Olivia meets a guy and asks her older sister to help him move on from his dead ex-girlfriend so that he can fall in love with her. From college she moves on to her beautiful new home and her new husband, not to mention the business that the two start together, and yet

her attitude does not change. Instead of her anger growing in the years it turns to irritation. Finally, after Simon moves out, Olivia agrees to go to China with Kwan and her husband to find out more about her culture. There, Simon and Olivia fall in love again, but only after they get in a fight and Simon gets lost. While in desperation to find her husband Olivia realizes how much she actually loves Kwan. Kwan never let Olivia down, she was always the big sister she had wanted. Resolution All her life Kwan told Olivia about how things used to be in her past lives, Olivia doesnt believe her until the end of the book. Kwans best friend turned out to be Olivia in a past life. She understood and welcomed Kwan into her arms, but, sadly, by then it was too late. Kwan ventures out into the cave to find her sisters lost husband, but she never comes back. Simon walks out after a few minutes and they get a search party to look for Kwan, but they never found her. The hate and irritation that she keeps built up comes out as compassion and concern.


Point of View The novels point of view is first-person narrative. Olivia narrated the story. Literary Device Symbolisms 1) The yin eyes of Kwan symbolize the ancestry of Kwan and Olivia. 2) The fact that Olivia does not like Kwan symbolizes the difference of American culture from Chinese culture. 3) In the story, the grasshopper incident symbolizes that Olivia has no appreciation for Kwan and her culture. Lesson Learned I really finished reading the book because it really caught my attention. In the resolution part of my novel analysis, The hate and irritation that she keeps built up comes out as compassion and concern. I learned how mean and unfair Olivia is to her sister and it reminded me of my relationship with my own sister. You can regret doing stuff to someone you love, but that regret is nothing compared to what you may feel of the things that you dont do. Telling your parents that so and so did this will get them into trouble. Not telling so and so that the only reason you told on them was because you loved them, could change their lives. So many people end up depressed and commit suicide or become loners because of their lifestyle growing up. Sometimes the child is too unaware to notice how much they are going unwanted; its our job to make sure that nothing ever harms them. The main lesson is that the hate and irritation you have towards someone doesnt do you or them any good; its pointless. Hating someone does not make you or they feel any better than you already are.




Vocabulary 1) Pragmatic (adjective) - \prag-ma-tik\ - Relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic. o The teacher has a very pragmatic attitude towards instructing her students. o Just tell me what you mean! Don't be pragmatic! 2) Didactic (adjective) - \d-dak-tik, d-\ - Intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment. o Yesterday's sermon by the preacher was a bit too didactic. o My friend was being didactic when he talked about his disagreement with Rap music. 3) Portmanteau (noun) - \p rt-man-()t\ - A large suitcase. o My favorite spot in the house is the portmanteau. o The shoes of John are located in the room next to the portmanteau. 4) Obsequious (adjective) - \b-s-kw-s, b-\ - Marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness. o She's constantly followed by obsequious assistants who will do anything she tells them to. o But the Democratic presidential nominee is commonly referred to as Elvis, and his running mate as Eddie Haskell, that obsequious weenie from '50s TV. 5) Acquaintance (noun) - \-kwn-tn(t)s\ - a person whom one knows but who is not a particularly close friend. o She ran into an old acquaintance at the grocery store. o She struck up an acquaintance with a man from the city. 6) Paradigm (noun) - \per--dm, pa-r- also -dim\ - An example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms. o Her recent book provides us with a new paradigm for modern biography. o And the paradigm of a thing to be philosophical about is death. 7) Dormancy (noun) - \d r-mn(t)-s\ - The quality or state of being dormant. o Some volcanoes have eruptive cycles marked by long stretches of dormancy. o A fighting force that could be roused instantly from dormancy to action. 8) Ubiquitous (adjective) - \y-bi-kw-ts\ - Existing or being everywhere at the same time. o The company's advertisements are ubiquitous. o Hot dogs are the ideal road trip foodinexpensive, portable, and ubiquitous.

9) Diversity (noun) - \d-vr-s-t, d-\ - The condition of having or being composed of differing elements. o The island has more diversity in plant life than other islands nearby. o The city is known for its cultural diversity. 10) Disposition (noun) - \dis-p-zi-shn\ - The tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances. o Her disposition was to always think negatively. o He has a disposition toward criminal behavior.

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