Essay about Chinese Cinderella and Yen mah

Submitted By lizgavs
Words: 785
Pages: 4

Chinese Cinderella: Unwanted Feelings In the sixth chapter of Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah addresses the fact that as a child she felt like the unwanted daughter. This memoir is emotional, thought-provoking, and presented in a way that allows the audience to relate to her story. Yen Mah uses a diverse array of pathos soaked words and vivid visual imagery to capture the reader’s attention throughout her memoir. It is clear that Yen Mah writes with no reservations since she uses phrases infused with pathos on the first page. These phrases include “…a maid helped me put on my brand new school uniform,” “…waiting for someone to take me to school, wondering who it was going to be,” and “…everyone had forgotten about me” (26). These few extremely saddening sentence fragments make it clear to the audience that Yen Mah is the least of her family’s concerns. The use of the word “me” in these phrases also adds a personal touch. This elevates the level of sympathy for the author. The word “me” is used in several other places throughout the memoir to persistently remind the reader that Yen Mah is on her own in this world. “Nobody had come for me…” and “…there’s obviously nobody looking out for me” are just two more situations where Yen Mah chooses words that appeal to the pathos of the audience (27, 31). The author also includes a significant number of rhetorical questions that appeal to pathos. “Had anyone at home missed me? Did they think I was still at school? Were they looking for me? What should I do?” (28) Since these questions are stated in a list format, Yen Mah depicts the panic she felt in her position as the unwanted child. The questions do not calmly flow from one subject to another. These show how chaotic her thoughts were at the time. The inclusion of these questions cause the reader to stop and think about what Yen Mah is going through. This series of questions is included at other points throughout the memoir, but Yen Mah is not always the one forming the question. A woman working in the restaurant asks the author a series of questions in a list format that relate to Yen Mah’s situation (29). Once again, the author intentionally chose to format these questions in a style that indicates Yen Mah is the unwanted child in her family. Visual imagery is another device that Yen Mah uses to enhance the overall quality of her memoir. There are several instances where the audience can easily visualize what Yen Mah is describing. “It was white, a little too long, stiff with starch, and had the name of my new school, Sacred Heart, in bright red Chinese characters embroidered on the left breast pocket” (26). This type of detailed description allows the reader to feel as if they right alongside Yen Mah in the memoir. This piece of visual imagery also shows that Yen Mah’s school requires uniforms, which alludes to the fact that her new school is private. Yen Mah also states that her father