Snow Flower And Secret Fan English Literature Essay
This movie as well as the books is situated in the Chinese nineteenth century, where women; wives together with their daughters were subjected to a life of total seclusion. This paper helps the author of the book in showing the historic moment at this time, and the themes that the author was passing across to people.
The novel is based on lily who represents the then women in china. Lily is a lady haunted by her historical memories, those of a lady that she was at one time identified with. At the time when she tells her story, lily only has time in which she gives the story of snow flower while she asks the gods to forgive her.
From the novel, it is clear that Chinese women of the nineteenth century were Inferior in society and the only way for them to express themselves was by painting letters on fans. Women did several things that helped them to get out of their solitude and isolation like, they hand handkerchiefs on which they embroidered their messages. They also composed stories that helped them to reach each other in an effort to touch their hopes, their dreams and their accomplishments. Their secret code of communication was called nu shu which was best known as women’s writing.
Snow flower and lily become tight friends after a silk fan on which snow flower composed lily’s poem in nu shu. This friendship is sealed at the age of seven when snow flower and lily become ‘old sames’. The two friends reflect upon several events of their lives as time passes by. They have time to reflect about their marriages, their loneliness and the joy they experienced during their tragedies. Their friendship is at one point threatened by small misunderstandings between them.
The book snow flower and the secret fan shows the realistic journey that goes back to the history of china which is both sorrowful and moving to deeper depths of life. It shows the mysterious relationship between women based on the details of the period. The memories that Lisa has show the culture wrapped in a story of friendship between lily and snow flower.
The book shows its audience that in chins during the nineteenth century, girls’ feet were crushed to the size of lily flowers in a ritual that usually started at the age of six and ended after two years. After the foot binding period, girls would be taken into seclusion because there was a difference between the inner realm of home and the realm of men which was laid at the heart of Confucian society.
The nineteenth century Chinese culture was that, scholarship and education were primarily meant for men. Women were secluded from the people who took personal care about them, and they were instead married out to families of their husbands. In this sense, they were subject to their husbands’ mothers until the time when they bore sons, and their stature remained abject at this time of their lives. The women’s form of communication was formalized and rigid because it was prohibited for them to learn the calligraphy men used. In this sense, they were forced to develop their own coded language which they called nu shu. From this book, Lisa shows that the confinement of women is a culture that started in the east and travelled to the west.
It is also clear from the book that, in a culture where girls are crippled, there is an existence of loyalty and love. From the narrator’s perspective of love, she tells the audience that before she went to foot bonding, her mother slapped her hard across the face. This is a sign of the love the mother had for her daughter. The slap was meant for evil spirits that were meant to disturb lily during foot binding to flee away. Lily says it was at that time that she knew her mother loved her so much. This is because the Chinese word for mother is pain, and that is why lily associates the pain she felt from her mother’s slap as love.
The story between lily and snow flower gives the audience the perception that the friendship between the two was so strong to a point that their husbands’ love could not break it. The book further shows that the author was psychologically full of high stakes for feminism and marriage, which are highly associated with love. The coded language between snow flower and lily show the deep desire for love in lily’s heart. She has the desire to be loved by her family in general; her mother, her husband’s family, snow flower and her children as well.
The book snow flower and the secret fan shows that the women from the Chinese culture in the nineteenth century were filed with misery as well as misery. From the first passage in the book, it is clear that hope has no place in the lives of Chinese women. This is because, irrespective of any events that take place in their lives, one irrevocable fact is that they are women and they are therefore subjected to solitary confinement. From lily’s story at her tender age of six, she has a feet bound and then later she is locked up with the older women never to see the outside world.
The misery is clear in the sense that the lives of Chinese women in the nineteenth century were defined by man, hence implying that women were of no value to society then. Secrets are shown by the fact that they have a coded language with their ‘old sames’ in which their conversations cannot be understood by men.
In conclusion, it is evident that the women of the nineteenth century as shown by Lisa See were oppressed brutally by their men. Women were of an inferior class whish was subject to brutality. This society was ruled by men for men, and the culture of the nineteenth century was insistent on female obedience. Women were forced to undergo surgery under primitive ways so as to be appealing to their suitors who never underwent the same process. Identity was not allowed for women since they were submersed in the family unit and later dissolved in arranged marriages where they had no say for themselves.
The author brings out this significant story in the novel so as to show the changes that have taken place in the world since the nineteenth century. The author shows the difference between the early nineteenth century women and the modern women found in shanghai. The two groups of women are different and have different perception of feminism and culture.