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The Lives of Tragedy in Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter and The hundred Secret Senses

Uploaded by benq on Jul 05, 2006

In the Elizabethan period it was assumed that a play ending in death was a tragedy, but in recent years we have come to understand that to live on is sometimes far more tragic than death. Tragedy is phenomenon that has been repeatedly reported throughout the media. Whether it is infidelity, abduction, or a loss of something significant, tragedy is there. It affects people’s lives but especially those who experience or were close to the victims of tragedy. To simplify, a tragic life can be understood as a life full of misfortune, bad experiences or sadness. In the novels The Bonesetter’s Daughter and The Hundred Secret Senses, by Amy Tan, tragedy is portrayed through the lives of the characters Lu Ling and Kwan respectively. These characters lead a tragic life as they were neglected, manipulated and experienced the loss of their loved ones. Within both novels, Lu Ling and Kwan were neglected. This neglect contributes to their tragic life, because they were under appreciated and taken for granted.
In the novel The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan starts off by describing the character Lu Ling as a caring, but misunderstood mother. She was constantly neglected by her daughter Ruth, even though her intentions were sincere. This treatment of neglect contributed to her tragic life, because it depicted her as insignificant in the eyes of her daughter. This was evident at a dinner party hosted by her daughter Ruth where Tan writes “‘So busy, so success,’ her mother had said when Ruth told her she didn’t have any free time to see her. ‘Not free,’ Lu Ling added, ‘because every minute must charge money, what I should pay you, five dollar, ten dollar, then you come see me?’”(Tan, 44) The degree of neglect illustrated by this passage is seen as being quite severe and sums up their mother-daughter relationship. Lu Ling acknowledges that she is being neglected and even goes as far as offering to buy her daughter’s attention. Lu Ling’s life is neither perfect nor mediocre, but a tragic one. She had loved Ruth, but this love is not reciprocated when her daughter becomes a woman. This neglect in the relationship can be dated back to when Ruth was a child, which is demonstrated in this passage:
‘No! Luyi, stop! What are you doing? You...

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Uploaded by:   benq

Date:   07/05/2006

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   12 pages (2,629 words)

Views:   2032

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