Chinese Cinderella is the autobiography of an unwanted daughter written by Adeline Yen Mah. The story is set in China, back in the 1940. Adeline describes her painful childhood and her difficult journey to reach her ultimate triumph over despair. Her family considers her bad luck, after her mother dies giving birth to her. As the years flew by, Adeline is disregarded even more as her new step-mother clearly adores her children bountifully. In spite of all the unpleasantness that happens at home, Adeline has people in her life that are willing to show affection and encouragement.
She had her Aunt BaBa to show motherly affection, her friends who stand up to her and Mother Louisa and Ye Ye who both encourage Adeline on her future. Ever since Adeline was born, Aunt BaBa had been her only source of love and support. Aunt BaBa was the older sister of Adeline’s father and because she was unmarried and had no money of her own, Niang and Adeline’s father ordered her to take care of Adeline. As Adeline grew up, she and her Aunt grew inseparable and went to share a life apart from the rest of the family.
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Every day she remind Adeline that her accomplishment meant as much as her precious jewels and always kept Adeline’s report card from kindergarten to primary school in her safety box. While the rest of Adeline’s family openly bullies her, Aunt BaBa is always there to pick her up again and remind her to be resilient and see the silver lining through all the clouds. Though Aunt BaBa stands up for Adeline, she does not encourage her to go up against her parents, but instead to let her arguer out in a better way. In Adeline’s whole family, it is Aunt BaBa and Adeline that has the least friends and often sticks together at meals and outings.
Aunt BaBa clearly needs Adeline just as much as Adeline needs her. Adeline obviously loves her Aunt very much and wrote a story about her titled “My Best Friend. ” Adeline wrote: Though I am really nothing, she makes me believe I am special. As most of the discontent is at home with her family, Adeline finds pleasure at school and her friends. At Sheng Xin School in Shanghai, Adeline made her first friend, Wu Chan-mei. Adeline appreciates her single-minded fierceness and her adoration for books, as their friendship grew stronger; they both supported and backed each other up.
She lent Adeline her books while Adeline helped her in Arithmetic. Wu Chan-mei expressed the fact that she would give up some of her privileges for her friendship with Adeline. Instead of choosing to ride in the comfort of her car, she prefers to walk with Adeline in order to keep her company. Throughout the years that Adeline studied at Sheng Xin School, Wu Chan-mei showed loyalty and understanding towards Adeline. When she came to realise that Adeline never talked about her family she never once probed but continued to show trust and empathy for her best friend.
Besides Aunt BaBa, Adeline has no other friends at home, however at the age of eight, Adeline was given a duckling, the only one left after all her siblings handpicked their choice. Although it was not the best and cutest duckling, Adeline loved it dearly. She named it Precious Little Treasure (PLT). Since Adeline received her, she is more eager to return home back to her little pet; PLT depended on Adeline and wanted Adeline, which is so different from the attitude she encounter from her family.
When Jackie’s demonstration of obedience killed PLT, Adeline was distraught and buried her in the backyard next to the magnolia tree. After that day, I was never able to smell the fragrance of magnolia blossoms again without the same aching sense of loss. As the years passed by, Adeline grows more intelligent and had started to look into the future. Ye Ye throughout the book, had believed that Adeline is destined for greatness and always found time to reassure Adeline. He hoped that Adeline would, like her brothers go to university.
Adeline disagreed, not because she didn’t want to school but because she knows that she has no chance. I have no future………I’m nothing. Less than nothing. A piece of garbage thrown out. But Ye Ye had faith in her, insisting that Adeline has the skills to create her own destiny. Adeline inspired by Ye Ye’s exhortations, went ahead to enter into an international play-writing competition. Through at first, she was worried about the odds for partaking in a worldwide challenge, Mother Louisa quickly reassured Adeline, stating that every person who enters would have a chance. You must believe that you anything you set mind to.
After she wrote Gone with the Locust she dedicated the story to her Ye Ye as he was the one who gave Adeline the strength to enter the competition. And if I should be so lucky as to succeed one day, it’ll be because you believed in me After receiving the news that she had won, Adeline is determine to attend university to make her father and Ye Ye proud. From the day Adeline was born, she thought her life would be full of emotional trauma. However, the unwanted daughter saw the light through the darkness with the help of a few significant members. Who all supported Adeline in their own unique way.