Chinese Cinderella Text Response Essay –EVA
‘Chinese Cinderella’ is a riveting memoir of a girl’s heart-rendering coming of age in a wealthy Chinese family in the ’40s. Adeline’s early life is characterised more by hardships than joy, but the novel is predominately about how she overcomes those hardships. She gives insight into her greatest misfortunes and afflictions and shows how she achieves many triumphs because of her strength.

There were few joyous occasions in Adeline’s life but one that really shone out was actually later in the book on p. 136 “My heart gave a giant lurch as her words sank in. For a dazzling moment, I knew with every fibre of my being that somehow, against all odds, Aunt Baba had come to my rescue! The whole of me was vibrating with joy, and I ran as fast as I could towards the visitors’ lounge, followed by Mother Marie.” The euphoria Adeline felt when she was given a reason to believe her saviour had come at last is heart breaking. After all the sorrow she’s been through in her eleven years of life. The Schillings were a true blessing. The quote shows utter joy and relief that the otherwise steady paced protagonist lets out, revealing relief after being brave for so long.

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I think the biggest hardship for Adeline was the rejection she got from her family. And Whilst anyone who reads the book can evidently see the actions of the yen family to Adeline were nefarious and wrong. It is noticeable that Adeline’s happiness stems exclusively from the validation and acceptance of those serevely flawed people that she unfortunately has to call family. Adeline’s story shows us that the determination for acceptance doesn’t depend on the group we seek to belong to, but it is inborn and utterly encompassing. As Adeline said herself “Although this story was written when I was in my late fifties, inside I am still the same little five-year-old yearning for the love of my parents.”

This is also a story of resilience of the idea that a “single positive dream is more important than a thousand negative realities”. Adeline shows a remarkable amount of resilience and such an amount I can, and many others could personally not say we have and especially at that such a young age. The way she was treated is so jarring that you automatically think it’s a work of fiction. But never the less Adeline continues to the point where most people would crack. Adamant that something good will come from her efforts. Resilience only really counts when life is at its bleakest, a lesson that Adeline indisputably learnt.

From reading this phenomenal book I have come to understand that bad things happen to good people and that not everybody gets lucky enough to land a good family. But what Adeline has expressed to me is that you shouldn’t let it define you or stop you from succeeding. Adeline Yen Mah has had a lot of calamities in her life and not a lot of exuberance. This has made her learn a lot of lesson that many people may only learn in adulthood. Despite all the few joyous memories she does have outweigh the bad ones.