SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN: "Born to Leave"
Snow Flower and The Secret Fan - Clip - Nu Shu
Through her elaboration of key Chinese cultural rites and her examination of the symbolic and spiritual implications of these rituals and ceremonies to Lily and Snow Flower, the book s protagonists, Lisa See exposes students to a world that will call them to interrogate their own values and cultural assumptions. Her articles and book reviews have appeared in dozens of national publications. Her growing fascination with nu shu led her to visit Jiangyong County in the fall of , where she learned she was only the second foreigner to have traveled to the isolated region. See s information-gathering about the women who communicated with one another through nu shu was further enhanced by her own intimate knowledge of Chinese culture, gleaned from a childhood spent in Los Angeles Chinatown. Coupled with her intensive field research, See s familiarity with many of the deeply-held beliefs of her female Chinese relatives has enabled her to render with exquisite verisimilitude the contours of a lifelong friendship between two 19th century girls in southern China. At the age of seven, a girl named Lily is paired for life with a laotong, or old same, named Snow Flower. Introduced to one another through the intervention of a self-interested matchmaker, Madame Wang, Lily and Snow Flower initiate a relationship that is deeper and more lasting than a casual friendship.
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Although the truth is stretched to accommodate the relationship, the laotongs are supposed to have eight "characters" that match; the girls were born in the same month and have their feet bound at the same age, but it turns out that there are differences between them they only discover as adults. Binding their lives is their continuous learning of women's writing called "nu shu," which is a secret, minimalist variation of "men's" writing, and one which only females can know. A silk fan passed back and forth between Snow Flower and Lily Wu, two "old sames," is where they recorded, in nu shu, the major events and turning points of their lives. The culture of Hunan during this period of history was dictated by very strict rules and customs, including that of binding the feet of young girls before they entered puberty. After the binding, girls were restricted to the women's upstairs parlor, where they would remain, primarily, throughout their lives.
Jun 28, Minutes Buy. May 26, ISBN Feb 21, ISBN Jun 28, ISBN Jun 28, Minutes. Lily is haunted by memories—of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.