Sunday, September 13, 2009

The story of a friendship in historical China

This was an insightful glimpse of what women in China went through to earn a higher status as women in their society. The foot binding chapter was the most torturous part of the book making us all question how much do women need to suffer in order to earn a value.

Essentially the whole story focused on the friendship between Lily and Snow Flower and how their lives went in different directions in spite of being matched to become the best of friends. The story highlights the practice of nu shu (women's writing) - a language that is only learned by women to increase their status. The mother-daughter relationship in Lily's life brought a lot of comments about how different it is to what we see now and that daughters were really raised to become wives, which explains not being attached to them.

The writing style was brought up to see if it was intentional to have short sentences instead of elaborated prose and whether the perspective described to us was intentional in showing how disempowered women were in the time of 19th century China.

A highly recommended book that will spark many discussions on the role of women in historical China and how it compares to women today.

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