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How is the LuLing that springs to life in her manuscript different from the figure Ruth grapples with on a regular basis?

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Introduction

How is the LuLing that springs to life in her manuscript different from the figure Ruth grapples with on a regular basis? Upon reading the manuscripts that have been written by LuLing, one can clearly spot an amazing amount of differences between the two LuLings that have been described in this book. The first LuLing represents the modern life that she lives as seen through the eyes of her daughter Ruth. The second LuLing is the autobiography that gives us a totally different image of her earlier life. By reading these manuscripts one can easily forget that those two are actually the same person. However, even if there are so many differences, one can spot the odd one or two similarities that can be linked to both LuLings. It is also essential for us to see how certain events in the past tie up with the present and how they have had impacts on LuLing which psychologically altered her behaviour and way of thinking. It is important for us to note down the different changes that she goes through while she's living in China. The first difference that we notice about LuLing as a child is that she is full of energy and will power. She is eager to learn. She was very playful as a child and sometimes a little naughty like the time when she visited the End of the World. In many cases this LuLing could easily have reflected upon Ruth. There are certainly some similarities between their childhoods. This for example could be linked to Ruth's cigarette smoking. LuLing was caught and punished after her trip to the End of the World. Ruth was also caught smoking which had resulted in terrible consequences. But of course, they were not the same age and the degree of seriousness was different. This was just to point out the fact the LuLing was also adventurous and ready to try new things. ...read more.

Middle

This is where she learnt to have responsibility and look after herself. She also had a much happier life there than she did back home. This was of course until her husband was killed. LuLing and her sister GaoLing grew closer and closer together after Precious Auntie's death. It is as if discovering that they were never really true sisters inspired them into becoming that. We see their relationship improve even further when GaoLing joins the orphanage to run away from Fu Nan. The significance of this is that this relationship was never shown between modern LuLing and modern GaoLing. One would never be able to guess just how close they were to each other earlier in their life. All in all, we must understand that the time LuLing spent in the orphanage changed her personality completely. It was the beginning of a new LuLing; a LuLing that was destined to encounter many more changes during the rest of her life. These are the things that she learnt from her life in the orphanage: respect for other people, responsibility, how to take care of herself, how to love, how to feel pain. She also learnt about the world outside China, she learnt about science and why some people do not believe in her curse, she learnt about Christian religion and how (thanks to the influence from the people around her) perfect it is. She was now able to think for herself and to explore more subjects. The LuLing that came out of that orphanage cannot possibly be the LuLing that Ruth grapples with on a regular basis. And yet they are the same person. Why did I say it is impossible for these two LuLings to be the same person? Several reasons have already been discussed. In the first section of the book we are introduced to this woman who has come of age and whose mind is not on track all the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Those two figures have an amazing amount of connections even if LuLing was never related to Great-Granny. They both suffered from a disease which caused confusion. This could have been seen in Great-Granny when she kept on looking for her dead grand-son Hu Sen. They both had moments when they showed a sign of cleverness. LuLing probably looked at Great-Granny and found her condition very curious. The final section of the book does not deal with LuLing that deeply but mostly about Ruth and the manuscripts. We find out that Ruth has decided to go and live with her mother so that she can be closer to her. This is what she feels she has to do because she is worried about her so much. Ruth had noticed another very interesting observation which proves that her mother is far more sensible when she is speaking in Chinese. Somehow she seems to understand more and is less confused when other people are talking to her. One example of this situation is when she asks what was wrong with Ruth on the Full Moon Festival. She spoke to her in Chinese and did not fail to see the worrying look on her daughter's face. Lucky for Ruth she was not able to guess the real reason for her worries. When LuLing started to meet with Mr. Tang and she could freely speak Mandarin to him it became evident how much easier LuLing was able to think. She even managed to remember her mother's name. It was as if she never really suffered from Dementia. But of course there are still the undeniable signs of the illness. For example when she describes the dragon bones to Art in Chinese and then translates what she had just said in English to Mr. Tang. Ruth herself pointed out to Mr. Tang when he said he wanted to meet LuLing "She won't be the same woman who wrote those pages." Ruth has realized how much different LuLing had been in her youth from the elderly mother that she has to take care of now. ...read more.

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