Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone, Fragmentation, Family and Time a common thread or repeated idea incorporated throughout a literary work an author’s idea or message that may be deep, difficult to understand or even moralistic must be extracted as the reader explores the passages of a work because the author utilizes plot, characters, dialogue, figurative language, images and other literary devices to develop theme full impact of the theme is slowly realized as the reader processes the text essentially, the whole point of why the author wrote the book and why you are reading it Literary analysis = interpretive analysis Interpret (v) – the act of explaining the meaning of something. Examples: C6H12O6 “I’m fine.” Literary interpretation: examining important moments in the texts and how they are related to each other in order to articulate the connections you see between those moments and ultimately how they work together to present greater meaning. Examples: Romeo & Juliet is a play about couples. Romeo & Juliet is a play about love. Romeo & Juliet is a play demonstrating the destructive force of passionate love overcoming human reason. unity vs diversity how does Leila’s story as one example of the experiences of Chinese Americans resonate with and diverge from the stories/experiences of other Asian Americans? universality of literature vs specificity of race/ethnicity/class/gender/sexuality/nationality How is the fragmentation experienced by this family specifically conditioned by their racialization, class status, experiences of immigration and denial of citizenship as well as by historically and culturally situated expectations of gender and sexuality? the cultural and the political What spaces of hope and acts of freedom are depicted in the face of political and material conditions? Specifically, what does the ending suggest? Ch Event 1 Leila returns from NY (maybe a year after Ona’s suicide?) 2 Leila marries Mason in NY 3 Day before Leila leaves for NY 4 After Ona’s death, before Leila moves in with Mason 5 Leila & Leon @ Social Security (time?) 6 Leon’s return home after Ona’s suicide 7 Search for Grandpa Leong’s grave (time?) 8 Months after Ona’s death 9 Weeks after Ona’s death (Lunar New Year) 10 Days immediately after Ona’s death 11 Morning that Leila learns of Ona’s death 12 Tommie Hom and Ong & Leong laundry 13 “a time when Salmon Alley was our whole world and we got along” 14 Leila leaves Salmon Alley to live with Mason Past to future Present to past Ch. 1 “Leon kept things because he believed that time mattered. Old made good. These letters gained value the way old coins did; they counted the way money counted. All the letters addressed to Leon should prove to the people at the social security office that this country was his place, too. Leon had paid; Leon had earned his rights. American dollars. American time. These letters marked his time and they marked his endurance. Leon was a paper son.” (Ch. 5) Ch. 14 “Like that, we all snapped apart. For me, it was as if time broke down: Before and After Ona Jumped.” (Ch. 1) “The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.” (Marx, The Communist Manifesto) Ex: Page Law, policy of Hawaiian plantation farmers “They both worked too hard; it was as if their marriage was a marriage of toil – of toiling together. The idea was that the next generation would marry for love…” (Ch 2) Ona’s death as consequence of racialized labor on the family and the negation of progress Ona’s death Grandpa Leong’s bones Tommy Hom Ong & Leong’s laundry Salmon Alley & all of Chinatown “Like the oldtimer’s photos, Leon’s papers, and Grandpa Leong’s lost bones, it reminded me to look back, to remember. I was reassured. I knew what I held in my heart would guide me. So I wasn’t worried when I turned that corner, leaving the old blue sign, Salmon Alley, Mah and Leon – everything – backdaire” (Ch 14) How does one live within the legacies of the past, struggle in the present and imagine different futures? “But I didn’t get married just for a name change. I wanted a marriage of choice. I wanted this marriage to be for me.” (Ch 1) How does one struggle for freedom within the confines of history?