Friday, February 18, 2011

Shanghai Girls - Discussion #3

This Discussion covers the chapters from Eating Bitterness to Find Gold through the end of The Air of this World. There will most likely be spoilers and anyone and everyone is welcome to join in. I am reading the large print edition so my page numbers will most likely be different than yours.

Quick Recap

China City burns down and the Louie family loses money and has to rebuild. Also, Sam and Pearl learn more about each and how to trust one another. It is revealed that Sam is a paper son and with a few conversations with Yen-Yen, Pearl realizes Old Man Louie is not who he says he is either. May continues to be a spoiled rotten brat and begins working in film and gets Joy to work with her as well. Pearl miraculously gets pregnant but sadly loses the baby.

My thoughts

I was very disappointed but not surprised when Pearl was given the role in the film and May 'stole' it from her. It really angers me that they continue to give in to May and no one just says no, get over yourself.

I also find all the racism against other people mildly amusing and also irritating that people were and still are so stupid when it comes to people looking different/being from different countries. We all were new at one time or another people, maybe you and I personally have been here forever but at one point it was YOUR ancestors being ridiculed, denied opportunities and being discriminated against.

Questions from BookBrowse

1. Shanghai Girls makes a powerful statement about the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants to the United States. Were you surprised about any of the details related to this theme in the novel?

2. There are times when it seems like outside forces conspire against Pearl—leaving China, working in the restaurant, not looking for a job after the war, and taking care of Vern. How much of what happens to Pearl is a product of her own decisions and choices?

3. Pearl encounters a lot of racism, but she also holds many racist views herself. Is she a product of her time? Do her attitudes change during the course of the story?

You can check out Discussion 1 and Discussion 2 by clicking on the links. Also, next Friday will be the last Discussion and cover from Fear through the end. Don't forget to vote in the sidebar for next month's pick. If anyone would like to guest post on anything about Shanghai Girls or share thoughts to be included in next weeks post email me by next Thursday.