Snow Flower And The Secret Fan Short Essay
Snow Flower And The Secret Fan shows a wide variety of personalities that differ
between all of the characters. Most of the characters in this novel are dutiful in the sense that
they seek to please and satisfy the needs of their superiors. However the women have created
and utilized a system in which they can vent their true feelings and emotions with others. This is
the women’s secret writing, nu shu. Through this, both Lily and Snow Flower are able to talk
with each other about the differing degrees of hardship that they both must tolerate.
Lily initially shows the true nature of the secret fan when she explains, “My only
rebellion came in the form of nu shu, our women’s secret writing” (See 4). This shows that this
was one the reasons that she valued her lao-tong relationship. However despite that fact that she,
like many other women, cherished the writing, there were still the principles ingrained by the
society of the time. The standards for women of the time held, “…two main purposes in life: to
provide sons to carry on the family and to care for her husband’s mother.” (33). Lily identify’s
with these beliefs and reminds herself several times throughout the novel words that here
mother-in-law spoke to her, “Obey, obey, obey, then do what you want.” (157).
After spending many years in the Lu household Lily begins to take root with these ideals
as she is forced to set an example for the new incoming sister-in-laws. During the typhoid...