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“Shaman” & “At The Western Palace”

So we’re getting to our final blog entries for this semester and I’ve decided to change my blog appearance,  perhaps for some inspiration. Lets see if it works!

In “Shaman” we trace back to Brave Orchids life when she was living in China. I must emphasize that this is a completely different person than the one that lives in America. In America, Brave Orchid  has housewife duties, she works in the laundry and in the tomato fields. ( I found this part of the story very interesting because everyone comes to America to live the “American Dream.” They leave everything they have to seek a better future, to find the perfect job and to have the white picket fence life. But then reality sets in and things are not so beautiful as they were thought to be. In China Brave Orchid is a somebody, in America she is a nobody) But in China, Brave Orchid has almost goddess like characteristics. She is a very brilliant woman who not only attends medical school, but also has the ability to heal the sick and to scare away ghost. At this point of the story I am very surprised to find out that the complete psycho I had met in “No Name Woman” was actually capable of performing these acts.

“At the Western Palace” we meet Moon Orchid, Maxine’s aunt and Brave Orchids sister. Moon is one of those characters that you will always remember because of how tragic her life is.  She isn’t the brightest person. She doesn’t know how to do any chores around the house and instead follows the children around the house, causing them to get super annoyed. It is clear that she cannot adapt to change, she begins thinking that ghost are after her and her delusion gets the best of her. In the end, she is sent to an asylum where she dies. I hate Moon Orchids story because it feels so real, because it is very touching. It is the typical story of a woman being completely helpless and defenseless. Being left by a man who has re-married without any remorse or shame and has forgotten about her. I have truly connected with Moon Orchid, more than any other character in this story, perhaps because I know a Moon Orchid myself,………………..yeah that’s it.

I believe that the main difference seen in these two chapters is that in “Shaman” Brave Orchid is very strong to her traditional roots. Ghost are definitely a key element in this chapter and she has the ability to do with them as she wishes. She seems so powerful but  in “At the Western Palace” she seems defenseless and even pitiful when she tries to convince Moon to get her husband back. She appears to be so independent and capable of doing anything she sets her mind to but then she makes stupid “traditional” decisions that prove the complete contrary. Also, in “Shaman,” Brave Orchid shows that even though she is a mother, she doesn’t act like one. I say this because no real mother would be able to come up with the devilish comments that she manages to always come up with. Perfect example: Her complaints about Kingston’s birth costing her( as if a price could EVER be given to the birth of a child)$200, when she could have gotten a slave girl for free.We see a different persona in “At the Western Palace.” In this chapter she actually becomes sort of a mother figure to her sister Moon. She comforts and humors her, gives her time and care, the way a mother would to her child. This is a tender side that was not shown in “Shaman,” a side we have not yet seen in Brave Orchid, a side that we may not every see again?…

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~ by Jessica Ruiz on December 7, 2010.

One Response to ““Shaman” & “At The Western Palace””

  1. superb entry

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