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Asbury, A.


posted Jun 13, 2010, 6:32 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book "Becoming Madame Mao" by Anchee Min, I've learned that you shouldn't "give" yourself to everybody/anybody. In the book Madame Mao has had many boyfriends/husbands and she "falls in love" with them. I personally don't believe she has found love yet because she falls to fast. She doesn't get to know the person beforehand and establish a friendship before a relationship. I think that Madame Mao just wants to be accepted, but how can anyone accept her if she can't even accept herself? She always wants to change, whether it's her name or appearance. She's always unsatisfied. She gives into men to easily and I think this is why I don't believe she has found "true love". From her, I've learned that love isn't something just given to you when you like somebody. First, in order to find "love", I feel that you need to establish trust, then, honesty, and then when you are mentally stable - only then will you find "true love". This isn't an academic standard that I have to meet, but it's a life lesson that I will definitely learn from. I've never been in "love" and I don't know what it's like, which is why I probably feel this way when reading Madame Mao's life story. I feel like she sells herself, and she's not capable of standing on her own. I think that she needs someone to be with her to feel like she belongs. No one will ever truly "love" her until she learns to love herself.


posted Jun 6, 2010, 6:46 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book "Becoming Madame Mao" by Anchee Min, the author changes the mood throughout the story. In Madame Mao's life, Min writes that Mao is happy when acting, so then Mao explains that her life is the greatest and it couldn't get better. This changes the mood to happy or satisfied. When Mao goes through something tragic, she writes that her heart is broken. She explains that she doesn't want to do anything. For example, the time when she went through a break-up she just sat in her room and did nothing. She no longer toured the part of China she was in, and she stopped seeing the man who set her up with all her go-sees. This changes the mood to sad/depressing. So when something good happens in Mao's life, the mood is happy. When something bad happens or something Mao doesn't like it changes the mood from happy to sad or mad. One chapter Mao could be happy, like when she played a role in a show that she's wanted to play in, then the next chapter Mao could be sad and want to do nothing, like sit in her dirty room in China. Mao is a complex character with many emotions and since the book revolves around Madame Mao and her life experiences the books mood will change according to how Mao feels. If the mood didn't change, I think that this would be an extremely boring book. Since I already find this book very boring, having no mood/tone would make the book unbearable to read.

Strangest Thing

posted May 29, 2010, 5:19 PM by Ashlynne Asbury   [ updated May 29, 2010, 5:33 PM ]

In the book "Becoming Madame Mao" by Anchee Min, in Madame Mao's younger years she experiences her feet being bound together. Feet binding is a Chinese tradition to look attractive. I think that this was probably the saddest/strangest thing because how could binding feet be attractive? After seeing the pictures in class, I would want to chop my feet off. They looked so disgusting and I couldn't imagine what the pain would be like if my were bound. I thought this was very strange because I don't see how men thought this was attractive. It's gross, and feet shouldn't look like giant carrots. How could carrot looking feet possibly be attractive? If I could ask someone why they thought this was attractive, I might be satisfied in knowing why the Chinese did this. Also I think this is sad because after your feet are bound for so long, there is nothing anybody can do to change it. The feet remain the same, there is no cure, no nothing. This is sad because people with bound feet have to take smaller steps when they walk, they may not walk right or it might hurt them to walk because their feet have been mutated. If my feet were bound, I would want them taken off. I mean, if I could barely walk anyways - being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life would benefit me more. For example, I could get around places faster! This is one of the events in the story that caught my attention, and I never forgot it. This is the only thing that I found interesting and I don't know why the Chinese did this tradition. I'm happy that it's illegal, or banned because feet are not meant to look that way. 


posted May 24, 2010, 6:34 PM by Ashlynne Asbury   [ updated May 24, 2010, 6:51 PM ]

In the book Madame Mao written by Anchee Min, I think that Madame Mao is the most important character. She is the most important character because the book is about her life and how she progresses through it. It's about her journey of trying to find herself. She changes her name many times because she thinks that having a new name resembles a new person, a new life, when in reality it only means that people can't recognize you. The life will stay the same no matter if you change your name of not. This is a way in which she tries to find herself, she changes her name to fit her acting career. She changes it because she thinks it can get her new jobs, that if she changes her name it's considered stylish, and different. She is the most important character because gives her self to many people, Yu Queiw, Tang Nah, Mao Zedong, etc.. She tries to find herself in every guy she dates. First, Yu made her into a communist and made his world revolve around her. Then, Tang made her his universe, he made her feel loved and more important. She does this because she wants to feel important. From my perspective, it seems that Madame Mao doesn't love her self and wants to give herself to people to feel loved. I think that if she never learns to accept herself as her, then nobody will ever "love" her because she doesn't know how to love herself. So this makes her the most important character, because she's a character that develops throughout the book and has emotion. She's complex and the story is also based about her. Therefore, making her the most important character.


posted May 16, 2010, 9:32 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book Q&A written by Vikas Swarup, Ram seems to not have any ambitions when Prem Kumar asks what he will do if he was to win the billion rupees. I think that Ram has ambitions, he just didn't want to say anything to Prem Kumar and fluke his chance of winning the billion rupees. Clearly he won the billion rupees and at the end it explains what he did with them. I think his ambitions are just to make people happy, give people what they want/need, and just to be kind and help them out. It explains that he helps orphan boys by donating money to them. He does this because he knows how it feels to be an orphan boy and he knows how hard it is to survive when nobody is helping you. He buys the love of his life with the billion rupees, making her quit her low life of prostitution. He made her happier and him happier by getting married and loving each other. He bought two cars because he could with all that money. He had ambitions, he just didn't want to tell Prem Kumar because he either didn't want to ruin his chances of winning. He knew that if he had said, "I want to help the orphan boys because I was one" or "I want to buy big fancy cars and I want people to admire them", then clearly Prem Kumar would have done more than what he had already done to Ram to make it so that it would be nearly impossible for him to win.


posted May 7, 2010, 3:04 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book Q&A written by Vikas Swarup, Ram and Salim are big movie fans. In the question it asks if movies are just a form of escapism or if they carry a more significant role in culture. I think that Ram, Salim and other characters use movies as a form of escapism. They use movies to escape their troubles by seeking entertainment and it could also give them hope of what they want to be in the future. Also, in the movies there are heroines and heroes that they look up to such as Armman Ali and Neelima Kumari. It also contributes to culture because in the United States we have Hollywood, and in India they have Bollywood which is a form of entertainment there. This is apart of their culture because movies are more favorable in India rather than the United States. Bollywood also shows India becoming a more modernized society. Movies provide people role models whom they look up to. For Ram, watching movies could give him a sense of hope or ambitions, same with Salim. They are both of lower class, young and unexperienced, this is why movies can give them a form of escapism. They could act like the heroines or heroes and feel like they can be more than what they are, or feel like they have things that others don't. Movies are also apart of the culture because everyone knows about them. When a movie comes out, it is jam packed. Everyone knows who the best actors are and there is always gossip about them. For example, Armman Ali, he is an actor that Salim idols and who he also wants to be like when he gets older. After one of Armman's part in a movie, the next day he is accused of being gay which Salim gets very upset about. This is why movies play a role of escapism and are also apart of their culture.

Recurring Dream

posted May 7, 2010, 2:51 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book Q& A written by Vikas Swarup Ram has a recurring dream of a tall women with black hair that obscures her face. He imagines this women multiple times throughout the book. A few times that he has seen this women was when he killed the man on the train, another time he sees her when he is making love to the prostitute. In the question it asks if she is his biological mother, a symbol of hope or abandonment. I think that this women represents all three. It could be his biological mother guiding him through his experiences because he needs a parental figure in his life, and he wants to feel part of a family. He is very lonely which is why I think that this could be his biological mother. I also think that this could be a symbol of hope because this could represent his "lover". He wants to feel loved and this girl could be the one that he was dreaming about. This could also feel like abandonment because the black hair obscures her face, which means he will never see who this women is and he will never know who she is. So it could feel like abandonment because he could feel like this is his biological mother, and she just left him with no memory or images of her, leaving him lonely. This is why I think that this women can represent all three, abandonment, a symbol of hope or his biological mother.

Ram Mohamad Thomas

posted May 2, 2010, 4:16 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In Q&A writt by Vikas Swarup, he gives the protagonist the name Ram Mohamad Thomas. When he was adopted into a family, the women had left for another man, and the man decided to drop little Ram off in front of Father Timothy's church. Originally, Father Timothy had given Ram a Christian name, but then changed it when people started to talk and he didn't want to feel like he was forcing a religion on Ram. However, I think the many cultures in Ram's name define him. He is very different. He doesn't want to be like everyone else. He just wants what's best for him, and the people he cares about. He has been through a lot, and I think his name fits who he is. I think because he was raised by Father Timothy, he wanted a name that started with a "T" - Thomas. He is Hindu, so the name "Ram" would fit perfectly. I'm not sure what religion the name Mohamad comes from, but it's a different religion that he encounters when the man explains what war was like. I think Vikas Swarup wanted to name the main character many different cultures, religions, etc. because he wanted him to be different, and show people that being different is ok. To show that people from different religions, cultures, etc. can get along in peace and there shouldn't be fighting. Ram, is different, he is kind, he is real. He does what he wants. He cares for the people that have impacted his life, and that's all that really matter. So I think his name being different cultures, religion, etc. is just to show that being different is ok.

Mood of Q&A

posted Apr 25, 2010, 1:49 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

In the book Q&A written by Vikas Swarup there are many strange, sad and funny events that happened in Ram's life. Ram is an uneducated waiter who had just won one billion rupees on the game show "Who Wants To Be A Billionaire", who was then later accused of cheating - because how could some uneducated waiter answer all twelve questions correctly? Throughout the book he explains in each chapter a full detail of how he knew the answers to all twelve questions. Throughout the chapters he tells his lawyer what happens and how he felt going through these phases of his life. One part in his life that I found sad was when Father Timothy was murdered. Ram went through an emotional stage where he truly felt like an "idiot orphan boy" - a phrase that Father John had called Ram. He cried because Father Timothy felt like a dad to him and now he had nothing. A funny part in his life was when Salim and Ram were at the movies. Salim is Ram's friend who is obsessed with the movie star Arman Ali(?). Together they go to see a movie in which he is starring in and as the movie progresses they are crying their eyes out. I found this part hilarious because they are in a public movie theater, where people can see them and they are crying like babies. Later, once the tears are done, there is a scene in the movie that turns on one of the people sitting next to them. I found this part strange because the movie star(?) is touching himself, who then later touches Salim. Salim gets angry and tells him to get his hands off him. There are many other strange parts but this stood out to me because it was in a public place, and most people don't do that in public places. These are the few events in his life that I found strange, funny and sad.


posted Apr 18, 2010, 3:21 PM by Ashlynne Asbury

While reading Enrique's Journey, by Sonia Nazario, she leaves certain pictures in my head. When she explains how gang members by the stations attack immigrants and others, I can just picture what they are saying to the immigrants and how they would look after they have taken there beatings. Or when the gang members had left the town in fear and la migra had to move to a different station because the gang violence was too violent. Another picture she leaves in my mind is when Enrique and Lourdes finally unite. I can see the tears in their eyes, how tight they grip each other when hugging and then speaking in Spanish telling each other how much they love each other. This was the strongest picture in my mind from the book because it was what Enrique wanted, why he left Honduras in the first place. Even though he and his mom had problems this was still the strongest metal image I had. I don't think that anyone should have to be separated from there parents this way, and to read that they had finally reunited was touching in a way. Sonia Nazario did a good job at writing the book in a descriptive form so we, as readers, could picture the best and worst scenes. There were many other scenes that I could visualize but, these two were the ones I could see the most. First, because gang members were everywhere on Enrique's trip up to the United States. Everywhere he turned there was gang members, so she mentioned that a lot. Second, because nothing can replace the feeling of being with your mother after being separated for so long.

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