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Beltran, E.

Madame Mao 7

posted Jun 15, 2010, 5:05 PM by Edwin Beltran

In the book Becoming Madame Mao many things happen that have one or many reasons. Early in the story we saw Madame Mao's ambition to be a very known famous actress so this motivated her too dedicate her life too acting. She was very motivated to becoming her dreams. Another action was killing her enemies once she became Madame Mao. The people she held a grudge against from stuff that had happened in the past before she actually had become Madame Mao. So the people that had done something to her in the past, she got back at them by making them pay with their lives. I think Madame Mao was not really an evil person. But I think the stuff that had happened in her past made her seem very evil. But it was really just the people in her life that made her who she was. For example all the men that broke her heart and just played around with her. Also the people that did not give her the role that Madame Mao  wanted to play. I think that all the pain that she went through in her life got build up and eventually changed her.  So when she had more power than them she decided to get back at them. That of course was a wrong use of her power, because when given power one must use it correctly. But I think Madame Mao just wanted to even things out so basically she wanted an eye for an eye.

Madame Mao 6

posted Jun 14, 2010, 10:10 PM by Edwin Beltran   [ updated Jun 14, 2010, 10:43 PM ]

I think the weirdest part of the book Becoming Madame Mao is the foot binding part. I think its weird because it does not really make any sense. Because what is the point of hurting your feet and your self. It does not even look attractive, at all. Its also weird because we learned it was a long process and to me it just seems like a waste of time. Also its kind of weird how your feet look or your size of your feet can determine who you marry and how rich they are. So in my point of view foot binding has no point and its kind of dumb. It just does not seem right to hurt your self for what they call "beauty" because they do it to little girls and they have to go through a lot of pain for a long period of time. But I know that we also got to under stand that cultures have different life styles and different beliefs and stuff that our different from our own culture. They probably laugh at or think it is weird some things our culture does. There is probably something another culture does in another place in the world that would seem weirder to us then foot binding.  But either way I still think foot binding practice was the weirdest part of Becoming Madame Mao and so far what we have learned about Chinese culture and Chinese history. It just does not seem worth it. I personally would not care about feet size and stuff because feet can not determine beauty, all that really matters is personality and how the girl looks but not the size of her feet.

Madame Mao 5

posted Jun 14, 2010, 9:52 PM by Edwin Beltran   [ updated Jun 14, 2010, 10:09 PM ]

While reading the book Madame Mao I personally feel different things. One thing I feel in some parts of the book is boredom. I feel some parts are boring because they go by slow and it does not really catch my attention as much as I would like it to. Also some parts seem repetitive like if it is the same thing happening again, this changes the way the story flows as you read it. So it makes the story in a way boring. Also some parts are in a way confusing. The author kind of lost me in the part in the beginning where Madame Mao's mom was doing the foot binding on Madame Mao. This part was both confusing and it was kind of boring. I don't know if it was just me or the story. But I think it might have something to do with the fact that I did not know anything about Chinese traditions in China especially not about foot binding. Another thing I feel while reading this story is motivation. When Madame Mao kept getting rejected for play parts, she never gave up she kept looking. She did not let anything get in the way of her pursuing and reaching her dream of being a very famous actress. She kept going for it no matter what obstacles were put in her way. This can motivate not just me but other readers to keep going for what they want keep fighting for what they believe in and to never give up no matter under what circumstances. 

Madame Mao 4

posted Jun 13, 2010, 3:53 PM by Edwin Beltran

I think the characters in the book Becoming Madame Mao are very believable. Maybe because they were real people in history. But either way I think the author does a very good job if describing how they feel and what they are thinking from situation to situation. The author has a different way of telling the story from books I have read before. She changes the point of view that the story is told. The point of view is changed from paragraph to paragraph. This is different but it still is effective to get the emotions and thoughts and feelings through to the reader. Also the characters actions are similar to what people in real life do. So this gives me some stuff I can relate to. One example of how the characters do stuff I have seen in my life is how Madame Mao is hurt in basically every relation ship she is in. I have seen people in my life go through this so it makes the characters experience and actions and situations believable. And I personally would rather read a book that I can some how relate to rather than a book that has nothing in comparison to my life or peoples life around me, I think it makes the story more interesting well for me. And I think more people feel the same way as me.

Madame Mao 3

posted Jun 13, 2010, 3:12 PM by Edwin Beltran

If I had a chance to talk to Anchee Min, the author of Becoming Madame Mao I would ask her a couple of questions. One of the questions I would ask the author is how long and how much research it took to find all the information necessary to write this book. Because reading this book its seems the author knew a lot about Madame Mao. It seemed as the author really knew how Madame Mao thought and felt. It seemed very realistic. Also because the author made it seem as if she was in that time zone with Madame Mao while she went through all that. Because she described it and put a picture in our head so we could imagine how it was. Also another question I would ask the author Anchee Min is why did she decide to write a book about Madame Mao. I mean Madame Mao is kind of a negative person in China, so was the author at all nervous that people might not buy the book because of the bad things Madame Mao did in the past. You would think people would want to erase from history instead of have all the wrong and horrible stuff she did. Also I would ask her what is her opinion on Madame Mao, and Mao's decisions and in her opinion how did it affect China. I think this is a good question because she wrote the book so she must also have an opinion on all this.

Madame Mao 2

posted Jun 12, 2010, 2:51 PM by Edwin Beltran

I think the author shows many themes in the book Becoming Madame Mao. One theme I think was showed in this book, dealt with holding grudges and also be careful. I think one of the themes can be related to holding grudges because of what Madame Mao did. She let stuff that happened in the past affect her decisions in the future/present. She had problems with some people before she became Madame Mao. So when she did become Madame Mao she decided to get them back, she wanted to get revenge. Even though whatever problems happened years ago she still held the grudge through out all the years. She has the person killed or the group of person killed. This shows how too much power can be misused by the holder or possessor of the power, this can also be a theme in the novel. That too much power can be used in wrong ways. Also  think another theme can be to be careful of what you do today because it can get you back in the future, so basically be careful of  karma. Because people sometimes mistreated Madame Mao so then later she decided to repay them by getting even and eventually killing them or having them killed. So I think the author tries to show to be nice to people because you do not know what could happen in the future.

Madame Mao 1

posted Jun 12, 2010, 2:20 PM by Edwin Beltran

A character in the book Becoming Madame Mao I admire is Madame Mao. Something that made me admire her was the way she was. The strength that she had in inside and she showed it. She was very dedicated and motivated to be a famous actress. And she didn't let any one or any body stop or prevent her from reaching her goal, her dream. This tells me that when you really want something in life you should not let any thing be an obstacle in your race to reach that goal. Like Madame Mao she keep searching for rolls in plays no matter how small, even though she wanted the leading roll. Even though people turned her down she always got back up and went looking for more opportunities, this was hard not to admire. Also something else that one can admire of Madame Mao is how she kept getting back up after being heart broken many times. She would always keep pursuing her dream of being a very famous actress and she also kept looking for love and for someone that cared for her. All the things that could stop people from stopping there chase for there dreams. But even tough she went through a lot of stuff, she did not let anything bring her down or get in the way of making her dream a reality. So this is some reasons why Madame Mao can be admired from what she did early in here life and the struggles she went through.

Q&A 5

posted May 26, 2010, 4:56 PM by Edwin Beltran

I think Ram does not really have an ambition in life. I think he just want to live life and what ever happens, happens. He probably doesn't want to set his mind to one thing and get to dedicated and excited for it not to come true. For example Salim dedicates his life to just being a movie star. So Ram doesn't want to be to focus on one thing, he might want to have different or multiple options in his future. He might of told Prem Kumar he doesn't know how he is going to spend the billion dollar rupees, because Ram has never really had much money. Through out the book and his life we have seen that he has been very poor for the vast majority of the book and has never really had money. So if he did have the money he wouldn't know  how to spend it. Another reason is that he might of never thought of winning the game when he signed up or auditioned for it. so he never actually planned of what would happen if he actually won the billion dollar rupees. Because Ram probably never would of guessed he knew the answers to all of the questions asked on the quiz show, so for him winning and having the money was out of the picture. So I believe that Ram never really expected that he would be a winner of the grand prize in the quiz show, so that is why he told the host that he didn't know what he was going to do with the money.

Q&A 4

posted May 16, 2010, 4:43 PM by Edwin Beltran   [ updated May 24, 2010, 5:45 PM ]

I think movies in this novel represents for the characters for a way to escape there real lives. Knowing the characters in this book we know that life isn't the best it could be. So my opinion is that characters like Salim and Ram use movies to escape their hard lives. Maybe movies represent the life they wish they have or things they wish to experience or have. I think the movie is a message from the author to tell and show the reader how our culture is not that different from the Indians culture. Because some people would picture their country to be basically a third world country even though today India is pretty powerful and is seen as a great power in the future. So the characters going to the movies is one the authors way of showing how the Indian civilization is, and how everyday life is like over there. Another thought or opinion is that the characters see the movies maybe to compare and contrast to the movie star actors in the movie life and their life style. And maybe to push themselves to be an actor and some day appear on the big screen like the people they see in the movies. So that way they can dream of being there one day and that way strive for there dreams.


posted May 16, 2010, 4:36 PM by Edwin Beltran

I think Vikas Swarup chose the name Ram Mohammad Thomas for the protagonist because the name might have something to do with his past or its just an important name to him. I think he chose to show how religions can maybe like mix or show how they go together. I think this because throughout the story people make fun of his name or find it kind of odd, they say something like "Your name has all the religions in it" or something like that. And as we know the two major religions in India didn't really know how to get along, which were Hindu and Muslims.  And Rams name represented how things go together if they try. It might also show how one person cant be judged from the outside, like people in the book thought that Ram was a weirdo for having such a diverse name he can be way different than the name given to him. So it kind of tells the reader to not" judge a book by its cover". I think Vikas Swarup probably had a deep reason for giving the main character his name but I think the reason was to show how religions can go along good, because the problem that happened in India between the two most popular religions there.  Im not sure why but that is my best guest.

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