Bone Fae Myenne Ng Essays
Show More1. Compare the portrayal of Katrina in Salvage the Bones to what you saw of the hurricane in the news. Which aspect of the storm’s devastation does this novel bring to life? What does Esch’s perspective add to your understanding of Katrina’s impact?
When Hurricane Katrina occurred, I was an eleven year-old child with little to no concern about the current events happening around me. Nevertheless, I was still saddened by the hurricane that killed almost 2,000 people and left thousands homeless. The news reported daily about the damages done, and showed all of the people that were in need of help. But through the novel, you really get vivid details of what it was like…show more content…
How do Skeetah and Daddy respond when they discover Esch’s pregnancy?
Esch realizes she might be pregnant after witnessing China give birth. She realizes that she is two months irregular, has been vomiting a lot, and her stomach feels weird. When she comes to the realization that she is pregnant, of course, she is as scared as any 15 year-old pregnant child would be. She often refers to the baby as “the secret”, because she is so frighten and she’s keeping it hidden. Esch contemplates on what options she has, like abortion or non-conventional methods that she has overheard from girls. The child in her brings her shame and she wishes for it to go away. She’s trying to decide rather aborting the child will make Manny want her or will keeping the child change his mind about her. She is basically deciding her child’s fate on the acceptance of Manny, and of course she doesn’t think of the well-being of the child because she is nothing but a child herself.
Skeetah and Daddy have different, but somewhat similar reactions to finding out about Esch’s pregnancy. Skeetah figures out Esch is pregnant before she even tells anyone. He’s not at all mad or ashamed of her,
Fae Myenne Ng does not seek to solve the mystery of Ona’s death in this novel—it is a mystery that is unsolvable. Rather, through the narrative voice of Lei, she explores the languages and silences of love, grief, assimilation, avoidance, anger, guilt, and finally acceptance.
The novel begins with the language of gossip: “We heard things. ‘A failed family. That Dulcie Fu. And you know which one: bald Leon. Nothing but daughters.’ ” Whispers are heard behind children’s backs—a failed family because there were no sons, because Dulcie had left her first husband, because Dulcie and Leon fought and Leon had moved out, because Nina had moved to New York, because Ona had committed suicide, because Lei had moved in with Mason Louie and then married him in New York without the benefit of the traditional banquet.
Gossip gives way to lies when Lei begins to work through her relationship with Leon. Leon needs a steady source of income to pay his rent at the resident hotel into which he has moved after Ona’s suicide. When Lei finally persuades him he can still earn some money while collecting Social Security, he agrees to apply for his benefits. Lei accompanies him to the Social Security office, where she and the interviewer try to sort through the morass of aliases and multiple birthdates that Leon has claimed over the years. These are the lies that Leon had used to survive and to support his family in a society which patronized him and devalued his masculinity.
(The entire section is 615 words.)