A Daughter of Han; the Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman Summary & Study Guide

Lao Toai-Toai Ning
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Daughter of Han; the Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman.
This section contains 476 words
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A Daughter of Han; the Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman Summary & Study Guide Description

A Daughter of Han; the Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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The story begins with a detailed description of the area where Lao is born and raised in China. She is the youngest child of her parents, with an older brother and sister who will help shape her life and her destiny. Lao is an active child and as such, her feet are not bound until she is seven, allowing her the freedom to run and play. She falls ill and the process is put off for a period of time. Lao never seems to resent the binding and says that a plain face is nothing to be ashamed of but that poorly bound feet are a sign of sheer laziness. Lao's sister is married to a young man when she is fifteen and when Lao reaches fifteen, she too is married. Because of the way years of age are calculated in China, Lao is actually only thirteen and is relieved to find that her husband has the wife of his cousin living with them so that Lao feels a little less homesick. The woman eventually is forced to leave by neighbors when the woman and Lao begin to quarrel.

Lao is then alone with her husband and soon gives birth to two daughters she names Mantze and Chinay. Lao and the girls are often hungry because Lao doesn't know how to make a living for herself. She depends on her mother until the death of her parents, just a month apart. Lao has by now realized that her husband's addiction to opium controls his life and wants to distance herself from him, but fortunetellers have told her that she is destined for a series of marriages and that each husband will be a loser. For this reason, Lao refuses to consider divorcing her husband or seeking another; but when her husband sells their younger daughter twice, Lao decides that she won't remain with him and for a time begs on the streets to provide for her children.

Time passes and Lao goes through a series of jobs. She eventually reunites with her husband who has mellowed somewhat with age though he remains an opium addict. Lao gives birth to another daughter and then a son. The daughter dies but the son lives to adulthood, marries a girl who remains near Lao and fathers children. Meanwhile, Lao's daughter Mantze married a man chosen by her mother but the man turns out to be a thief and doesn't provide for his family. Mantze comes to blame her mother for her bad luck in life and the two women as adults become near strangers. Mantze's daughter, Su Teh, becomes very close to her grandmother and helps provide for her after a college education. Lao says, as the country faces the return of hostile Japanese forces, that she doesn't fear for herself, but that she fears for the youngsters.

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This section contains 476 words
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