When the Sea Turned to Silver Themes & Motifs

Grace Lin
This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of When the Sea Turned to Silver.
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Characters are More than What They Seem/Transformations

The author uses multiple characters who are not what they first appear to be in order to remind readers that appearances and first impressions can be deceiving. Many characters have hidden traits and characteristics that are unexpected at first glance, or through the course of the narrative, they undergo a transformation and develop new traits and skills, thus becoming something more.

For instance, in the beginning of the novel, Pinmei is mouselike and timid. She is close with Amah, but as Amah says, “When I tell people how you taunt an old woman, they don’t believe me. ‘Little Pinmei?’ they say. ‘She’s just a mouse’” (8). Over the course of events and under the guidance of Lady Meng, mousey Pinmei finds both herself and her courage, and those facets are essential to her defeating the emperor in the...

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This section contains 2,101 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When the Sea Turned to Silver Study Guide
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