When We Were Orphans Setting & Symbolism

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The house and garden in Shaghai

This is where Christopher played for hours on end with his best friend and next door neighbor, Akira. This is where Christopher has vivid memories of playing the detective game that Akira invented after Christopher's father's disappearance.

The magnifying glass

This was originally given to him as a joke gift on his birthday by his school friends. They were chiding him for his abnormal interest in detective work. However, he became immediately engrossed with it, alarming his friends. Not wishing to seem strange, he tries to play it off as a joke, but does not succeed. It becomes one of his most valued tools, even after he becomes a successful detective. He even takes it to Shanghai, where he takes it out to examine the amputated limb of a dead woman.

Opium

Christopher's mother is an activist campaigning against opium trade in...

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This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the When We Were Orphans Study Guide
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