In this paper, I address how Duke, Mr. Chhay as well as Sourdi’s mother shapes sourdi’s life. I have also included in my description how Nea is separated by this shaping and how she feels by the time the story ends. I have also shown how Nea gets jealous every single time that a man shows up in Sourdi’s life. I end my paper with a brief conclusion explaining the insight I gained from the observation of Nea’s jealousy.
Nea is the protagonist in this story and in saving her sister Sourdi, she is displayed as an outsider. This is shown by the way she becomes left out of her family. Due to this, Nea is forced to fend for herself at the end of the story as well as look out for her sister. Initially, they would tell each other about their feelings in a quite place away from disturbance. The two sisters would lock themselves in the bathroom in order to have time alone with each other and to be away from their restaurant work. They would play to run away together when they got older. This is indicative of their togetherness as well as how much they meant to each other. Nea became very influenced by her sister Sourdi and to her, she was a motherly figure. This is because she took care of her particularly post the stabbing accident. Nea was warned against repeating the same or else she and her sibling would be referred to a foster care home where they would not be in a position to see one another again. Sourdi in deed shows a motherly figure to her sister as she kisses her on top of her head as well as hug her. Without realization, the strong tie between the two crumbles slowly once a new worker is hired at the Silver Palace known as Duke.
Sourdi and Duke immediately began to hold private talks until Nea found out concerning the two. She began to lose that bond slowly since this did not settle well with her. She became the third wheel in a sense as she felt left out. It was going to be Sourdi, Duke, and then her instead of just her and Sourdi. Sourdi leaves Nea to herself as Duke becomes a big part of her life. Obviously, she is not too fond of Duke and thus has an attitude revealed by her behavior towards him. Nea somewhat despised Duke for being the male figure responsible for breaking the strong bond between Sourdi and her. Nea was jealous every time a man showed up in the life of her sister. Another man called Mr.Chhay also brought the same separation between the two sisters as Ma organized a marriage between him and Sourdi. The marriage was successful thereby making her move out at an early age of 18 years and manage her own family.
After Sourdi moves in with Mr.Chhay, Nea becomes consistent. She attempts many times to call her in order to resume the bond as well as bring something back between the two of them. She afterwards witnesses a phone conversation between Sourdi and her mother. Sourdi is crying in that conversation. Nea attempts to deal with this matter on her own and now attempts to be her sister’s motherly figure. At this point in the story, she becomes predictable and I can assume that she goes to her sister’s home to attempt to save her from the man she dislikes for hurting her sister. Nea’s mother did not seem to understand her better like Sourdi did and this made her feel like the outsider and lonely. Nea describes her mother as one who seemed to pursue her days with a heart made of stone. She believed that Sourdi was the only one who understood her sincerely but she had also grown up and left her sister.
Nea is found to be over protective over her sister. She is not protecting her in a positive way but rather she is jealous of her sister. This is because a person who is sincerely in love with her sister should support their decisions especially regarding their marital affairs. In my own opinion, they should rather give their full support as well as advice. Hence, Nea is found jealous of her sister although loving in her own way in saving Sourdi.
Chai, May-Lee. Glamorous Asians: Short Stories & Essays. 2004