Response Paper on Bone
Fae Myenne Ng's Bone narrates the story of an immigrant Chinese family settled in Chinatown. The story revolves around various types of relationships among the characters, with marriage as a common thread binding them all. The author presents different types of marriages and their respective effects on the protagonist's family, such as Mah's first and second marriages, and Leila's marriage to Mason Louie.
First person perspective is employed through Leila (Mah's daughter from her first marriage), who expresses her feelings about family by comparing her biological father to her stepfather, Leon. Mah's marriage to Leila's father, "Dulcie Fu," was the result of a "thrill" during her youth. Since the marriage centered on infatuation instead of logical reason, it had little chance of succeeding. As expected, the marriage ended when this man left without explanation. Mah's first marriage represents the negative outcome of a relationship based on impulsive, brash feelings for a man who ends up deserting both her and Leila.
After the ill-fated result of her first marriage, Mah attempts to improve her situation by wedding Leon, an eclectic old-style Chinese immigrant with a more mature sense of responsibility and family union. Their marriage represents stability and produces two daughters, Ona and Nina. A tight bond grows between everyone in the family, although from Leila's point of view, it seems as though Leon is only a convenient spouse for her mother.
However, Leon becomes the one Leila really considers her father. Even though she does not carry his surname, he has always been there for her since "it's time that makes a family, not just blood." Leon's strong paternal instincts become evident in how he defends his family against gossip and consistently reiterates to his family the importance of preserving such a close knit relationship. Even...