Does the title "Paper Shadows" have more meaning for you after finishing the book than before you started reading it?

Essay by andrewhuiUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, June 2005

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"Paper Shadows" as a matter of fact have more meaning for me after I read it. This autobiography is full of phantoms and secrets especially the haunted memoir. It was so interesting because the author in the story as Sonny Choy has explored not only the childhood in Vancouver's Chinatown but also the family history.

Choy has frequently mentioned the ghost at the early age around four. The reason for him to talk about this because he believes in spirit and the understanding of the loss of loved ones. On the other hand, his family life is quite attractive since he talks about the setting from his Keefer Street house, then his mother's keen on playing Mahjong. Moreover, Choy often translated the Chinese terms due to his mother always talks in Toisanese dialect and also some of the Cantonese, which sounds familiar and funny to me. Therefore, it draws me the attention and also developed my interest to keep on reading.

Obviously, Choy's childhood had been influenced mostly by the Canadian although his eyes are on Chinese opera. For example, he went to the Canadian nursery school and learns about the Christian religion; he was so interested in cowboys as stated in the paragraph " To me, not anything in Chinatown could prove as interesting as what I now worshipped: c-o-w-b-o-y-s." (Choy Wayson, Paper Shadows, Penguin Group, 1999, P.69) Subsequently, he refused to go to a traditional Chinese school as he said "Before three weeks had gone by, after being punished on both hands with a bamboo rod, I, finally, one afternoon decided to skip Chinese school." (Choy Wayson, Paper Shadows, Penguin Group, 1999, P.222) In addition, Sonny was said to be "mo-no" as stated "You no-brain boy!" (Choy Wayson, Paper Shadows, Penguin Group, 1999,