Select a main character from "The Jade Peony," by Wayson Choy

Essay by alliasHigh School, 11th grade January 2007

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In a 350 to 400-word essay, describe which archetype(s) the character is most similar to.

Sek-Lung, third brother from The Jade Peony is an important character because he further develops the themes of belonging and discovery that Choy has introduced in the first two parts of the novel. To achieve this elaboration his character has a wide range of emotions and attributes. Sekky's character archetypes vary from orphan to warrior to wanderer, demonstrating his personal growth.

Sekky passes through the orphan stage early in his story. His mother, 'Stepmother' has a weak role in the family so he transfers his paternal dependence onto others; such as: Poh-Poh, Mrs. Doyle and Meiying. After Poh-Poh dies his family sees he is in pain and needs to mourn so they pay their respects twice to comfort the orphan archetype. When he returns to school he gets the acceptance he craves from Mrs. Doyle, seeing her classroom as a safe place: "...but

inside Mrs. Doyle's classroom we were all -lions or lambs -equals. We had glimpsed Paradise."

Out of the classroom however, Sek-Lung exerts his assertion, objectifying his peers and fighting on the schoolyard. The next stage of the hero's wheel he moves through is the warrior. He shows this with his respect of Meiying, an antagonist. Also, his aggression towards his sword enemies "the Japs" is shown when he and Meiying travel to Little Tokyo to meet Kazuo: "There was no getting around it. She must have known Kazuo for a long time. She was a traitor. Her boyfriend was a Jap, a monster, one of the enemy waiting in the dark to destroy all of us."

The last stage of the hero's wheel Sek-Lung moves through is the wanderer. He achieves some clarity about relationships and people through his time with Meiying...