Description and Action: Ming Cher's Characterization of Kwang's Mother

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

In this brief passage, Ming Cher economically manages to characterize Kwang, Kwang's mother, and the socio-economic world of Spider Boys:

Hard work and strains has made Yee look ten years older than her age, has choking anger in her staunch eyes that frightens Kwang like hell. She melts down a little, digs into her pocket to give the youngest ten cents. And raise her voice at Kwang. "You listen carefully! I am leaving you to look after the house. I have found a good permanent job as a second cook in a very rich man's house. The rice drum is full enough for a month." And took out her money to count it twice, with thoughts of her hard life, with hope at Kwang whom she thinks is a star at school, because he bluff her with false school reports. [19]

From whose point of view does the mother appear? How many of her gestures and other actions does the novelist present in this paragraph, and how do they build up our notion of her character? What effect upon us does the closing sentence have?

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean
Literature Ming Cher