Character Assignment: Saving Sourdi – Essay Example

Saving Sourdi’ by Mai-Lee Chai “Saving Sourdi” by Mai-Lee Chai is a novel that focuses on the trajectory of immigrants in order to become American women. The novel highlights the process by which the immigrants adapt to the “real” America and tells the story of their slow but steady transformation.
The protagonist of “Saving Sourdi” is Nea. The character portrayal of Nea is depicted through her relation with her elder sister, Sourdi. Chai describes that Nea always tends to save her elder sister Sourdi even if she is not in dire need. Sourdi is older than Nea and more wise and intelligent. She succumbed to an arranged marriage and knows to fit into the new immigrated society of America but Nea wants everything impeccable in American society.
All these descriptions indicate that Nea is bit immature and does not have any rigidity or strength of conviction. Nea’s unnecessary pursuit to help her sister also indicates her irrationality.
If one provides a close inspection to the dialogue rendered by Nea, one can find a lot of her characteristics have been depicted by Mai-Lee Chai through her dialogue, “When we moved to South Dakota, I thought wed find the real America, the one where we were supposed to be, not the hot sweaty America where we lived packed together in an apartment with bars on the windows” (Chai, “Saving Sourdi”, pp. 131).
These dialogues and commentaries of the authoress in form of the narrative, express that she is inhibited and wants everything perfectly American in order to fit into the society. On the contrary, the family moves to Midwest which in the “real” sense celebrates the true spirit of American culture and blend myriad of alien elements to it. Again this establishes that Nea was inhibited, immature and impetuous. She is also impatient and fails to adapt the changing situation or environment around her.
Chai, Mai-Lee. “Saving Sourdi”. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing. Edited By Meyer, Michael. 7th Edition. Bedford/St. Martins, 2004.