Ties that Bond, Ties that Break

Violet Johannson

To what extent can prejudice be overcome?

Over the last many centuries the issue of prejudice as continued to steadily improve. It wasn't until 1918 that the first countries started allowing women the right to vote, but never the less, we are now almost a century later and still women fight for the same rights as men in the eyes of society. In many countries women are still, to this day, viewed only as property to men. They are thought of as things that can be bought and sold and should have no right to a proper education or to live their lives freely. Although people may say that all humans in our country now have equal rights, sexism, racism, and just the overall discrimination of people of different faiths, religions, or sexualities is still a huge problem in the world we live in today. It seems to simply be human nature to judge, disclude, and bully those who are different from ourselves. For these reasons and many more I think that prejudice may continue to be overcome, but will never be completely removed from our society.

Quotes

Quote #1, Page 5:

"Not only did I change," he said "but my parents have changed too, you'd be surprised at how modern they have become in some respects."

"Modern enough to except unbound feet?" I said.

In this passage of the novel, it is explained for the first time that Hanwei and Ailins marriage engagement was broken off because Hanwei's parents did not approve of Ailin having unbound feet. This is a perfect example of how Ailin was discriminated against simply because she made a choice for herself to leave her feet unbound.

Quote #2, Page 15:

"I'd love to go to public school" I said.

"You can't, you're a girl" said Hanwei.

In the time period that this book takes place women had little to no rights to education. Ailin was lucky enough to be given some education in a family school, but she had the strength and courage to stand up for herself and strive to do more even in a time when this was practically unheard of.

Quote #3, Page 101:

"For the first time I understood the price I was paying for my rebellion. I had been exiled from my own people, and I had entered a world that despised what I had been taught to value."

In china and other parts of the world, especially in that particular time period, any form of rebellion from girls resulted in being shunned from their family and their community.

Evidence

Women in the Middle East, Page 62

"The Qur'an says that if a wife is "rebellious" the husband should "admonish" her, banish her to her couch, and strike her."

This relates to Ties that Bond Ties that Break because within the book Ailin has very little choice about her marriage because if she does not have her feet bound, her marriage engagement will be broken.

Half the Sky, Page 131

In this book the funds were cut to programs that were working to provide abortion options to women in China. Women should always have that right much like Ailin should have had the right to not have her feet bound.

The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, Page 24

"The notion that women are the property of their husband is a potent ideological prop of domestic violence"

This relates to Ties that Bond Ties that Break because if it wasn't for the pressure applied by Ailin's fiancé's parents, her father may not have been so willing to try to force her to have her feet bound.

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