A Bitter Widow In Paul Yee's Prairie Widow By Paul Yee

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Chantal Richard English 104 A bitter widow in Yee’s “Prairie Widow” Paul Yee’s “Prairie Widow” is the story of a middle aged Chinese woman, Gum-May, whose husband has recently passed on leaving her to raise two boys alone in Canada. Her bitterness and anger towards her husband’s death leaves her feeling alone and lost in this foreign country. She is given the option of moving to Vancouver with some family and she toys with the idea of going back to China as well. Gum-May is remembering her and her husband Gordon’s wedding day and her life without him during the Chinese revolution. Her bitterness towards her deceased husband is apparent. In the scene she casts him away and reminisces on all the times her marriage brought her pain and sorrow.…show more content…
Her rumination of the past reminds her of her youth in China and how her life had changed from then to now living in Wilding, Canada. Gum-May is left feeling empty and alone while remembering only to cast these emotions aside with bitterness and anger feeling that “they’re useless”. The announcement of marriage “demolished” her when she was sixteen, Gum-May couldn’t see herself “surrendering” her body to her husband. But, the pride of filial accomplishment only made her remember the shame she brought from being a daughter in a son-less family. She describes her wedding to Gordon. She was somber throughout the night except when she received a glare from her father “a silent command ‘You better do well”. Her unwillingness to lie with Gordon on their wedding night was not concealed; she described it with wanting to retreat, pain, and swirling fear. The author’s word choice for a wedding night is juxtaposition to how weddings are presented to society. Weddings are supposed to be filled with love and compassion not fear, somberness and pain. Next her husband leaves back to Canada after only two months of marriage and Gum-May discloses that she “had
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