Saving Nea

In: English and Literature

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Saving Nea
In the short fictional story, “Saving Sourdi,” author May-lee Chai focuses on the bond and relationship between two sisters, Nea and Sourdi. Nea, the younger sibling in “Saving Sourdi,” looks up and admires her older sister, Sourdi. As the two sisters grow in age, Nea isn’t ready to face reality and watch her older sibling start a life without her. Throughout the story, Nea makes desperate attempts to “save” her older sister. In reality, Nea is the character in the story that needs to be “saved”, rather than her sister.
Nea, the protagonist and major character in “Saving Sourdi,” is immature and dramatic. At the age of eleven, Nea stabs a man at the restaurant, after hearing him call Sourdi a “China doll.” While Sourdi manages to remain calm during this event, Nea reacts without thinking of the consequences. Toward the end of the story, Nea calls Duke and tells him that her sister is in danger. “Look, I don’t have time to explain. We have to go tonight. It’s an emergency. A matter of life and death.”(Chai 91). Here, Nea acts without thinking and makes it sound like Sourdi will die if they don’t go to Des Moines. Nea’s decision to call Duke for help leads to Sourdi’s husband getting punched in the face. Also, this episode results in the two sisters growing further apart, which is not Nea’s intention. The mother brings some light onto Nea as a character. She tells Nea: “You not like your sister. Your sister know how to bear things!”(Chai 90). What does the mother mean by “bear things?” She is expressing that Sourdi is able to hold in her emotions better than Nea. Perhaps, Sourdi is able do this more productively than the main character because she is five years older and has more of a mental ability to do so. Throughout the events in “Saving Sourdi,” and by May-Lee Chai’s use of characterization, the reader is able to get a feel for the main character’s…...

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