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Thousand Pieces of Gold by Ruthanne Lum McCunn

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1 Thousand Pieces of Gold by Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Book Discussion: Character Study Prepared by: Cristeta Alagao

2 Thousands Pieces of Gold
Thousand Pieces of Gold was written by Ruthanne Lum McCunn. The book is a story of a Chinese woman who at a very early age learned and experienced the challenge, struggle, injustice, and racism in society.

3 Thousands Pieces of Gold
This is Lalu the main character of the book. She is also known as Polly. When Lalu was thirteen years old, she lived with her family who was struggling. Her father will always call her “qianjin, my thousand pieces of gold.” This book described how racism impacted the identity, self-concept and self-esteem of the main character.

4 Loss of self-identity 1) When Lalu was eighteen years old, she was sold to the bandits for two bags of seeds. 2) Lalu was forcefully removed from her home and family to join the bandits in their journey. 3) Lalu was treated disrespectfully and unkindly by the bandits. She spent most of their travels between boxes, bags, basket and trunk. She had to begged for food or water. 4) Lalu was called a whore by the bandits that abducted her. 5) Lalu was sold for the second time to a “madam” who later took Lalu to America.

5 Loss of self-concept 1) Lalu was smuggled to America with a promise of better life. 2) In America, Lalu was stripped and auctioned. 3 ) A saloon owner bought Lalu as a slave and prostitute for his Saloon. 4) Lalu became “Polly”. A name given by her new master. Related quotes from the book: “For the sum of your passage money, you have promised the use of your bodies for prostitution.” “You must learn as I have to let your mind take flight. Then you won’t feel, and if you don’t feel, nothing anyone does can hurt you.” “…And you will be your own woman again, I promise you.”

6 Loss of Self-esteem Lalu lost her self-esteem as she continues to struggle and experience discrimination: 1) Lalu was a slave to the male characters. She was told to cook , clean and use her body to satisfy the men in the saloon. 2) Lalu was informed that laws for a Chinese woman was different. Lalu was to remain a slave.

7 CONCLUSION Lalu is a woman who experienced the difficulty and injustice in life due to her ethnicity, gender, age and place of origin. The photos in some of the slides display the character and the interpretation of her battle against discrimination.

8 Conclusion Lalu also known as Polly Bemis is a woman who will be remembered as a devoted daughter, a slave, a loving wife, a caring friend but most of all an individual who persevered to gain back her freedom.

9 Reference Thousand Pieces of Gold by Ruthanne Lum McCunn

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