Zero Draft

Like Father like son, like mother like daughter is a common thread that seems to be passed around. It can be simple things such as the way one dresses, facia expressions, personality traits, and others. Though in the book Everything I Never Told You, the thread is serious and most ever true. This book has brought upon many serious issues that our society has faced for many years. There is the topic of suicide, in which is not confirmed, but is in suspicion. There are many ideas swirling as to what transpired in Lydia’s death. There is the idea that She killed herself from stress, particularly related to her failed attempts to catch Jack’s eye which is Nath’s belief. There is James belief that she just killed herself (doesn’t know why). Lastly, there is Marilyn’s viewpoint in that Lydia was murdered (maybe by Jack because Lydia was getting in way of him and Nath) but doesn’t know who by. On the same lines as suicide, the idea of running away has been rather prominent. It is not the case that when you run away, you will commit suicide, not at all. Though in this book, that could be the result one time. It is stated that not only Lydia has run away, but Marilyn has as well. Mother like sun, indeed applies. The next topic that is present in the story is discrimination. The Lee family has carried an Chinese-American background with them. This has paid a toll on all of them in some way, but most prominent with Nath and James. James as a kid was bullied and left out of many things because of his ethnicity. With the fear of this occurring, Nath as well faced incidences as a child too with discrimination. The father like son concept has definatly applied.

Whenever a story starts to progress, may it be from a novel, a poem, or a story by the campfire, one tends to pick up on trends. Trends allow us to have a better understanding of the story, and allow us to have a better understanding as to what the story is about. If one focuses on one piece of information, or one storyline, than they can lose sight of the story as a whole. In this story there are many trends. There are some more obvious than others, and some that are not important at all. As I have been deciding as to what I wanted my theme to be that I saw prominent in this story, I wanted something that people could have seen as well, but put a spin on it. One of the more obvious themes is how alike the family members are to one another. The title of the story best explain how I will spin this “Everything I Never Told You”. All of the connecting stories, all of the things that tie one character, one family member together, are secrets that they never tell. This can be seen for example in chapter 3 ,when Marilyn is reflecting upon her mother “Never, she promised herself. I will never end up like that.” (Chapter 4, Paragraph 30). Marilyn (at the end of their relation) did not like her mother. So, keeping that a secret, she wanted to be mother like her mother, so that she would be a better moth to her children. When Lydia ran away, she had ran away, and coincidentally, she ran away herself too. This whole connection, “mother like daughter” starts to create a very deep connection from one family member to another.

The storyline continues to have more and more secret hidden for the sake of another family member. James wants to play it off to his son that he was not bullied as a kid for his ethnicity. James throughout his life was trying harder and harder to become more americanized. When Nath was bullied as a child especially, it hurt James immensely, and wishes to help him so that his son does not have to endure the same thing.

“Secret are no fun, unless you tell everyone”. I do not feel that Marilyn, James, or any family member were to ever wish that Lydia would keep the secrets she did. Keep the built up anger and depression, that may have broken her into pieces. The lee family is connected upon many ways, from generation to generation. They all have secrets, and skeletons in their closet. To move on from Lydia’s death will not be easy, and secrets may emerge (Jacks impact on Lydia for example). The Lee family has endured a lot of pain due to secrets, and must stay strong.


5 thoughts on “Zero Draft

  1. I think you have a really good start with your draft in that you have a lot of topics to choose from. I recommend continuing to narrow it down to just one topic, as you have: the idea of the secrets within the family. It is a little obvious of a topic, but I think if you use really strong examples from the text, you will have a strong argument. You’ve only used a couple pieces of evidence so far; I think you need some more and you should try to build on them/explain them more.


  2. I think that the focus of “like mother, like daughter” or “like father, like son,” is really interesting. I’ve also noticed that Marilyn sees a lot of herself in Lydia, which she loves, and James sees a lot of himself in Nath, which he despises. I think that it could be really interesting to look at the reasons why each parents feels the way that he or she does about the similarities between their children and themselves. So, why is Marilyn so overjoyed to see that Lydia can do what she never could in the medical field? And why is James so angry that Nath is a bookworm instead of the athletic kid who “fits in” that he himself could never be? Further, you could even take it one step further and include Marilyn’s feelings of animosity toward her own mother and where those stem from, including the fact that she ended up with the life that her mother wanted for her instead of the life that she wanted for herself. All in all though, I think that this topic is really fascinating and after narrowing it down to a single focus, you’ll really be able to do something interesting.


  3. It is very interesting how alike the mother and daughter and father and son are to each other. Sense they are paired together, where does that leave Hannah, the youngest daughter? It will be interesting to see who she takes after or if she makes her own path. You should much in quotes from the book to back up what you are saying. The best play to compare James and Nath is when James took Nath to the swimming pool and watched Nath get made fun of. Also think about comparing the secrets that everyone seems to have and who is being affected by the secrets they have.


  4. I think that you have a good start to your paper, and I like the “like mother, like daughter” theme that is running throughout it. However, I noticed some other themes popping up in your paper, so I would try to narrow it down for future drafts so your point isn’t going in so many different directions. For example, you focused on Marilyn and Lydia for a majority of it, but then had a few lines about James being bullied as a child. This seems to deviate from your original point. I also recommend adding some more quotes from the book to this so that you can support your statements even more.


  5. The first idea that you mentioned in your paper (Like mother, like daughter, etc) was intriguing – I would continue with that. You brought up some other good topics, too, but they didn’t relate to your first one, which is where you thesis would obviously be. You’ve already made good connections between Marilyn and Lydia and James and Nath, so find more quotes supporting those and explain how the parents’ actions and whatnot are similar to their kids’.


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