① The Bonesetters Daughter Summary
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The Bonesetters Daughter Video Essay Final
Don't tell me, don't tell me, she mouthed in rhythm to her racing heart. Wendy was about to tell her she had cancer, Ruth was sure of it. Last night's uneasy feeling started to trickle through her veins. Hold on. I just got another call. It must not be cancer, Ruth thought. Maybe she was mugged, or thieves had broken into the house, and now the police were calling to take a report. Whatever it was, it must have been serious, otherwise Wendy would not be crying. What should she say to her? Ruth crooked the phone in her neck and dragged her fingers through her closecropped hair.
She noticed that some of the mirror's silver had flaked off. Or were those white roots in her hair? She would soon turn forty-six. When had the baby fat in her face started to recede? To think she used to resent having the face and skin of a perpetual teenager. Now she had creases pulling down the corners of her mouth. They made her look displeased, like her mother. Ruth brightened her mouth with lipstick.
Of course, she wasn't like her mother in other respects, thank God. Her mother was permanently unhappy with everything and everybody. LuLing had immersed her in a climate of unsolvable despair throughout Ruth's childhood. That was why Ruth hated it whenever she and Art argued. She tried hard not to get angry. But sometimes she reached a breaking point and erupted, only to wonder later how she had lost control. Wendy came back on the line. We're casting victims for that earthquake movie, and a million people are calling all at once.
Wendy ran her own agency that hunted extras as San Francisco local color—cops with handlebar mustaches, six-foot-six drag queens, socialites who were unknowing caricatures of themselves. So she wasn't crying, Ruth realized, before the phone clicked twice. Let me get rid of this call. Ruth disliked being put on hold. What was so dire that Wendy had to tell her first thing in the morning? Had Wendy's husband had an affair? Not good old Joe. What, then? Art ducked his head through the doorway and tapped his watch.
Seven twenty-five, he mouthed. Ruth was about to tell him it was Wendy with an emergency, but he was already striding down the narrow hallway. Let's hustle! Ruth is taking you to the ice rink in five minutes. Get a move on. When she was not in a hurry, she enjoyed listening to her friend's ramblings. Wendy was a divining rod for strange disturbances in the earth's atmosphere. She was witness to bizarre sights: three homeless albinos living in Golden Gate Park, a BMW suddenly swallowed up by an ancient septic tank in Woodside, a loose buffalo strolling down Taraval Street.
She was the maven of parties that led people to make scenes, start affairs, and commit other self-renewing scandals. Ruth believed Wendy made her life more sparkly, but today was not a good time for sparkles. I have to take the girls to ice-skating school—". Wendy interrupted. That's what she called to tell me. He's thirty-eight, she's sixty-four. Can you believe it? She pictured Mrs. Scott with a groom in a bow tie and gym shorts, the two of them reciting vows on a treadmill. Was Wendy upset? She wanted to say the right thing. What, though? About five years before, her own mother had had a boyfriend of sorts, but he had been eighty.
Ruth had hoped T. Instead T. Once she had hung up, Ruth reminded herself of the tasks she needed to do today. Ten things, and she tapped first her thumb. One, take the girls to skating school. Two, pick up Art's suits at the dry cleaner's. Three, buy groceries for dinner. Four, pick up the girls from the rink and drop them off at their friend's house on Jackson Street. Five and Six, phone calls to that arrogant client, Ted, then Agapi Aguos, whom she actually liked. Seven, finish the outline for a chapter of Agapi Agnos's book. Eight, call her agent, Gideon, whom Wendy disliked. And Nine—what the hell was Nine? She knew what Ten was, the last task of the day.
She had to call Miriam, Art's ex-wife, to ask if she would let them have the girls the weekend of the Full Moon Festival dinner, the annual reunion of the Youngs, which she was hosting this year. So what was Nine? She always organized her day by the number of digits on her hands. Each day was either a five or a ten. She wasn't rigid about it: add-ons were accommodated on the toes of her feet, room for ten unexpected tasks.
Nine, Nine Sure, you could quibble about this detail or that. But the bottom line is unmistakable: This is a potent addition to the operatic repertoire and a triumph for both the company and general director David Gockley , who backed the undertaking. The extra layer of theatrical pageantry concocted by director Chen Shi-Zheng is a treat for the eyes, even when the visuals become overinsistent. But it bears an ironic edge as well, because at heart, "Bonesetter" is an exercise in uncluttered simplicity.
The words are sung by the three generations of women who together form not simply the emotional backbone of the opera, but its compound protagonist. They are Ruth, the American-born career woman with too little knowledge of her Chinese roots; LuLing, her immigrant mother; and LuLing's mother, the title character known as Precious Auntie, whose stage time is mostly spent hovering in midair as a vengeful ghost.
Together, these three women move back and forth through time, from , when LuLing is nearing death, to China in the s and s, and the events that establish a path for all three. The links among the women are underscored by having one singer - the superb mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao , in a career-making performance - impersonate both daughters, Ruth and the young LuLing.
In reducing her overstuffed novel to the sleekly efficient scale required in opera, Tan has made a welcome beeline for the essentials of her tale. Gone, thank heavens, is the slushy modern-romance stuff that keeps Ruth from being as interesting a figure as she should be; gone, too, is the endless accretion of detail and anecdote that make much of the latter half of the novel a slog. What's left are what the characters know is true - the continuity of family and culture, the intertwining of generations in an unbroken chain of love and guilt and responsibility. The assignment is then left to Wallace to upholster that framework, and he does it with sensitivity and panache.
In contrast with his rather watery score for "Harvey Milk," which came to San Francisco in after a premiere at the Houston Grand Opera , Wallace here takes full responsibility for shaping the drama through music. The trick is simple but effective. This opening sequence brings up one of the most pertinent motifs in the novel. LuLing senses her memories are failing, so she writes them down just as her mother before her did. This opening also introduces the audience to Ruth and her bizarre habit of not speaking for what seems as reasons unknown.
She expresses her pleasure at not talking and the readers are confused as to why. This introduction leaves readers wanting to know more and helps introduce the characters and their motivations. In reality, Ruth is determined to treat her mother with the care she should have as a child, and explains this to him. To her surprise, Art agrees and supports her, even taking out the money to send her to an assisted-living residence. After he explains to her that it is not a nursing home and will treat her like a human being, as well as give her the proper care, they still must trick her into living there as they know the difficulty of her mother and money. This ending sequence brings back the root of their problems- lying. The scars on her face and body were a result of a failed suicide attempt after the man whose hand in marriage Precious Auntie had rejected killed her fiance.
This inability to communicate as well as her physical disfigurement symbolize the trauma that Auntie had suffered and altered the way that society treated her. However, despite her gruesome outward physical appearance, Precious Auntie is beautiful in her personality and actions. Her maimed face isolates her from the rest of the world which consequently brings her closer to her daughter, LuLing. AprilParallels, both dramatic and musical, abound. Thankfully he did not have to pay anyone off. LuLing read the pages The Bonesetters Daughter Summary and discovered The Bonesetters Daughter Summary was her mother. Please The Bonesetters Daughter Summary where to send king lears eldest daughter The Bonesetters Daughter Summary sample. Ruth had tried to The Bonesetters Daughter Summary the pages.