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A Dream of China by Ovidia Yu

The definition of gender according to Online Oxford Dictionary ist he state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones). Next, the definition of relationship according to Online Oxford Dictionary is the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected. The approach that I am using to critically analyse this short story is gender approach. If we really read the story carefully, we can see the portrayal of gender approaches through the relationship between men and women. Then, after some critical thinking, these relationships have been divided into two that is relationship between man and women in Singapore and relationship between men and women in China. The ways the men are treating the women in these two different places will clearly show the gender approach that is used in analysing this short story.

There are three type of relationship that is going to be explained and elaborated in this essay. First, we are going to explain the relationships in Singapore. The first relationship is relationship between father and daughter. We can see in the short story that the daughter has a good relationship with the father. Example from the text is at page 161 teaching me the right way to hold a Chinese calligraphy brush or telling me stories. This shows how much the father love her child so much. He himself teaches his daughter how to hold the calligraphy brush correctly. Other than teaching his daughter, he also told story about China repeatedly to her daughter. He wants his daughter to know about all the beauty of China. Other than that, her father sacrifices a lot for her daughter. For example, my father retired in order to devote his time to bringing me up(pg 161). After the death of his wife, he stops working to fully dedicated himself to raise up his daughter. This shows how much he loves his daughter. The second relationship that we can see in Singapore is the relationship between husband and wife. The husband treated the wife with respect. The wife is given freedom to voice out her opinion to her husband. This is shown when she argued with

her husband why her father does not go back to China when he got the chance long time ago. Other than that, the husband also takes the responsibility of his wife. This is shown when one of their babies cry for the wife, the husband goes to take a look of that babies because the wife is talking to her father. The evidence can be found in page 167 one of my babies... . The responsible of taking care of children is usually the wife responsibility but the husband also takes the responsibility. This portrays how well and close their relationship.

The third relationship does not happen in Singapore but in China. This is the relationship between uncle and aunt. They are the narrator relative that went back to China. The relationship between the uncle and aunt is in bad condition. This is shown in page 169, when the narrator comes to visit her uncle and aunt, her uncle always curse her aunt when they are having meal together. The aunt as the wife of the uncle does not have any right to speak out her opinion in the family. This is shown in page 170,when the aunt speaks in low voice to avoid her husband from hearing what she said. This shows that the aunt cannot give her opinion in the family. We can also see that the uncle put all household responsibilities to her aunt. This is shown in page 170 when the uncle does not help his wife to wash the dinner bowls. This shows that they are not working together as husband and wife. This also depicted that their relationship is not in good condition. The incident of the uncle asking the narrator to come back to Singapore and leave her wife there also shows how their relationship is not in a good condition.

Now, we can see clearly that there is a difference on how the women are treated in Singapore and China. In Singapore, we can see that women are treated nicely. Man also willing to sacrifice many things for women. Women were given their rights to give their opinion in the family. Man and women also share equal rights in the family. There is no one man is superior than other in the family. Other than that, man and women also support each other in taking on responsibilities. For example, man also watches the child when

women have work to do. According to Natalie Arton (2007) Make sure that your significant other feels your love, support and encouragement. So, man should always support and encourage women to show that they are being love and appreciated. This situation however is different in China. In China, women are treated badly. This is because they are treated like slaves. There were cursed and humiliated. Then, they are supposedly to serve the man until the end of her life. Other than that, women also have no right to voice out their opinion in the family. Other than this, women are treated so badly that man wants to leave the women without even saying a word.

In conclusion, women in Singapore are treated nicely by man compared to women in China.