Summary of Section 1
Adeline received a medal/award for being top of her class. The award was written in english, so they couldn't read it yet untill she learned to read english in school. Her mom died giving birth to her, so she is considered bad luck. She has a sister and three older brothers, all older. She lives with her father, siblings, grandparents, and her aunt. everything was done and seen in French, becasue France had taken over their city of Tianjin. Because of custom, her grandmother's feet were bound when she was young, so her feet were very small and deformed. Her feet hurt so bad that she hasn't been able to run or jump since she had it done. Adeline's third brother congratulated her for her award, and her other bother was picking on her and going to beat her up becasue he was mad that she was getting the attention. Her step mother is very beautiful and because of it, her children are considered far more superior to Adeline and her siblings. Her father was very proud of her for getting the award, and that felt very good too, because she never got any attention or affection from her father. Her and her older sister would get a ride in the rickshaw to and from school becasue her older sister complained of having to walk Adeline there. At school, she felt as though she blonged there, no one looked down on her and she was included. After school gets out, her older sister takes a very long time to get to the rickshaw becuase she wants to be with her friends for longer, so Adeline and Ah Mao, the rickshaw puller, have to wait for her. Adeline was winning the award for her class every week, which displeased her siblings, but mad her father proud, and she was always happy for that. Japan had taken over most of China, so her brothers were required to take Japanese classes, and whenever they were near a Japanese soldier, they had to show their respect and bow, otherwise they would be punished. The Japanese demanded to be her father's business partners, because he had such a good business. They would come by the house daily looking for him, wearing surgical masks and carrying bayonets with sharp tips. Then her father disappeared one day, then months later, her step mother and older sister disappeared too. The Japanese came looking for her father a few more times, but then lost interest as the business went down. After her father, step mother, and sister had been missing for over a year, they had almost forgotten about them, and hr grandmother had hired several extra maids to keep the house runing. Her grandmother was soaking her feet in hot water one night, when she had a huge stroke, fainted, and died. To keep her grandmother's body company, the childern had to sleep on the floor of the room of the coffin, and there was a big funeral the next day. Six weeks after her grandmother died, her grandfather took them out, and they went to the train station where they found her father. He told them that they were going to Shanghai where he had been living in a house with step mother and their sister, becasue they wanted to get away from the Japanese soldiers. Their grandfather had to stay back in Tianjin, so they had to say bye to him for now. Their house in Shanghai is very nice and big and decorated well, they are also not to invite friends over or visit their houses either, and they have been enrolled at expensive missionary schools. In the morning, her brothers were taken to school, but seperate from her because it was in the opposite direction of her school, and her sister's school started an hour later than her's, so she was still sleeping when Adeline woke up. The cook had to bike her to school becasue she was going to be late if someone didn't bring her really soon, and the other maids had forgoten about her. After school had gotten out, nobody had remembered to pick her up, so after a whie, she just started walking down the streets not knowing where she was at all. When it had gotten dark, she went and stood outside a restaurant and a lady eventually came up to her and asked what she was doing there, so she went inside with her and used the phone and her father came to pick her up there. Her aunt, grandfather, and step siblings were schedueled to move into the Shanghai house at the end of October and she was very excited about for that. When they arrived, everyone was happy to see them, and her step siblings looked so different and bigger, her little step sister was shying away from her own mother because she was a stranger to her since she had not seen her in over a year and had been taken care of by her aunt. The little sister ran away from her mother, and when her mother picked her up, she yelled don't like you, don't want you, go away! and squirmed trying to get away. Everyone was shocked at the scene and the mother was very upset that her own daughter didn't want her. The mother startedbeating the little daughter becasue she would not stop fussing and squirming, so Adeline told her step mother to stop because she's only a baby. The step mother get very angry, saying how dare you, and to get out, and that she will never forgive her for being o arrogant.
I thought that the first section of this book was very well told. I could really imagine the setting, and can understand what kind of environment Adeline grew up in. I am kind of upset that the young child was getting beat, and for no reason at all, she didn't recognize her mother, therfore should not interact with her, which is exactly what she did, but she got beat up. If I were in Adeline's situation I would definitely do the same, or just say anything to stop beating the child. It's terrible that these things actually do happen even today in our world.