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Ello, governers!  Welcome to the O.A.W.A. web page! Although it may have taken us about a month, it's finally up. On this web page you will learn everything important about An Ocean Apart, A World Away. You can check out any of the tabs above created by 7C Tigers.                        ENJOY!!!!!!!!



Book Summary

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Yanyan, an outspoken 16-year-old Chinese girl living in Nanjing in 1921. Dreams of studying Western medicine and becoming a doctor. She has the support of her father, a worldly man who has spent time in Europe and encourages her to think of a career, in an era when most Chinese women think only of marriage. Yanyan has no plans for marriage... until she meets handsome Liang, her brother's friend, who is plotting to restore the Manchu dynasty and wants her to run off with him to be a revolutionary. She is torn between her ambition. Her family, and her feelings toward Liang, but decides to go off to America instead to study at Cornell University. The second half of the story deals with her experiences there, as she struggles to adjust to American society, with university courses and prejudice against both Chinese and women. Never one to back down in the face of difficulty, Yanyan is determined to succeed despite her loneliness and the hard work involved.




Liang Baoshu




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            What do you think about when you think of Yanyan’s mother? Mother is a very traditional person. She is also very old school. Mother is a cultural/traditional woman who likes doing things the way they were done before.


           Mother certainly does not like it when Yanyan wants to attend Cornell University. When Yanyan talks at the dinner table Mother does not like it because she thinks it’s unladylike! She is also very strict. When Yanyan was going to her brother’s room to sit with them and Liang Baoshu, Mother hated the idea of Yanyan sitting with boys. Mother is the complete opposite of father. She likes to stay traditional and has bound feet. This woman does not even speak up at the dinner table because Chinese women are usually quiet and did not share their opinions. When Yanyan makes decisions about her future, Mother tries to convince Father otherwise. She doesn’t exactly like all the decisions Yanyan is making, but at the end she agrees to let her have her way. It is very hard for mother to accept changes because she was also very traditional when she was a child. She probably followed what her own mother had done and now was trying to pass it on to her own daughter. The only problem is that Yanyan already decided her future and does not need her mother watching over her and telling her all these things she is doing are unladylike. In the beginning of the book, Mother is way stricter then at the end of the book. As the book goes on, Mother loosens a bit and starts agreeing to Yanyan’s decisions more often, but what catches Mother’s attention is when she feels  the connection between Yanyan and Baoshu:she acts quickly. She takes father to the side and tells him what she thinks is going on. She thinks it’s indecent for young people to meet or communicate in any way before a formal arrangement. Father was always explaining to mother that times have changed and they must too, but mother disagree.


          Yanyan’s mother represents a very traditional side. She has bound feet. Bound feet is when you tie your feet together so you will take small and slow steps like a lady should. The men would not marry a women if she did not have bound feet so maybe that’s why mother was so used to girls having bound feet.


           This woman was very shy to talk at the dinner table because there were men around, even if it was just her family. It was funny how her own husband had to encourage her just to talk. She didn’t like sharing her opinions, as we said before. It was also hard for her to talk to her own sons too!


             Mother’s idea of a Chinese woman isn’t anywhere near how Yanyan is acting. She likes doing everything the way it was done in the “old days”. Mother should be more opened and try new things, like father. We know it’s good to keep our past tradition and pass it on like Mother does, but you wont know what new traditions are coming your way if you keep the old.


          Mother is very old school. She is a woman that wants her daughter to do everything the way it was done in the past. She doesn’t realize everything is different in the present. Although mother is an awesome woman she should still be opened to changes!

                                                       Bye: Zeinab Jalloul, Hyatt

Chinese History

Gender Equality

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                                                    Gender Equality

Have you ever been treated usually because of your gender? Gender inequality means no matter what gender you are you should still be treated equally. It does not matter whether you are a man or women you should still be treated the same. People in real life and in some novels experience inequality because of their gender. Equality is important to everyone and it is something everyone needs. In the novel An Ocean Apart, A World Away, the main character (Yanyan) is treated with inequality because of her gender.

    One example of gender inequality is when Yanyan and her aunt were discussing her marriage. Her aunt said, “No decent gentleman would want to marry a women who worked outside the home.” But Yanyan did not want to get married because she wanted to follow her dreams and become a doctor. She was going to earn a living by working. She wanted to go to college to study medicine. Yanyan felt angry because she was told to get married. Another example is when Yanyan goes with Baoshu and eldest brother to Shanghai to meet Ailin. But, on their way they meet with a gang in the alley. Eldest brother and Baoshu started to fight against the gang while Yanyan was told to just stand against the wall. This shows gender inequality because eldest brother and Baoshu were fighting and Yanyan was not doing anything. The third time gender inequality shows up is when Yanyan convinces eldest brother to teach her kungfu. Kungfu is mostly played by men and not women. Eldest brother taught her the basics techniques of self-defense. Eldest brother admitted she was a good pupil. The fourth time inequality shows up is when Yanyan visits the school advisor to decide on what course she would take. Yanyan already knew what course she would like take and they were chemistry, biology, physics, and math. The advisor told her to take home economics because it was mainly for women he also told her not to take physics because women don’t have the mental ability to learn it. This shows gender inequality because women can take any subject they want to. Women have the same mental ability as men do. Home economics is for both men and women and a women is not the only one to do work around the house. A female can work outside or in the home its what she prefers not what anyone else prefers. The university Yanyan goes to does not do what it praises itself on doing, this means that the university does not give women the same equality as men and the university says it does give the same equality. Gender inequality in this book shows up several times.

    We learn a lot of things from this book, one of the things are to treat everyone equally whether they are women or a man. Women can do anything she wants to. If a women wants to go and fight well then go do. If a woman wants to stay and work in the house, well if that’s what she prefers than she can. A woman does not have to be told what to do by a man. A female can depend on herself and she does not need to depend on a man. The same thing is equal to men; women and men have the same mental ability. We learn a lot of good lessons from this historical novel.


                                             By, Sukaina  &  Batool



Story Timeline


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   Have you ever had your identity taken away?An identity is a part of who you are.In the book, An Ocean Apart, A World Away, Yanyan gets her identity taken away.Identity is what you are made up of.It is like a puzzle if somthing like your name gets taken away your not the same.
If your identity is taken away then a part of you is taken away.Your identity is important.
    Your identity is impotant and no one should take it away.In the book, An Ocean Apart, A World Away,
Yanyan gets her name taken away.She
has to change her name to Shelia.She doesn't like it but she has to deal with it. This relates to reaal life because these days when people
come to work at a job they usually change their names.My uncle when he first came from iraq had to change his name to a name everyone
had no troubles saying. He didn't like it but he got used to it.the only reason he stayed with his new name was because ha had no choice and
didn't want to lose his job.In the book, OAWA
, the Chinese restraint has to change their foods so it can be liked. They were forced to change
it or else their business wouldn't be a sucess.Identity is important because it describes who you are.When you look at somone you can
describe them by how they look like.If they had none of these things then you wouldn't be able to describe them.Identity is important
because it's a part of you and you wouldn' want to lose it.People shouldn't snatch things away from you.In the book, OAWA
, thats what
happens when the teacher changes their names.Names are a part of who you are.Nobody should change your name.Names are important
because it's who people know you as whether it's Amanda or Mariam.You should be happy with whatever name you have.
    Identity is a part of you it is who you are. people shouldn't take any part of your identity away because they would be like taking a hole
away from you.Your identity is important.





Savage Chickens

Tradition vs. New Age

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Tradition and New Age

        Have you ever thought of tradition an new age? Tradition and new age mean two totally different things. Or atleast they do in the novel An Ocean Apart, a World Away. Tradition and new age mean many things.
       Traditions are things that you follow from following generations. In the novel, An Ocean Apart, a World Away
there are a couple of people who believe in traditions. Those people are mother and second brother. Mother is traditional; she likes to follow old traditions. Mother has bound feet, she doesn’t speak up during dinner, and believes in getting married. Mother always wants to know what her daughter is doing at all times because she wants to make sure that she isn’t “breaking” the traditions or in other words doing something out of the box. It mother were to se e the incident in the Shanghai alley, she probably would have fainted. Mother is also traditional because she freaks out when father suggests For Yanyan (her daughter) to go to Shanghai. Especially when deciding who she is going to go with. Father recommends his secretary, the mother goes ballistic. She will not allow Yanyan to go to another city with a man of no relation. Even thought that decision is up to the father of a Chinese family because that is how things were done those days.
             Second brother is traditional because he always yells at Yanyan when she says she is going to be a doctor. For example, one day after dinner Yanyan followed her brothers and Laing Baushu in to the bedroom. As they were talking about there jobs, Yanyan said that she was going to be a doctor. Second brother called her stupid and obviously believes that a women could do no such thing. He probably thinks that she should act more towards the female mentality. Yanyan believes second brother regards her as a nosy little brat because of the way he called her stupid. Even though she is 16 years old now.
         The last thing that is traditional is the University of Cornell. They are very traditional because they do not encourage female students to take classes other than ones that suit the female mentality. Classes that suit the female mentality are classes such as home economics. That’s is because its best for females to learn how to cook and clean other than learn science classes like biology and such. They do not believe Yanyan should take the courses that she wants. Although Yanyan takes physics classes anyway. Even though that is a double wammy because it is not for female and it is also not for 1st year students. Even though the only reason Yanyan to Cornell is because they offer lots of education for women. Plus, the founder was a women, whose name was Ezra Cornell. Little did Yanyan Know that there is not really that much to offer, Yanyan and father believe that that is not what Ezra Cornell intended. Plus, if Ezra Cornell were here this day, then there would be more education for women
            In the novel, An Ocean Apart, a World Away, there are a few of people who are not traditional and except new age. Those people are father, Yanyan, and L.H. Father is no traditional because he is very open minded to new ideas and is encouraging mother to do so. He is also trying to get mother to speak up during dinner time. He also lets Yanyan speak at dinner. ( He actually encourages his children to argue with him during dinner.) He allows his sixteen year old daughter to talk to a man. His name is Laing Baushu. He also allows her to follow her brother and Laing Baushu in to brother’s room. (Which disturbs mother a lot.) He is allowing Yanyan to do so because he actually wants Yanyan to get to know someone before marrying them. He also lets his daughter go to Shanghai and America. He lets her travel to another city with a man of no relation. He lets his daughter travel half way across the world for education. He also supports his daughter into becoming a doctor. He brings her scientific items from where he travels. He also allows his daughter to get married to someone without a matchmaker.
          Yanyan is not traditional because she wants to become a doctor, she learns kung fu, and she believes in being independent. She thinks that if she becomes a doctor, she will not need to be married. That is because, since she would be a doctor, she would not need a man’s wage to support her. She believes she can live on her own. She learns kung fu in order to protect and defend herself from others. She will live as an independent doctor without bound feet. She doesn’t believe in bound feet because it is basically trapping a woman in ropes
       Finally, the last person who is not traditional is L.H. He is not traditional because he is always stating that one of the reasons that he likes Yanyan is because she always does the unexpected. He enjoys how she fights for her rights to take the physics class even though the advisor does not want her to take it. He also enjoys that she is not like any other ordinary girl. He likes that she fought for him when he was getting bullied by those kids because he would not do their homework. Unlike most boys, who would be embarrassed and mad when a girl did that. Instead of acting like that, he was grateful and surprised by her actions. He also enjoys Yanyan because of her personality
        There are a lot of interpretations of tradition and new age. Some people may agree with tradition, while others agree with new age. While mother and second brother prefer traditional roles, father, Yanyan, and L.H. believe otherwise. These viewpoints are very different, and lead to many misunderstandings, but variety is the spice of life