The Paper Menagerie CER

In Ken Liu’s short story, “The Paper Menagerie” the paper origami that his mother makes symbolizes his mother’s love towards him and how love is fragile just like a piece of paper. Throughout the short story, the author often describes the origami coming to life and that this was “her magic”, we also can see that there is a relationship between the development of the mother and the development of the origami she made. For example, we can see this development in the story where it stated: “But Mom’s kind was special, She breathed into them so that they shared her breath, and thus moved with her life. This was her magic.” In the beginning, we can see that from Jack’s point of view that the origami looks like it’s alive and that it was because of his mother who gave life to these origami animals. But as the story continues Jack’s personality develops and his mother dies also the paper origami animals changed as well after his mom’s death: “The paper animals did not move. Perhaps whatever magic had animated them stopped when Mom died.” From these key points in the short story, we can see that Mom’s magic has something to do with her feelings towards her son which is the love she gives to her son Jack.

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