There When his friend came over to

There are many themes that can be found throughout Liu’s story, but I was drawn to those about societal expectations and conformity, along with cherishing those in your life before they are gone. In the beginning of “Paper Menagerie”, the boy speaks of his mother in an admiring way (as many children would). He reflects on these beautiful memories of her caring nature, along with her gifts of the magical origami creatures. However, it isn’t until he becomes more aware of the judgement that comes from others (his friend, along with the neighborhood ladies) that he begins to resent his mother. He seems to wish that his mother was not Chinese, or that she was more integrated into society. After his childhood, he seems to take on a rather apathetic stance towards his mother, and even is cold towards her while she lay on her deathbed. However, once he read the note that she left behind for him after she had passed away, he begins to realize what he had taken for granted throughout his lifetime. This theme is quite common, as I feel that many people take others for granted until they are no longer there.Along with theme, symbolism was a large part of what I enjoyed throughout “Paper Menagerie”. The symbol that stood out the most was the origami, and how it seemed to represent his mother. At the beginning, the origami was full of life, all while his mother got to enjoy his youth. When his friend came over to play, the boy wanted to share this origami with his friend, which instead was destroyed. With this destruction seemed to come the spark of resentment. When he grew older and became resentful towards her, the origami was put away to collect dust.An element I enjoyed in “Uncle Roc” by Gilb was perspective. I thought that it really added an interesting touch to tell the story through the perspective of this young child, and to explain things just as a young child would.Out of both genres, I would say that I prefer magic realism. While the element of realism allows for the characters to be written in a believable way, this also allows the author the freedom to bring other elements to life throughout the story. Using magical elements that cannot be found in our own physical world allows the reader to become invested in a very unique way.