Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown

This study guide will help you analyse the text “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown” by Anne Jew. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown”
Author: Anne Jew
Published in: “Pens of Many Colours: A Canadian Reader”
Date of Publication: 1997
Genre: Short Story

Anne Jew is a Canadian writer with Chinese origins. So far, she has published several short stories and produced several short movies.


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The short story does not include many symbols, but we can still identify some symbolism related to the contrast between light and dark. For instance, when the author is with Todd, there is a lot of symbolism related to light, which suggests that being in love is like enjoying the sunny weather: “Lately I have been walking home from school in the sunshine with Todd. It's October and the leaves have turned, though the temperature hasn't changed since the end of August.”

At the end of the short story, there are a lot of references to dark and moonlight, which become symbolic of the grandmother’s death: “I didn't draw the curtains, so the moon shines into my room. Everything looks calm and quiet covered in moonlight.”

Also, all the references to TV shows and movies are symbols of Western culture, while Chinatown becomes symbolic of Eastern, Chinese culture. Furthermore, Chinatown is also symbolic of the girl’s relationship with the grandmother and her roots. The girl stops going there because she distances herself from both the woman and her culture.

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Everyone Talked Loudly in Chinatown

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