Unpolished Gem

by

Alice Pung

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Alina Pung Character Analysis

Alice’s sister, and Kuan and Kien’s youngest child. Because Kien is always busy working, Alice must practically raise Alina after she is born. She feeds her and tests the milk on her wrist, and she even makes the girl’s clothing on her sewing machine. While Alice resents all the thankless work she is expected to do, she has a very close relationship with Alina. Alina helps to pull Alice out of her depression after her exams, and when Alice stares up at the sky at Huyen Thai’s funeral, Alina is there again. Throughout the story, Alina serves to remind Alice of the importance of family and responsibility.
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Alina Pung Character Timeline in Unpolished Gem

The timeline below shows where the character Alina Pung appears in Unpolished Gem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Gender and Inequality Theme Icon
...learns embroidery as well, and she makes hats and stuffed animals. Kien has another baby, Alina, and Kuan buys Alice a sewing machine, which she uses to make clothing for Alina. (full context)
Part 3
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
...being constructed and to worship the fruits of our labour.” Kien even dressed Alison and Alina in dresses for the drive. Alice and Alexander would grow bored at the building site,... (full context)
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
...man with tin can over his head? Stupid idiot.” Alice helps her read one of Alina’s children’s books, and they read it three times. Alice applauds Kien for reading the entire... (full context)
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
Gender and Inequality Theme Icon
Kien tells Alice that it is time to go pick up Alina and Alison from school. But it is already too late. Alice had walked the long... (full context)
Gender and Inequality Theme Icon
...Kuan even drives her to the market to do the shopping. She babysits Alison and Alina, and they play games and laugh. “Wah, look how good the house looks!” Kien says.... (full context)
Part 4
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
...in her room, crying. She can’t concentrate enough to even read a book. One day, Alina knocks on her door and silently walks into the room. She climbs into Alice lap... (full context)
Part 5
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
Gender and Inequality Theme Icon
...Kien says, “No.” One day, Kien tells Kuan that Alice was seen kissing Michael at Alina’s birthday party. “I gave him a peck on the cheek!” Alice yells. “What shame!” Kien... (full context)
Epilogue
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
“What are you doing, Alice?” Alina asks as Alice lays on the grass looking up at the sky. Alina lays down... (full context)