Paper, a short story written by Catherine Lim, was first published in 1977 as Paper Marriage. In Paper as well as Paper Marriage, the lead character is a young woman who lives with her mother and brother. The woman has been dating a man from work for three years, but she feels no romantic passion for him. She marries him to please her mother, who was constantly asking when she would marry him. While Paper Marriage centers on the woman’s relationship with her husband, Paper is about her relationship with another man named Daniel Zhang.
Paper begins two years after Paper Marriage ends, and Paper tells the story of the couple’s blossoming love for each other, which eventually leads to their engagement. However, it seems as though there are obstacles preventing them from getting engaged; firstly, they must follow certain rules set out by Daniel’s parents (their marriage cannot take place during either of their father’s death anniversary), secondly they must wait until Daniel has enough money saved up to buy an apartment where they can live together in peace and stability (which takes three more years).
Paper tells of the couple’s efforts in overcoming all obstacles. Once the couple reaches their goal, Paper ends on a happy note with a wedding and an apartment full of furniture waiting for them. Paper begins where Paper Marriage left off, with the protagonist’s husband “Gerald” still alive and living with her mother in a flat that is owned by Gerald’s family. The woman talks about how she misses Daniel when he leaves for National Service camp every year.
She speaks about how they meet regularly every week after his return from camp to enjoy time together until it becomes too hot outside to go out anymore. In one such visit, she mentions how he has become more playful and teasing towards her since his last return from camp. Paper continues with the two of them growing closer together every visit, and her describing how she looks forward to these visits so much that it feels as if “the time [is] being dragged out” when he has to leave again. Paper ends on a brief note about their upcoming wedding ceremony.
Paper is set in Singapore, and Paper tells about how both characters live with their parents and grandparents (though Paper leaves out what happens to Gerald’s family). Paper also mentions that the protagonist lives with an older brother who does not work—he stays at home all day until his mother returns from work. The protagonist talks often about different things she likes such as decorating her room or simply wasting time reading magazines or papers (hence the title Paper). Paper also mentions that the protagonist’s parents are very traditional, which is why they want her to marry Gerald.
Paper also talks about how Chinese characters in Singapore must follow “rules” such as those set out by Daniel’s parents (which Paper does not directly state but Paper can be inferred from Paper and Paper ; Paper states that Daniel was born during his father’s death anniversary, and Paper describes his father as a traditional person whose wishes should be respected; since he died during the year of the pig, Daniel was born during the year of the pig, and therefore Paper explains that people must wait one or three years before marrying someone else).
Paper primarily focuses on the protagonist and her relationship with Daniel over time. The story mainly centers around her and her feelings and thoughts about him, and Paper shows how their relationship changes over time. Paper also talks about different activities that they go on together to spend time with each other. Paper also talks about the obstacles they must overcome to be able to marry one another.
Paper describes all of these moments as exciting and tells readers that she enjoys herself during such times, even though Paper states at times how afraid Paper is of doing certain things for fear of embarrassing Paper or simply because Paper does not know Paper will do in such occasions (for example, when Paper first meets Daniel’s parents). Paper writes about the protagonist’s relationship with her boyfriend “Daniel.
Paper states how they begin their relationship in Paper , and Paper talks about how their relationship becomes more serious over time and begins to grow closer together each day. The story mainly focuses on how the protagonist and Daniel go through different obstacles in order to be able to live together in peace. Paper also talks about when the two of them finally get married, which is what Paper sets out to do from the beginning of Paper.
The narrator of the story, Choo, lives in Singapore during World War 2. It was at this time that her mother died in an accident involving the black-out. After which she moved to live with her grandmother in another house far away from where she lived with her parents. The initial few months were rough because Choo did not know how to get along with her grandmother but after sometime, they both grew accustomed to each other’s routines and learnt to help one another out in the household chores.
During their stay at this house, Choo gets into trouble when she picks up some papers that fell out of a man’s pocket who walks past them on the street while they were out on their daily visit to the market. Upon getting home, Choo asked her grandmother if they could make paper from the papers that she picked up. Her grandmother told her that it was too late because papers are made of wood but still allowed Choo to try and make some herself. Paper Paper Choo spends almost an entire day preparing for the process of making paper with no success at all.
She then decided that she had enough and threw away the whole contents of her bucket filled with pulp into a nearby open drain nearby which lead to a river nearby. To both, their surprise, as the water level in the river rose during a stormy night, pages of their own homemade paper floated back onto land as others washed up on the banks of nearby villages; their neighbors went about collecting and reusing them, which left Choo and her grandmother wondering if this was a sign that they should never make paper again.
Paper Paper On another note, Mr Lim is an author who has written many short stories such as Paper Paper (1976), The Gallant Weaver (1973) and Treasures of the Sea (1983). Paper Paper is renowned for its cultural significance because it touches on aspects such as life under occupation, post war recovery through personal experience in a time when Singapore was going through a major economic transformation. Paper Paper is set during World War 2 when Japanese forces occupy Singapore.