Of the four classes of prostitutes working Shanghai at the time, the Wild Chickens, Taxi Dancers, Sing-Song Girls and First-Night Virgins, Lucy Chang defines a fifth. She is not so much a call girl as she is a mistress for hire. The estranged daughter of JINGWEI CHANG, she is the love child of his affair with Simone Beauchamp.
Her nearly flawless beauty is marred only by the scars on her wrist from several suicide attempts. After her recovery from one attempt, which occurs during the series, Du Yuesheng beats her as she has, in his opinion, vandalized his property in her attempt to take her own life. It is implied that Du Yuesheng is in love with her yet spurns her, as he can never be faithful to one woman.
She has trouble expressing emotions and disguises feelings of love and gratitude with disparaging comments. She opens up only to show her affection for Henry Montgomery, whose situation, she feels, is worse than her own. Henry later helps her through her recovery from opium addiction.
Other than the relationship that will develop with Henry, her closest connection is with her amah, or nanny, who raised her. The relationship resembles that of a master and devoted body slave.
Lucy has an unstated and suppressed dream to break out from her station in life and leave Shanghai.
“Sometimes numb isn’t enough.”
— Lucy Chang
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