Analysis of Where the Gods Fly

1278 Words Feb 14th, 2015 6 Pages
Stella Vallik Christianshavns Gymnasium November 2012
Analytical Essay
Jean Kwok: Where The Gods Fly

Imagine permanently moving to a country where the language, the culture... everything is foreign to you. This is the reality of most immigrant parents, who try to raise their children safely in a foreign country, where strong influences can strip a person of their cultural identity. This is the exact situation we are dragged into, in the short story 'Where The Gods Fly' written by Jean Kwok. Here we meet a Chinese mother's unwelcoming approach, towards her daughter's passion for the arts of ballet.
The story is told by a first person narrator, from a mothers perspective. Her, her husband and her daughter migrated from China when
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Occasionally she returns to narrating in present tense, when reflecting over certain events in the past, for example one of Pearl's teachers once told her that ballet could get her a college scholarship, and she questions this statement: “Now, I myself do not understand how that could be, but who am I to argue with the teacher?”(P.2, L.72-3). The reader becomes more drawn into the narrators present religious state, as the story evolves and intensifies. You begin to understand the correlation between the past and her present religious practice: it's what stimulates her thoughts, and therefore also the course of the story. We clearly see how she draws parallels between her present state and the past, when she is explaining what “Walking the winds of fate”(P.3, L.7) is, and she is reminded of something Pearls once said. The climax of the story, is stated very obviously in the text: “The evil winds had begun to foment around the time Pearl was in eighth grade, when she auditioned for that other ballet school, the legendary one”(P.4, L.123-4). She indicates a religious definition to point out this plot change. This is the first time she truly sees her daughter dancing, and she realizes that she has lost her daughter to a universe, which she can't take part in, because she doesn't belong there, she explains: “I suddenly wanted to gather her in my arms and flee the room, flee these people.”(P. 4, L.136). However, she couldn't act upon her opinions, because her husband, Pearl's
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