Chang-Rae Lee's Coming Home Again

Decent Essays
In Chang-Rae Lee’s “Coming Home Again,” he is recalling all of the memories of his mother before she passed away. Lee regrets how he treated his mother as a teenager and feels guilty, however, he reminisces about his mother when she cooked. Lee begins his narrative about his mother towards the last months of her life. He describes the modifications made for her, such as moving her to the family room because it was tedious to transport her and her equipment up and down the stairs, and the way his mother lived before she passed away. Lee outlines where everyone sat at the dinner table and the set up in the kitchen:
“My mother would gently set herself down in her customary chair near the stove. I sat across from her, my father and sister to my left and right, and crammed in the center was all the food I had made-a spicy codfish stew,
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He describes his frustration and irritability with his mother, and how he used intimidation tactics towards her. He recollects an incident where his mother wanted him to call the bank, but the conversation turns repugnant; Lee vividly remembers her horrified expression, “her face blanched, and her neck suddenly became rigid, as if I were throttling her. She nearly struck me right then, but instead she bit her lip and ran upstairs” (89). The dialogue Lee includes gives the narrative a tone of condescension and intimidation. Lee made his mother feel worthless, even though, he actually “missed [his] parents greatly, [his] mother especially” (90). His parents visited him at open house and he stayed at their hotel that night. His mother showered him with loads of Korean food that could not be bought anywhere outside of Seoul. He enhances the imagery of the food, describing the flavors and taste of the food he ate. Since then, it became a ritual that his mother made food for him when he returned home from boarding
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