To continue, Chin’s grandma has no money, therefore in order to experience a better quality life, she is sent to live with other relatives, however many of them consider her a burden because she’s just another mouth to feed. Each time Chin moves, she experiences harsh class differences, for example in some of the homes she stays at, they have no electricity or running water. While on the other hand, other families she has stayed with have been fortunate enough to afford color television, a maid and other luxuries. Fortunately, Chin is able to overcome class stereotypes with her intelligence, which allows her to attend a prestigious high school regardless of her class ranking.
The characters in “The Jade Peony” face many difficulties integrating from China to Canada. Sek-Lung’s older siblings were very concerned about fitting in to their Chinese-Canadian “hyphenated reality.” Throughout the story, they were very embarrassed that their Grandmother wanted to stay true to her culture by doing things and keeping traditions that were considered peculiar by the people around them. Grandmama carefully made special chimes created from a treasure trove of glass fragments. The reason that Sek-Lung’s siblings were embarrassed was because of how Grandmama would acquire these materials. She would search for them in back alleys and rummage through their neighbours garbage cans. Sek-Lung’s neighbours would constantly judge their family. The neighbours assumed that Sek-Lung’s family was poor because Grandmama was going through their garbage cans. They were ashamed of how Grandmama didn't fit into Canadian society. What Grandmama was doing was considered fine in a poor village in China, but in their new environment, it was considered wrong and weird.
Chinese families are highly misunderstood and stereotyped in the United States. It is important to understand a different culture before one makes the assumptions produced by these stereotypes. In order to find a better understanding about Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans, one must do research on that countries heritage, traditions, and other customs before submerging one-self into a Chinese families home. I chose to experience and observe a Chinese family who was kind enough to let me be a guest in their home to share dinner.
Your last name belongs to the family, and you can’t cut yourselves off from your ancestors.” To this, the young boy answers “Baloney!.” This particular argument not only highlights the cultural differences in their thoughts on the meaning of names but also the different definition of a family each culture has. In the Chinese culture, the family is centered around the veneration of the ancestors and elders are the ones who hold the power within the household due to their wise nature. While in American culture the family is commonly defined as only including the nuclear family members, the mother, the father, and their children. These values clashed during the argument between the grandfather and the child when the child not only disregarded the importance of his ancestors but also disrespected his grandfather to the point where his grandmother had to intervene and by stating “You mustn’t speak to your granddad like that.” The children further display their American interpretation of family when the boy tells the grandfather “This isn’t your home,” and then the little girl follows by stating “You’re just our guests.” This argument clearly displays the clash between family members of different generations dramatized by their
I left all my relatives and extended family in China when I immigrated to Canada. My mother is a lot alike to Mr.P from the story, as she saw hope in me and realized that I must leave the country to fulfill my potential. Us as adolescents, especially struggle between being ourselves and fitting in. Some are like the grey figure, capable of pursuing personal endeavours and breaking away from the community. Meanwhile, most people are like the black people, following everyone else and never making an impact for themselves. I, along with most people aspire to be like the grey figure. Doing things for ourselves and not caring what others think, to truly reach the point of self actualization. In conclusion, the struggle between being an individual verses a member of a community can be shown in pictures, books and real life. The picture illustrates the struggle between being an individual or a member of a community because the grey figure is shown making the decision and taking the initiative to be an individual. Also, this picture relates to Junior and myself since we both faced the struggle and stepped out of a community for our own personal pursuits in
We have all been in a situation where we have immigrated to a new country for different reasons regarding, better future, or education. In the book Jade of Peony, Wayson Choy describes a struggle of a Chinese family as they settle in Canada, with their new generation of kids born here, the family struggles to keep their children tied to their Chinese customs and traditions as they fit in this new country. The Chinese culture needs to be more open minded as it limits the future generation’s potential. Chinese culture limitations are seen through the relationship expectations, education, gender roles and jobs.
As a child, Waverly didn’t enjoy following her mother’s rules and Chinese tradition. At that age she would’ve loved to get rid of her Chinese features. But as an adult, Waverly seemed concerned that she would fit in with the locals during her trip to China, and upset when her mother told her that the people would know that she was a foreigner. Instead of trying to reject her culture as before, Waverly seems to want “the best of both worlds”, a way to embrace both her American lifestyle and Chinese culture. However, her mother, Lindo Jong, deemed the attempt at balance “too late” and describes her daughter as “American-made”.
The old people, Poh Poh and Wong Bak, never integrated into the Canadian Society, and were unable to accept the Canadian culture. They were deeply devoted to their native country and had to go back to China to die, as indicated by Wong Bak's parting words, "bone must come to rest where they most belong"(Choy Pg. 35). Adults such as Father and Stepmother were trying to fit into the new society and were ready to give up their Chinese ways. At the same time, adults like Stepmother easily became a prisoner who was trapped between two cultures. "'What does this White Demon want?' said Stepmother, I could see she wished Suling were here, with her perfect English"(Choy Pg. 140). The younger generations born in Vancouver, like Juk-Liang and Sekky, were willing to become real Canadians. They hoped to be treated equally as the Canadian children, but even though they were born in Vancouver, they were still considered to be Chinese by other Canadians. The youths were distressed under the pressure of the older adults. The older generation said, "you do not know Chinese, you are mo yung-useless or mo nos-no brain"(Choy Pg. 135). "Smart English not Smart Chinese"(Choy Pg. 141) was another derogatory comment young Chinese Canadians had to endure. It was very hard to balance between their original identities and their chosen identities. For example Mrs. Lim asks Sek-Lung:
Sek-Lung and Grandma deal with person versus person external conflict, the family who misunderstand their intentions for looking in garbage cans and find learning Chinese culture to be bothersome. The parents and children are also struggling to become accepted by the Canadian community, this is an example of person versus society conflict.
Every individual has traditions passed down from their ancestors. This is important because it influences how families share their historical background to preserve certain values to teach succeeding generation. N. Scott Momaday has Native American roots inspiring him to write about his indigenous history and Maxine Hong Kingston, a first-generation Chinese American who was inspired by the struggles of her emigrant family. Kingston and Momaday manipulate language by using, metaphors, similes, and a unique style of writing to reflect on oral traditions. The purpose of Kingston’s passage is to reflect upon her ancestor’s mistake to establish her values as an American
In the story “Two Kinds”, author Amy Tan, who is a Chinese-American, describes the conflicts in the relationship of a mother and daughter living in California. The protagonist in this story Jing-mei Woo’s mother is born and raised in China, and immigrates to the United States to escape from the Chinese Civil War. For many years she maintained complete Chinese traditional values, and has been abided by it deliberately. This kind of traditional Chinese culture has also affected her daughter profoundly. However, Jing-mei is born and raised in the United States. Despite she has a Chinese mother; she is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with Chinese
Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother, Suyuan, imparts her knowledge on her daughter through stories. The American culture influences her daughter, Jing Mei, to such a degree that it is hard for Jing Mei to understand her mother's culture and life lessons. Yet it is not until Jing Mei realizes that the key to understanding who her
Amy Tan’s short story “Two Kinds” describes a Chinese immigrant family who hope of finding success and an overall betterment of life in America. After losing everything in China, Jing-mei’s mother, Mrs. Woo, tries as a minority house maid in the 1960s to provide all the opportunities she can for her last daughter. This short story revolves around the interactions between the Jing-mei, who desires a ordinary life, and Mrs. Woo, who seeks only the best from her daughter. The values of these two characters are in constant conflict of which creates a lasting segregation between parent and child. Through Mrs. Woo’s death, Jing-mei questions her childhood upbringing and her mother’s true intentions that were masked by pure immigrant ambition.
In addition to the cultural conflicts and confusions with Chinese immigrants ethnic heritage , Amy also portrays how television shows during this era of American culture influences conflicts and confusions in the Chinese immigrant communities. In her attempt to