The Concubine 's Children By Denise Chang

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The Concubine’s Children was written by Denise Chang and published in 1994. The story is told by herself in an omniscient voice. Chang had written this book to find out more about herself and her family journey as Chinese-Canadian immigrants. To better piece together her family’s history and as well to put her ancestor’s events into a more chronological story for herself. Chang uses knowledge gained from family letters, photographs, and also her own recollection of the events she describes. A main theme focused on throughout the book is women’s paid and unpaid work. The women described in this book had to work hard during their daily waged jobs as well as at home for their families. While women’s double shift is still present today with…show more content…
The pressure grew through this time of depression and many women, including May-Ying, began to give in to “all the advances of her customers” . This extra money left herself some gambling and spending money. Because work was hard to find for men, the work for women was especially competitive. With the pressures of supporting not only themselves but also their extended families, women needed to build up the clients and customers coming into the tea houses. Many men would specifically come for a certain waitress to serve them, and having the ability to charm these men and keep them coming back to you was important . May-Ying was able to demonstrate this by using her looks, she “quickly proved herself to be one of the [tea house’s] best assists, she was the tiny waitress, the one with the fair skin, bright eyes, and the dangling jade-and-gold earrings” . These physical attributes allowed May-Ying to excel in her wage earning. This increase in her wage earning allowed both Chan-Sam and Huangbo to build their dream house in China. May-Ying also had her responsibilities as a mother on top of the stress to financially provide for herself and her family. The pressure to give birth to a boy was also especially high for her . Chan Sam was with her specifically to have a boy to look after both himself and his wife, Huangbo in their old age. A boy would take care of them and carry on their family name. While

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