Sample Essay

1)      Lindo Jong and Jing Mei Woo are two characters in the story who have become acclimated to their American environment. Jing Mei has denied her Chinese heritage, even taking to calling herself June. She also ascribes to the American mantra of free speech and expressing emotions instead of her Chinese culture, which taught her mother to hide her emotions and be critical of her daughter as a show of live. Lindo can also be seen as a critical and controlling woman towards her daughter. Lindo’s ability to show her American or Chinese side, results in her being seen as a tourist in her own country.

2)      The film uses various stereotypes such as Rose’s mother in laws racism and strict adherence to Chinese values as in the case of Lindo and the concept of destiny as in the case of Ying-ying St. Clair in order to create a sense of the divide between the two cultures. This allows the viewer to get a sense of the difficulties these women have to deal with to acclimate to their surroundings.

3)      One of the differences I noticed is that Chinese women who take pride in their heritage do not usually adopt American traits. Additionally, it is surprising that all the daughters in the film wish to marry American men given the importance Chinese families give to maintaining their culture and heritage. However, the loss of identity and adoption of subservience is a theme which is quite common within this ethnic group and the main characters provide examples of this quite well.

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