Examine the implications of how Jing-Mei feels about her mother's plans for her.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the most profound set of implications regarding how Jing- Mei feels about her mother's motivations relates to the cultural clash that she endures.  Jing- Mei's mere scrutiny as to her mother's motivations reflect the Western sensibility that surrounds Jing- Mei.  The fact that Jing- Mei was able to surmise the competitive element that was at play in her mother's motivations as well as her being able to openly criticize her mother's motivations through the invocation of the abandonment of the babies reflect the American aspect of the Chinese- American predicament that Jing- Mei experiences.  The analysis of her mother's motivations reflects how Jing- Mei views her reality through the lens of her Chinese heritage, but also through the Western perception that is a part of her being.  In this, Jing- Mei lives at the hyphen of an ethnically hyphenated existence.  It reflects how she really does have a foot in both worlds.  While there might be a world of opportunity present in such a condition, there is more confusion and uncertainty, evident in how she is still unable to fully understand her mother's motivations in the giving of the piano as a peace offering between them as a young woman, a different approach to motivations than what she displayed as a child.


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