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What is the story "Homesick" about?

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caliguh95 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2007 at 11:56 AM via web

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What is the story "Homesick" about?

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted February 26, 2007 at 3:41 AM (Answer #1)

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The book is essentially about a 12 year old girl named Jean from America, who attends a British-run school in China, where her family are missionaries. She has to discover who she is, and is confused about various loyalties and identities. The main theme is identity, as Jean and other characters struggle to discover who they are, and what role their country or upbringing plays in that.

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dasnczeng | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:56 PM (Answer #2)

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Go to novelguide.com and type in Homesick my own story.

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lordokagi | Student | eNoter

Posted September 1, 2011 at 1:32 AM (Answer #3)

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Home and family play integral roles in forming a person's definition of self but often elude exact definition themselves. What is "home," and what makes a "family"? Jean Guttery is born in China and grows up there, surrounded by her parents and other expatriate adults who still consider America their home. Jean has only her imagination and the letters from her grandmother in Pennsylvania upon which to base her image of "home." As she dreams about the U.S., she almost forgets how much she cares about China.

Jean's feelings about China are mixed; she loves the countryside and people and speaks the language fluently, but she cannot stop wondering about America. Jean's mother believes in the axiom, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," but Jean refuses to sing the British national anthem in her

Homesick: My Own Story

British-run school. Her father finally points out that "God Save the King" and "America" have the same tune, enabling Jean to sing along without compromising her own beliefs. This episode presents one of many examples of divided loyalties. Complicating Jean's personal conflict is a historical one. Jean and her family are caught up in the Chinese revolution and, as missionaries, serve as hated political symbols of Western influence in China. The Chinese, too, are asserting their own ideas of "home."

Fritz's discussion of adoption, orphans, and family relationships raises further questions about home and roots: Does an adopted child ever really live at home? Does an orphan have a home? What happens to home when parents divorce? David Hull, the brother of Jean's best friend Andrea, is an adopted child with an overwhelming desire to find out about his real parents. His em-bitterment and dissatisfaction teach Jean that the search for roots is really a search for oneself.

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aurora101 | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted September 1, 2011 at 11:39 PM (Answer #4)

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Jean Guttery is born in China and grows up there, surrounded by her parents and other expatriate adults who still consider America their home. Jean has only her imagination and the letters from her grandmother in Pennsylvania upon which to base her image of "home." As she dreams about the U.S., she almost forgets how much she cares about China. Jean's feelings about China are mixed; she loves the countryside and people and speaks the language fluently, but she cannot stop wondering about America.

 

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tashubaloria | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM (Answer #5)

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The story is about Jean Fritz  who was born in China and lived there until 1927, when she was twelve. Young Jean had spent her entire life in China, but her parents' memories of home and letters from relatives in Pennsylvania made her feel that she was American—and homesick for a place she'd never seen!

Family photographs and illustrations by Margot Tomes show us the real people behind Jean's vivid and unforgettable stories—memories of picnics on the Great Wall, pranks, holidays in the foreign compound, rebellious moments at her British school. close ties to Chinese friends, and how it felt to be called a "foreign devil" and spat upon in the streets of a turbulent China on the eve of revolution. When her family embarks upon its long journey home, Jean is thrilled, but she wonders: When she arrives in America at last, will she fit in after growing up on "the wrong side of the world?"

 

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