1 Answer | Add Yours
Clearly, given the subject of this excellent short story, diversity and plurality are going to be key features that will influence the story greatly. This tale of a Chinese girl born in America and trying to work out her own identity between the competing influences of her strict Chinese mother who is insistent on Chinese values and culture and the American culture in which she finds herself growing up in thus captures many of the struggles of such "hybrid" people who fashion their own identity, assimilating various parts of both influencing cultures into who they actually are.
The description of the setting at the beginning of the story clearly establishes the diversity of the world of Waverly and her family:
Farther down the street was Ping Yuen Fish Market. The front window displayed a tank crowded with doomed fish and turtles struggling to gain footing on the slimy green-tiled sides. A handwritten sign informed tourists, "Within this store, is all for food, not for pet."
The mistakes in the English seem to capture the tension between the Chinese identity and the American identity that Waverly struggles with. Likewise, continued reference is made to these two competing influences with reference to American culture such as Hopalong Cassidy and Lifesavers, and then Chinese culture with repeated mention made of Chinese food such as dim sum and plum sweets. It is clear that we are spectators of a hybrid world with elements of both cultures intermingling together to create a new fusion of Chinese and American.
We’ve answered 319,199 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question