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The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

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How is the protagonist of "A Pair of Tickets" characterized at the start?

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In the beginning of Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets,” the final chapter of The Joy Luck Club, the protagonist, June, is nervous and very conscious of her Americanness. She feels decidedly foreign when she and her father, with whom she is traveling, arrive in China. Identifying more closely with her US identity of June, she has difficulty relating to her Chinese identity, which is associated with her other name, Jing-mei. She misses her mother but also feels very dependent on her father. June/Jing-mei grows more comfortable as they travel through China, in part because of seeing the places where her mother had lived.

The most crucial point when real change occurs is when she meets her twin half-sisters, Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa. Not only do they resemble the mother that all three women share, but Jing-mei stops imagining them as abandoned babies. By accepting these adult women as her older sisters, she can feel included not only in her Chinese family but the larger national community.

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