How would I structure an analysis of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?

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teachsuccess | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Hello! You asked how one would go about structuring an analysis of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

1) Can you define who the probable readers of Amy Chua's book might be? Will they be parents or perhaps grandparents? In your opinion, will Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother be popular with parents of all income levels or just those with graduate degrees like Chua? How accessible are Chua's ideas about raising children? Will Chua's position on raising children resonate better with Jewish and/or Chinese parents? How about parents of different faiths and nationalities? (To make it easier to answer these questions, try reading reviews from Amazon and Goodreads. Here is a review from the New Yorker. You will find people who fiercely defend Chua's ideas and others who think otherwise). What values do target readers share with the writer about education and raising children? What range of positions on raising exceptional children might target readers hold before reading Chua's book? Are Chua's ideas extreme or workable?

2) How does Chua make her claims believable? In other words, how does she establish her personal credibility? Are her arguments, anecdotes, and style accessible? Are her stories about her two daughters helpful in painting a clear picture about her parenting style? Do the stories support the argument that she is too strict or that she is merely a mother who expects the best of her children? How does Chua's background contribute to her views about parenting, accomplishment, race, and the state of America's youth? What parts of the text are most difficult to read? Why? What parts are most appealing? Why?

3) In what ways does the author identify with her readers? Will immigrant and non-immigrant families recognize the dynamics of the 'model first kid' and 'rebellious second' in Chua's characterization of her daughters in their own family lives? Can readers identify with the conflict between Chua and her mother (stemming from differing viewpoints about Lulu's rebellion)? Does this level of audience connection help with reader empathy toward Chua's positions on raising children? How have Chua's tendencies contributed to her problems with this dynamic in her family?

4) Given what you can discern about target readers, what limitations does the audience impose on Chua? How do the author's background knowledge and experience influence the argument that holding children to the highest standards will lead to accomplishment rather than neurosis? How do the author's character or values contribute to her conclusions? How do Chua's Chinese views on history, excellence, refinement, and control over one's destiny constrain the writer?

5) What seems to have prompted Chua to present the argument about generational decline? Are her claims true? More specifically, are her methods for conquering this generational decline effective? Will it be more effective to combine Chinese and Western philosophies about raising children? What, if any, is the writer's history of work on this topic? 

I hope the above is helpful to your analysis of The Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother. You don't have to answer every question. The above is just a guide. I am sure your teacher or professor also has his/her own requirements on how a student should analyze Amy Chua's book. Please refer to any template you have been given; in the absence of such a template, I hope the above is helpful to you.

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