I would suggest that Naomi being poised between both aunts is a powerful conception as to how one deals with hurt and betrayal. Aunt Emily is vocal, the word warrior, and is angry, determined to right a former wrong. Her activist stance is one way to articulate rage and freedom. Naomi's other aunt, Obasan, suffers in silence, with only her pain to keep her company. In her mind, the only way one can overcome pain is to understand and accept it as part of their own condition. It seems that in both depictions, one sees the dichotomy of values: One that is seeking to demand justice in this life, and one that is seeking transcendence from it. At some point in this valence, the rest of the family falls, making it very difficult to assess which model is "right."