In reading "A Pair of Tickets," it could be argued that the authentic use of the Chinese language lends itself to the authenticity of the story.
However, I believe that it is more than this; because Amy Tan’s story focuses so closely on the theme of West meets East in the person of Jing-mei and her family, these small words used throughout the story provide subtle links between the foreign world of China and the heritage within Jing-mei that lies covered over waiting to be recognized and "set free," and Jing-mei's life in the United States.
As Jing-mei comes to see herself as Chinese (though she has rejected this for many years), the steps she takes toward this "awakening" of self are small and placed carefully, slowly through the story, mirroring the little connections these Chinese words ultimately make for Jing-mei. The words are always presented in Chinese and then translated into English, thereby making a small connection between all things Chinese and Jing-mei's American...
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