Since the story is told in first-person point of view by Jing-mei, we seem to understand and sympathize with her frustration and anger more than we do the mother's expectations and hope for her daughter and family. It is easy for us to understand the Americanized Jing-mei wanting to be able to choose her own future. However, because we are learning all of the information from her, we never truly understand why the mother is pushing her daughter so hard to be something she clearly does not want to be. We are given very little information about her life or culture in China before she came to the United States. Therefore, the mother comes across as harsh and cruel. When the mother says, "Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter," the mother seems inflexible, stubborn and even a bit abusive. However, we do not know what circumstances she was brought up under or any of the problems she has had to endure in order to even have made it to the United States.