What American values do Jing-mei and her mother share?

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

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I would say that both Jing-mei and Suyuan both share the American value of individuality.  Especially Jing-mei.  Individuality is a dominating American value.  It always has been.  The first ten amendments to the American Constitution guarantee rights to individuals.  Burger King allows a person to "have it your way." Sprite wants you to "obey your thirst."  Corona beer advertises the importance of "find your beach."  Scion has had two slogans aimed at individuality.  "What moves you?" and "United by individuality."  In my media studies class, I teach about the American value of rugged individualism.  Think American truck commercials.  Individuality is a powerful and long lasting American value.  

Suyuan wants Jing-mei to be special, different, unique, etc.  She wants her daughter to stand out.  Suyuan may not believe that she herself has the ability to stand out, but the fact that Suyuan pushes Jing-mei so hard toward that goal shows just how much she believes in the value.  Jing-mei fights back just as hard as she is being pushed too, because Jing-mei wants to be her own person.  She doesn't want to be who her mom wants her to be.  

"You want me to be something that I'm not!" I sobbed. " I'll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!"


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