In what ways does the narrator feel both at home and foreign in China, in Amy Tan's "A Pair of Tickets?"
Jing Mei feels both at home and foreign in China for a number of reasons.
First, she feels foreign because she towers over the typical Chinese citizen. The text tells us that Jing Mei stands at five-foot-six and that her gaze meets at eye-level with other tourists. Jing Mei's height makes her feel self-conscious and foreign.
To add to her discomfort, Jing Mei speaks little Mandarin. This puts her at a disadvantage in China, where the majority of the people speak the language. Jing Mei is embarrassed when she must resort to asking another American tourist for help in getting a taxi. Unfortunately for Jing Mei, the tourist answers in unrecognizable Dutch or Swedish. When she finally meets her relatives, the language barrier further increases her sense of alienation.
Aiyi (Jing Mei's great-aunt) chats in Mandarin with Jing Mei's father, while the rest of the family speaks Cantonese, another dialect Jing Mei has problems communicating in. Jing Mei also experiences some difficulty when she...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 784 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial