Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary
Mr. Tang has becoming increasingly involved in LuLing’s life. The translator sees LuLing as the woman in the memoir and forgives the mental lapses in her present state. In their conversations, when LuLing becomes disoriented, Mr. Tang turns her mind back to the past, bringing up hints of memories on which LuLing can expand. As Ruth watches their relationship develop, she wishes for a similar connection and trust between her and Art.
Ruth talks to Art about Mr. Tang and her mother’s budding friendship. Ruth tells Art she is surprised Mr. Tang is so taken with her mother. Mr. Tang is an intellectual who must have interests in so many subjects that her mother could not possibly understand. Art tells Ruth that because Mr. Tang has read LuLing’s memoir, he knows much about her most intimate thoughts and the development of her character. Mr. Tang has fallen in love with LuLing because he has met her on this deeper level. Art uses this statement as a springboard into a discussion about his and Ruth’s relationship. He repeats that he has been self-serving in the past. However, he also points out that Ruth tends to be so concerned about everyone around her that she forgets to care for herself. She becomes so used to not thinking about herself that she does not allow anyone to know her on a deeper level. He tells her that he wants them to delve deeper into the more personal sides of themselves and share what they find. He wants to get to know her on a more intimate level.
As the story comes to a conclusion, the real name of Precious Auntie is explored. Throughout this story, the real name of Precious Auntie has eluded LuLing. LuLing could not remember her mother’s real name, so she could not inform Ruth. This puzzle was not solved in the translation of LuLing’s memoir or in Ruth’s questioning her aunt, GaoLing. One day, however, GaoLing telephones Ruth to tell her that she believes she has solved the mystery. She recalled a traveling photographer from her past who had taken pictures of Precious Auntie. GaoLing wrote a letter to someone in China asking him to investigate. When her letter was answered, GaoLing...
(The entire section is 566 words.)