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Amy Tan A Pair Of Tickets Essay About Myself

Amy Tan's theme is related to the re-identification with the motherland (China, her mother and half-sisters), but ironically the story's theme is weakened by Tan's focus on China's modernization.

"A Pair of Tickets" was among the first chapters submitted by Tan in order to get a $50,000 advance from G.P. Putnam's Sons. Though it is The Joy Luck Club's final chapter, it is the premise for the novel because it chronicles Tan's real-life trip...

Amy Tan's theme is related to the re-identification with the motherland (China, her mother and half-sisters), but ironically the story's theme is weakened by Tan's focus on China's modernization.

"A Pair of Tickets" was among the first chapters submitted by Tan in order to get a $50,000 advance from G.P. Putnam's Sons. Though it is The Joy Luck Club's final chapter, it is the premise for the novel because it chronicles Tan's real-life trip to China with her ailing mother in 1987, a trip that was not only a cultural revelation, but a stylistic one as well.

Jing-Mei Woo imagines her older "identical sisters transforming from little babies into six-year-old girls" (269), half expecting them to arrive in rickshaw wearing peasant pineapple hats. When her aunt says, "Once you are born Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese," Jing-Mei responds with, "I saw myself transforming like a werewolf, a mutant tag of DNA suddenly triggered" (267). Just as she never learns to play Mah-Jong or chess using Chinese strategy, Jing-Mei never feels or thinks Chinese by the novel's end; in fact, she continues to narrate as a post-modern American: linear-thinking and quick to point out things.

It is the narrator's repeated visual comparison of what she thinks will be old-world China to post-modern America that sets a very American tone: "From a distance, it [Shanghi] looks like a major American city"; "...each of them [her half-sisters] holding a corner of the [Polaroid] picture, watching as their images begin to form"; "She [Lili] immediately jumps forward, places one hand on her hip in the manner of a fashion model, juts out her chest, and flashes me a toothy smile." Even the title, "A Pair of Tickets," emphasizes the purchased objects of a journey. After having depicted the first-generation cousins as spoiled, Tan uses positive imagery of consumerism to drive home her themes of cultural and female identity, giving as much homage to the Garden Hotel and Number One Department Store as Buddha and the Great Wall. It would be understandable if she used images of materialism to juxtapose the old world Chinese values with the new world "American Dream," but with statements like "I feel as if I were getting on a number 30 Stockton bus in San Francisco" but "I am in China" (272), Tan (or Jing-Mei) is not so much discovering her ancestral roots, but realizing that her Communist homeland is not so communal--it is as modern and capitalistic as California.

Essay on A Pair of Tickets Amy Tan

1128 Words5 Pages

A Pair of Tickets Amy Tan Amy Tan’s A Pair Of Tickets is a story concerning family and roots. June May, like the author herself, was a Chinese born in USA and grew up with an American background culture, whereas her mother grew up in China and then immigrated to America. Looking at the repeated words, we discussed that one there are many words such as mother, sister, father and Aiyi. Most of the characters in this story belong to one family, June May’s family. It suggests to us that the tale is about relations and where we stand in our family. Even Aiyi brings practically her whole family to see her brother and niece. This is also one of the stronger traits of the Chinese cultures where there are many family occasions.…show more content…

The imagery of the make-up coming off when June May reaches China due to the heat and humidity may also act as a symbol of her taking off her mask an revealing her true identity; her Chinese identity by blood.

There is a parallel in the story between the father and daughter. It is not only June May who discovers her Chinese roots but also her father rediscovers his childhood Chinese in him. Both the father and daughter are going to China for the same reason: to see their sisters. Her father is going to meet his older sister, Aiyi, and June May is going to see her half-sisters from her mother’s first mirage. Their reaction when they see their sisters is the same; they are both emotionally moved. Their response when June May helps her father take a picture of him and Aiyi is the same as when June May and her sisters eagerly wait for the film to develop. “The camera flashes and I hand them the snapshot. Aiyi and my father still stand close together, each of them holding the corner of the picture, watching as their images begin to form. They are almost reverentially quiet.” “The flash of the Polaroid goes off and my father hands me the snapshot. My sisters and I watch quietly together, eager to see what develops.” One of the important elements of the story are the names of the characters. In Chinese all names have a special meaning. June May’s mother’s name

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