The paper “The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan” analyzes the novel by Amy Tan. Olivia, the protagonist of her novel, The Hundred Secret Senses, is Tan’s alter ego, trying to discard her Chinese identity and assimilate with the mainstream American culture…
Times Book Award for her first book, The Joy Luck Club, Tan has not been considered as a mainstream American writer (luminarium, barclayagency.com). Instead, she has been acclaimed as the Asian American role model by community organizations despite her claim that her creations are not social statements but simply literature that talks about human connectedness (Salon, 1995). Perhaps in her sub-consciousness, Tan finds her Chinese identity too powerful to be discarded even if she tries to. Instead, she weaves the Oriental spiritual ideas as well as the symbols and character traits from China in her books that are mainly set in America. Olivia, the protagonist of her novel, The Hundred Secret Senses (1995), is Tan's alter ego, trying to discard her Chinese identity and assimilate with the mainstream American culture but finally reconciling to her social identity that hinges on finding her life's meaning through spirituality. Like Olivia, Tan is a Chinese-American and suffers from the conflict of this dual identity. Yet, she knows that neither she nor Olivia can never discard their Chinese identity completely. To make Olivia recognize this, Tan uses Chinese symbols and ideas that draw Olivia towards China. She harps on animal instincts and symbols from Chinese lives, tempered with a western view of these, that Olivia finds interesting.
In t In the novel, The Hundred Secret Senses, Olivia is born of an American mother and Chinese father. At the age of six, she comes to know of her so-long undisclosed Chinese sister. To add to her woes, her father's death-bed wish is to get his elder daughter, Kwan, over to America. After the father's death, the 18-year old Kwan joins the reluctant American step-family and begins on an intense relationship with them, particularly with the much-younger Olivia, whom she calls "Libby-ah", almost like the nation of "Muammar Qaddafi". Kwan does all to please her baby sister, Olivia, who has little to reciprocate. On the other hand, Olivia is embarrassed over her half-sister's mis-pronunciations, superstitions, endless queries, immense optimism in life and claim to possess "yin" eyes, with which she can see the ghosts. The two half-sisters grow up with the tension between them unresolved. The novel, written in first person through the voice of the 30-year old photographer, Olivia, who is still searching for a meaningful life, begins with these lines,
"My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes. She sees those who have died and now dwell in the World of Yin, ghosts who leave the mists just to visit her kitchen on Balboa Street in San Francisco.
'Libby-ah,' she'll say to me. 'Guess who I see yesterday, you guess.' And I don't have to guess that she's talking about someone dead." (Tan, 1995, p3)
The relationship between the half-sisters grows increasingly complex, with Olivia suffering from guilt for treating Kwan badly yet not hesitating to be sarcastic over her ghost stories or to send her to an asylum. The novel is a reflection not only of human bonding and relationships but also a tussle between cultures and the conflict between Orientalism and Occidentalism, between optimism and skepticism (Tan, Amy, The Hundred Secret Senses, Putnam, 1995).
Kwan, on the other hand, is always loyal to Olivia and keeps talking of characters from her previous life -warlords. ...
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The researcher of this discussion presents that the message being sent by the author of story “Two Kinds” Amy Tan tells us that we must understand others from each perspective. Some people do things in the manner of low context communication and culture, in which things are dealt with in a straightforward and no-nonsense manner.
The combination of which would cause any normal child's head to explode as it tried to sort out the mess of an English language that swarmed inside her brain. In the end, Ms. Tan managed to sort herself out and find her true calling as one of the few best selling Asian American novelists.
Answer 1 Amy Tan in her novel, ‘Mother Tongue’ asserts that English has many variations and she has used ‘all the Englishes’ that she has grown up with. The myriad ways the English language has been used by different people, especially immigrant population has been ingenious because it helps them to adjust within their new environment.
Amy Tan, in her story titled “Scar”, talks about a young girl named An-mei. The author describes An-mei as a little Chinese girl that has never had the opportunity to know her mother and identify with her at a personal level.
The first part of the essay focused on the different versions of English that the author learned and used throughout her life. The second part of the essay concentrated on the difficulties that she experienced through her school life because English was not her strong point (Tan 3).
Amy Tan’s essay, “Mother Tongue,” is an exposition on the use of the English language. The essay is particularly relevant in today’s world, in which the internet ensures that rigid geographical boundaries no longer form an impenetrable barrier to communication. Societies are increasingly multicultural and multi-lingual.
It is not just Kwan, but also many people of Chinese origin in such English-speaking countries as the US who cannot speak English in the true American accent, or according to the exact lexical and grammatical
This has various repercussion from not getting a good service from her stockbroker to not being taken seriously or ignored by many people. Improper English however is not only limited to fractured or broken English but could also take
Tan talks about how she was praying for the blonde haired boy and a slim new American nose. This made the reader understand the different cultures written about in the narrative. She talks about the Chinese food being a strange menu, but then her
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