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The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan - Essay Example

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The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

These factors including the fact that she grew up in the post-World War II environment had created an artistic and poetic sensitivity to the different family and social interactions that she had used as subject for her writing and literary works (Rosinsky 15). Form, Structure and Plot The novel by Amy Tan can be classified as a mixture of historical and realism. The historical aspect lies in the effects brought about by the elements of war, specifically World War II which created difficulty in the different aspects of the society. Elements of realism can be perceived in the conflicts and problems related to family life and to individual struggles. It is loosely based on the life of the author and her family. The main character Pearl Louise’s life is similar to that of the author, a child of Chinese lineage. Her mother is Winnie who similarly escaped the abusive former husband in China during the World War II. Her father, like the author’s father is a Chinese-American. The main character and the author are both more attached to their American cultural background than that of their native Chinese heritage which is included in the main theme of the novel. Chinese heritage and belief can be observed in the different symbolisms through the novel. Included in the cultural symbolisms are the belief in luck and the parallelism of the story to the Kitchen God which is a story of a respected man who is unknowingly abusive to his wife. The plot was organized in chapters related to the story of the Kitchen God. The writer used techniques such as flashbacks and parallel events to take the message of the story across to the audience. Point of View The point of view of the novel is divided between Pearl and Winnie. The first part is Pearl’s perspective which expresses the point of view of a person coming from a culture of significantly American family looking into her Chinese ancestry. On the other hand, her mother Winnie presented an opposite perspective which is a view of a Chinese-molded character looking into an American future with a better family than that of the abusive life she left in her native land. Pearl can be considered as the protagonist with limited perspective. This can be considered as the reason why the perspective of Winnie is needed to be able to present the lesson of the story. Winnie on the other hand presented flashbacks of her own experiences in China that are meant to teach Pearl about her heritage and the struggles of her mother to be able to learn to love her ancestry. Characters The important characters in the novel are Pearl, Winnie and Helen. The other characters such as Pearl’s husband, Winnie’s first abusive husband and second Chinese-American husband and other relatives are meant to enrich the plot. Pearl’s character is the protagonist and can be considered a dynamic one since she learned to accept her Chinese heritage at the end of the novel. Winnie’s character is a static one since she maintained her love of Chinese heritage regardless of the struggles she had been through. Aunt Helen’s character can be considered as the catalyst of the relationship between the mother and daughter. Through the efforts of Aunt Helen, Pearl and Winnie was able to communicate better. The abusive first husband of Winnie can be ...Show more


Name Professor Course Date The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan The novel The Kitchen God’s Wife is written by Amy Tan, a renowned writer of family themes specifically the relationship between mother and children. Her interest in the said subject can be traced to the trials and problems that her family encountered during her childhood…
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