Sapphire Princess

Catherine's blog for English Class.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Interview with Amy Tan

I was searching through websites today and I found a website that had an interview with Amy Tan. I started reading it and I found myself being able to relate with what she said. This is the link to the website. It is very interesting and maybe you will find yourself relating ti her situations.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

"Two Kinds"

I find this story kind of ironic. Jing-Mei's mother comes to America in order to find freedom for herself and her family, but her daughter is imprisoned in a world of trying to become something she is not. Jing- Mei's mother trains her daughter in a number of things in order for her to become a "child prodigy". Unfortunatly, Jing-Mei herself fails in everything her mother come up with.

I noticed that Jing Mei's mother is always trying to compete with Waverly Jong's mother. In the first story of book, Jeing Mei's mother tells her daughter that she is going to make a better soup that Waverly's mother. In this story, Jing-Mei's mother is trying to prove to Waverly's mother that Jing Mei has a skill like Waverly, and even better. As a result, she invites Waverly's mother and her family to the talent show where her daughter is going to play the piano.

"Half and Half"

"Half and Half" turned out to be a sad story. In this story Rose Hsu's mother loses her youngest son to the sea, but cannot accept this fact at first. On the day the family realizes he was missing, the look all over for him but cannot find him. The next day, Rose's mother wakes her up to go back to the beach and look for him one more time. She brings the Bible with her and prays to God to bring him back, but he doesn't come back. This idea takes me back to the first parable, in which the moral I cam up with was that If you hope for too much, youl will only become disappointed.

Although "Half and Half" talks about the story of Bing, the son who died at sea, the main story was about Rose and her divorce with Ted. I do not understand why Amy Tan would put both these stories in one story. What did they have to do with each other?

"The Voice from the Wall"

I believe this was an intresting story. It established the Lena St. Clair's mother was crazy. The story seems to imply that she became crazy because America was full of crazy people and she became paranoid of the world around her, a little too paranoid. She wanted to protect her daughter from all the crazy things in the world and in the process, ended up crazy.

This story really confused me. The part of the story I don't understand is the part when Lena' s mother was talking about the baby. HoW did it die? Was she making up that story? Did she kill the baby?
Another part of the story I do not understand was the part in which teh girl comes to her house and then goes back to her room. Why did Amy Tan put this in the story? What significance did it have? What was the meaning of the dream she had at the end of the story? What connection did it have with Lena and her mother?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"Rules of the game"

I did not really like this story that much, no offense,but in fact, it bored me. I do not find a story of a person who learns how to play chess and starts becoming the champion very intresting, although I also believe it is a great achievement.

The part I don't understand in the story is the ending, I also did not like the ending. I thought it was incomplete. "What was her next move anyway?!" I said to myself. I don't really get the part in that her mother was playing chess with her in her dream. What's the point of adding that in the story?

In relation to my last post, I can see a connection with the parable and the story. Wavely Jong's mother always used give advice to her daughter on how to play chess, even though Waverly never used those advises. When Waverly suddenly snaps at her mom, just like what the daughter did in the parable, things fall apart for her. The part where the mother in the parable says "I told you so," in her mind (I believed she did that), is similar to the part in which Waverly is dreaming of the chess game with her mother and her mother is winning.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates"- The Parable

I believe the moral in the parable "Malignant Gates" is:

Listen to your mother, stubborness will lead do your doom.

Even though the mother warned her daughter not to ride the bicycle around the corner, the daughter was stubborn and did it anyway. As a result of not listening to her mother, the daughter fell (it is almost as if she jinxed herself).

I think the rest of the stories will be about daughters having hard times with thier mother, since the story is going to be told in thier point of view now. Maybe, the daughters will not listen to thier mothers and something unfortunate will happen to them. I also believe that maybe a daughter will argue with her mother and the mother will win the debate, or fight. I think this because the mother wins in the parable. Mother tells her daughter not to ride in the corner, daughter rides in the corner and falls, mom says, "I told you so!"

Monday, May 01, 2006

Waverly Jong: Four Direction

Mother and Daughter
by, Shyla Kelly

I am mad at you,
A this moment.
I want to scream at you,
and you don’t even know it.
You hurt me every day.
No matter what i do,
You some how find a way.
You wonder why I’m always sad.
Maybe it's because you’re always mad.
You don't ever smile.
It makes me wonder if it’s worth the while.
I don’t know what to do.
What should I say?
What way?
All I want is to make you happy.
Make you care,
Let you know I’ll be there.
Mom, I love you.
Even if you don't know it.
All though i may not show it.

This poem reminds me of Waverly Jong in the story Four Directions. This poem reminds me of Waverly in this particular story because she is going to break the news to her mother that she is going to marry someone named Rich. It is very difficult for Waverly because she always gets offended when her mother says something to degrade the value of something she kept in high status. For example, when Waverly showed her mother the mink jackect Rich gave her, her mother says:

This is not so good. It is just leftover stips. And the fur is too short, no long hairs."

This mad Waverly feel very sad. She claims her mother is out to get her. She says:

"... I couldn't fend off the strength of her will anymore, her ability to make me see black where there was once white, white where there was once black. The coat looked shabby, an imitation of romance."

This poem illustrates the feelings Waverly Jong has for her mother. Even though she sometimes she is angry at her, she still loves her mother.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Joy Luck Club vs. Things Fall Apart

In the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, after reading several of the short stories, I tend to notice that the daughters in the book do not really listen to thier chinese mothers. This relationship reminds me of Okonkwo's relationship with Nwoye in Things Fall Apart.

The relationship is similar in that the child was affected by western influences. The daughters were affected by American society while Nwoye was influenced by Christianity.The parents in both stories try to instill values that came from thier homeland, China and Africa. However, the children resist the advice from thier parents (in Nwoye's case, commands). The relationship differ in that the Chinese mothers were lenient in thier ways of advising thier daughters, while Okonkwo was tough.

It seems to me that both of these stories show how values from native cultures slowly disappear through generations. The new generation adopts a new style and the old one is slowly forgotten.

Both the stories also show the struggles of prosperity and the preservation of cultures in new lands. In Good Luck Club, the chinese families struggle to make a living in America, and the mothers struggle to pass down the Chinese culture to thier daughter. In Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo returns to Umofia after a long time and finds a "new" Umofia, inhabitied by white men and the christian ideals. Okonkwo struggles in Umofia to regain his lost titles, and fights to inhibit the growth of Chistianity in Umofia and keep the native Umofian beliefs alive.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


This is a poem I created based on the characters in Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe.
**Can you guess who each stanza of the poem is talking about?**

One strong, one mighty, one prosperous, one brave,
One admired hero,
Who didn't have a grave.

No job, no title, not important, nonexistant,
Ironic as it was,
his son turned out persistant.

One child, one fear, one desire, one church,
that was all it took for him,
To betray the goddess of earth.

One daughter, same thoughts, same words, brought joy,
the only thing that hurt,
was her not being a boy.

A loss, a lonliness, a tribute for peace in his clan,
the thing that lead to his downfall,
was his fathers obession of being a man.