Joy in finding ones self

By: John Gray

I enjoyed "Feathers from a thousand Li away" because the three stories all shared many things and these connections between the characters made the stories much more enjoyable to read.The Red candle, Scar and The Moon lady are all stories of childhoods in China deal with the maternal figures who influenced them and the roles of Chinese women in society. All three tell of how they learned of the expectation that they would sacrifice themselves for their husbands. An-mei suffered because her mother had been disowned for choosing to live with a man unwed rather than remaining as a widow for refusing to sacrifice herself for her husband even after he died. Lindo lived a life of near enslavement to her future husband and mother-in-law, and then endured a marriage of further degradation, in which her bed became a kind of “prison” because she wasn’t fulfilling her wifely duty of giving birth. Similarly, was always told that a girl should never think of her own needs, that they should “only listen” to the needs of others. On the day of the Moon Festival, Ying-ying “loses herself” not only by becoming temporarily lost from her family but by learning to stifle her own desires.

Amy Tan uses the theme of Identity to show how many of the characters change on the surface but still are the same person inside.


Amy Tan uses the theme of Identity to show how many of the characters change on the surface but still are the same person inside. "I asked myself, What is true about a person? Would I change in the same way the river changes color but still be the same person?" The idea is that the river changes color but is still the river. Some aspects of identity change over time. For example, the identities of the mothers change when they leave China. In China, you're identity was based on your family’s social status, who you marry, etc. In America, identity can change with whats popular at the time, things like whether or not it’s cool to use your Chinese name, whether you are Chinese American versus just American. Both mothers and daughters have to grapple with what it means to be Chinese versus being American. Part of identity, however, is something you cant change. Your family, for example, makes up a large part of a person, Some characters also think that being Chinese is in your DNA, it’s a part of your identity that you can’t get rid of. For the most part the characters have an inner voice, which at times they may try to hold back, but is still always a part of them.