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The Kitchen God's Wife

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by

Nick Walsh

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of The Kitchen God's Wife

Summary
Background of the
Author
Amy Tan is an American-Chinese writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. She is best known for her novel “The Joy Luck Club” which has been translated into 35 languages and was eventually made into a movie. She has also written several children books; she has appeared on PBS encouraging children to write. On top of this, Tan is in a band with several other well-known writers.
Character
Analysis
Winnie - The novel's main narrator. She now lives as an American but is originally from China. Her chinese name is Weili. She keeps the secret of her past from her daughter.
Pearl - Winnie's daughter. Although she is the daughter of chinese immigrants, she marries an American man and becomes very "americanized". This bothers her mother. Meanwhile, she is keeping the secret of her disease from her mother.
Phil - Pearl's husband. He is an average american man. He's a good father and husband but is out of place around the chinese.
Helen - Winnie's bestfriend. She grew up difficultly but married into wealth. She is trying to repair the relationship between Winnie and Pearl.
Themes
One of the most important of themes is the difficulties of bicultural life. Pearl, would like to forget about her Chinese culture and embrace herself as an American. Whereas she has some trouble doing this with a fully Chinese family. She tries to distance herself away from all of her family. Winnie notices this from since Pearl was a child. As Winnie would tell pearl about the history of World War II, Pearl would get mad because she would feel that she was telling her the Chinese history of it and not the American. These examples reveal the theme showing the difficulties of bicultural life.
The Kitchen God's Wife
Setting
Modern day.

Begins in San Jose.

The novel takes place mostly in San Fransisco.

The families gather for both an engagement and a death.


Images
Pearl is an American raised Chinese woman. She is married to an American man - Phil – with two children living in San Jose. Her parents are Chinese with a complete Chinese background living in San Francisco. Pearl has been distanced from her family but gets invited to a engagement party and funeral with her family in San Francisco. She is reluctant to go but she decides to go anyways. When she gets there, her aunt Helen manipulates Pearl and her mother into telling secrets and opening up to one another, which would lead to both of them viewing each other differently and being more understanding of one another.
Full transcript