Feminism And Gender Equality In The 1990's
the rights and status of women have improved considerably in the
century; however, gender equality has recently been threatened
within the last decade.
Blatantly sexist laws and practices are
slowly being eliminated while social perceptions of
continue to stagnate and even degrade back to traditional ideals.
these social perceptions that challenge the evolution of
women as equal on all levels. In
this study, I will argue that
subtle and blatant sexism continues to exist throughout
economic, professional and legal arenas.
Women who carefully
follow their expected roles may never recognize sexism as
force in their life. I find many parallels between women's experiences
nineties with Betty Friedan's, in her essay: The Way We
Were - 1949. She dealt with a
society that expected women to fulfill
certain roles. Those roles completely disregarded
the needs of
educated and motivated business women and scientific women.
subtle message that society gave was that the educated woman
was actually selfish and
I remember in particular the
searing effect on me, who once intended
to be a psychologist, of
a story in McCall's in December 1949 called
"A Weekend with Daddy."
A little girl who lives a lonely life with
her mother, divorced,
an intellectual know-it-all psychologist, goes
to the country to
spend a weekend with her father and his new wife,
who is wholesome,
happy, and a good cook and gardener. And there is
love and laughter
and growing flowers and hot clams and a gourmet
cheese omelet and
square dancing, and she doesn't want to go home.
But, pitying her
poor mother typing away all by herself in the
she keeps her guilty secret that from now on she
will be living
for the moments when she can escape to that dream
home in the country
where they know "what life is all about." (See
have often consulted my grandparents about their experiences, and
I find their
historical perspective enlightening. My grandmother
was pregnant with her third child in
1949. Her work experience
included: interior design and modeling women's clothes for
Sears catalog. I asked her to read the Friedan essay and let me
know if she felt as
moved as I was, and to share with me her experiences
of sexism. Her immediate reaction
was to point out that "Betty
Friedan was a college educated woman and she had certain
that never interested me." My grandmother, though growing up during
when women had few social rights, said she didn't experience
oppressive sexism in her
life. However, when she describes her
life accomplishments, I feel she has spent most of
her life fulfilling
the expected roles of women instead of pursuing goals that were
reserved for men. Unknowingly, her life was controlled by
traditional, sexist values
prevalent in her time and still prevalent
in the nineties.
Twenty-four years after the above article from
McCall's magazine was written, the
Supreme Court decided whether
women should have a right to an abortion in Roe v.
Wade (410 U.S.
113 (1973)). I believe the decision was made in favor of women's
mostly because the court made a progressive decision to
consider the woman as a human
who may be motivated by other things
in life than just being a mother. Justice Blackmun
Maternity, or additional offspring, may force
upon the woman a
distressful life and future. Psychological harm
may be imminent.
Mental and physical health may be taxed by child
care. There is
also a distress, for all concerned, associated with
child, and there is the problem of bringing a child
into a family
already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to
care for it. In
other cases, as in this one, the additional difficulties
continuing stigma of unwed motherhood may be involved. (See
I feel the court decision of Roe v. Wade would not
have been made in 1949.
Even in 1973, it was a progressive decision.
The problem of abortion has existed for the
entire history of this
country (and beyond), but had never been addressed because
these issues was not socially acceptable. A culture of not discussing
have a profound impact on women is a culture that encourages
women to be powerless.
The right of abortion became a major issue.
Before 1970, about a million abortions were
done every year, of
which only about ten thousand were legal. Perhaps a third of the
having illegal abortions - mostly poor people - had to be hospitalized
complications. How many thousands died as a result of these
illegal abortions no one
really knows. But the illegalization of
abortion clearly worked against the poor, for the
rich could manage
either to have their baby or to have their abortion under safe
(See Endnote #3)
A critic of the women's movement would quickly
remind us that women have a
right to decline marriage and sex,
and pursue their individual interests. However, I would
the social pressure women must endure if they do not conform to
role is unfair. The problem goes beyond social conformity
and crosses into government
intervention (or lack thereof). The
1980's saw the pendulum swing against the women's
acts against women who sought abortions became common and the
was unsympathetic to the victims. There are parallels between the
Black's civil rights movement and the women's movement:
Blacks have long been
accustomed to the white government being
unsympathetic to violent acts against them.
During the civil rights
movement, legal action seemed only to come when a white civil
activist was killed. Women are facing similar disregard presently,
movement is truly one for civil rights.
campaign by the National Organization of Women began on 2 March
demanding that the US Justice Department investigate anti-abortion
terrorism. On 1
August federal authorities finally agreed to begin
to monitor the violence. However,
Federal Bureau of Investigation
director, William Webster, declared that he saw no
"terrorism." Only on 3 January 1985, in a pro-forma statement, did
President criticize the series of bombings as "violent anarchist
acts" but he still refused
to term them "terrorism." Reagan deferred
to Moral Majoritarian Jerry Falwell's
subsequent campaign to have
fifteen million Americans wear "armbands" on 22 January
for every legal abortion" since 1973. Falwell's anti-abortion outburst
Reaganism's orientation: "We can no longer passively and quietly
the Supreme Court to change their mind or for Congress
to pass a law." Extremism on
the right was no vice, moderation
no virtue. Or, as Hitler explained in Mein Kamph,
"The very first
essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment
violence." (See Endnote #4)
This mentality continued on through
1989 during the Webster v. Reproductive
Health Services (109 S.
Ct. 3040 (1989)) case. "The Reagan Administration had urged
Supreme Court to use this case as the basis for overturning Roe
v. Wade." (See
It is disturbing that the slow gains
achieved by the women's movement are so volatile
when conservative administrations gain a majority in government.
To put the
problem into perspective: a woman's right to have an
abortion in this country did not
come until 1973. Less than two
decades later, the president of the United States is pushing
take that right away. It seems blatant that society is bent on putting
women in their
From the above examples, it appears American
culture prefers women as non-
professional, non-intellectual, homemakers
and mothers. This mentality is not easily
resolved, because it
is introduced at a young age. Alice Brooks experienced inequality
the basis of her race and her sex. In her autobiography, A Dream
Deferred, she recalls the
reaction of her father when she brought
up the idea of college to him:
I found a scholarship for veterans'
children and asked my father to sign and furnish
proof that he
was a veteran. He refused and told me that I was only going to get
and have babies. I needed to stay home and help my mother
with her kids. My brother
needed college to support a family. Not
only was I not going to get any help, I was also
tagged as selfish
because I wanted to go to college. (See Endnote #6)
This is another
example of women being labeled as selfish for wanting the same
as men. Alice Brooks is a very courageous woman; seemingly able
overcome any oppression she may encounter. During her presentation
to our class, she
said that "women who succeed in male dominated
fields are never mediocre - they are
Her insight encapsulates much of the subtle sexism that exists
I feel that no one can truly be equal in a society when only the
achievers" are allowed to succeed out of their expected
This attitude of rising blatant and subtle attacks
on women's civil rights is further
exemplified in recent reactions
to affirmative action plans. These plans have been devised
to give women and minorities an opportunity to participate in traditionally
male dominated areas. However, we see the same trends in
legal action for the use of
affirmative action plans as we saw
in the 1980's backlash against the Roe v. Wade
decision. A few
interesting points were presented in the case, Johnson v.
Agency, Santa Clara (480 U.S. 616 (1987)). Mr. Paul E. Johnson filed
against the Santa Clara County Transportation Agency when he was
promotion, feeling the company's affirmative action plan
denied him of his civil rights.
Some interesting facts were presented
in this case:
Specifically, 9 of the 10 Para-Professionals and
110 of the 145 Office and Clerical
Workers were women. By contrast,
women were only 2 of the 28 Officials and
Administrators, 5 of
the 58 Professionals, 12 of the 124 Technicians, none of the Skilled
Workers, and 1 - who was Joyce - of the 110 Road Maintenance Workers.
Endnote # 7)
The above statistics show women have been considerably
underrepresented at the
Santa Clara County Transportation Agency.
These numbers are not uncommon and are
found throughout business.
It is interesting to note the current popular perception is that
action precludes white males from finding employment with companies
implement these plans. The truth is in the numbers, however.
The fact that Mr. Johnson
felt he was denied his civil rights because
an equally qualified woman was given a
promotion, instead of him,
is just a small window into the subtle sexism that exists today.
critics of affirmative action do not consider the grossly unequal
numbers of men in
management and professional positions. Secondly,
it never seems an issue of debate that a
woman may have had no
other previous life opportunities in these male dominated areas.
do not intend to argue that affirmative action is good or bad, but
only wish to point out
that the current backlash against these
programs is heavily rooted in sexism and racism.
violence or unfair acts against a group of people will cause that
to pull together and empower themselves against their oppressors.
movement has made large steps to eliminate many of
these blatantly sexist acts in the last
century. Now the real difficulty
is upon us: subtle acts of sexism and the degrading social
of women in today's conservative culture. Alice Brooks so eloquently
experiences with inequality, stating, "the worse
pain came from those little things people
said or did to me." As
these "little things" accumulate in the experience of a young
she increasingly finds herself powerless in her relationships, employment,
and society in general. The female child has as many goals as the
but statistically she is unable to realize these goals
because of the obstacles that society
sets in front of her. Society
and media attempt to create an illusion that women have
that men enjoy. However, women will never be equal until the day
scientists, intellectuals, professionals, military leaders,
and politicians are just as accepted
and encouraged to participate
in all of society's arenas as males.
1. The Ethnic
Moment, By P.L. Fetzer. Page 57
2. Constitutional Law Cases &
Essays, By S. Goldman. Page 205.
3. A People's History Of The United
States, By Howard Zinn. Page 499.
4. Beyond Black And White, By
M. Marable. Page 40-41.
5. Constitutional Law Cases & Essays,
By S. Goldman. Page 767.
6. The Ethnic Moment, By P. L. Fetzer.
7. Constitutional Law Cases & Essays, By S. Goldman.
Fetzer, Philip L. The Ethnic Moment,
The Search For Equality In The American Experience.
New York: M.E.
Sharpe, Inc., 1997.
Goldman, Sheldon. Constitutional Law Cases
& Essays, Second Edition.
New York: HarperCollins Publishers,
Marable, Manning. Beyond Black & White.
Zinn, Howard. A People's History of The United States.
York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1980.
The Joy Luck Club: Cutural Differences Between Daughters And Mothers
There are numerous conditions in human life that mold people into who they presently are. A person's identity and way of thinking are influenced greatly due to their family's surroundings, and relationships they are involved in. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, the characters are generic, in the sense that, although they are from different families, the problems and emotions experienced are similar. The daughters are in an on-going search to discover themselves, who they are and what they represent. With their precious mother-daughter bonds, four immigrants are bewildered at American culture as they struggle to instill in their daughters remnants of their Chinese heritage. Throughout the course of the novel, the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship is revealed to the reader by various means. First, such a strong connection can only be the product of an essential, timeless, emotion called love: She loved you very much, more than her own life (Tan 29). Unfortunately, in Chinese culture, mothers rarely say I love you and find little to no time at all to provide for their daughter's emotional needs. Such attitudes occasionally lead the children to sense that My mother did not treat me this way because she didn't love me. She just had a hard time showing her love for me (Tan 45). As well, the link is also nourished in other ways, such as the swift protection of a mother's young: She grabbed my hand back so fast that I knew at that instant how sorry she was that she had not protected me better (Tan 111). There are other ways in which the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship is uncovered. Because of a mother's enduring love, they often put up high expectations that are often hard to meet. As well, in the case of Waverly and June, a mother's love is expressed in the novel by proudly showing off: From the time we were babies, our mothers compared the creases in our belly buttons, how shapely our earlobes were, how fast we healed when we scraped our knees... (Tan 64). In any case, every small act or gesture done out of deep love for one another, strengthens the bond, that is enkindled at birth. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow up impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation. (Tan 31) Culture greatly influences the youth of today as American circumstances considerably influenced the daughters of the novel. In some instances, the Western culture dominates as the mothers strive on, in its shadow: ...and because I remained quiet for so long now my daughter does not hear me. She sits by her fancy swimming pool and hears her Sony Walkman, her cordless phone... (Tan 64). Ying-Ying ponders upon the fact that, She follows my Chinese ways until she learned how to walk out the door by herself and go to school (Tan 289). Because of heavy resentment on the mother's part, in some instances, the American culture is frowned upon and is stereotyped as having morbid thoughts (Tan 105). Many problems, especially embarrassment, surface when the younger generation attempts to become absorbed into a new culture, while the parents insist on clinging to their old ways. The daughters experience troubles while trying to cope with their immigrant parents. There is an obvious language barrier that may result in feelings, such as that of Jing-mei: These kinds of explanations made me feel my mother and I spoke two different languages, which we did. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese (Tan 23). Often, the daughters feel ashamed. The people who embarrass them and whom they resent are their parents: I wish you wouldn't do that, telling everybody I'm your daughter (Tan 101). The young ladies later realize that it is childish to think that way, and they focus on the future, rather then on past mistakes. The children feel that their mothers nag constantly when moral issues are concerned, for example, in the case of a divorce. An-mei prefers that her daughter talks and works out her personal problems with her husband. If Rose's husband leaves her, then ultimately she must resort to a divorce. Regardless of what the circumstances are, mothers are diligently looking out for the well being of their daughters: ...she'd do anything to warn me, to help me avoid some unknown danger (Tan 108). The mothers of the novel try their best to provide for their daughters, but this is taken for granted at times. Lindo explains at one point that inside I am ashamed. I am ashamed she is ashamed. Because she is my daughter and I am proud of her, and I am her mother but she is not proud of me (Tan 291). ...but I couldn't teach her about Chinese character. How to obey parents and listen to your mother's mind... Why easy things are not worth pursuing. why Chinese thinking is best. No, this kind of thinking didn't stick to her. She was too busy chewing gum, blowing bubbles bigger than her cheeks. Only that kind of thinking stuck. (Tan 290) A mother's hunger is to inject what is left of her way of life. Obedience is first and foremost amongst the mothers: Only two kinds of daughters, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient Daughter! (Tan 153). Materialistic needs are not worth pursuing but finding yourself is: With all these things, I did not care. I had no spirit (Tan 286). Other times,in trying to instill what is left of the Chinese heritage, the American way of life is blended in, but alas, I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these two do not mix? (Tan 289). The characters of the novel, The Joy Luck Club, unravel the intricacies of combining a Chinese heritage with American circumstances and tell of the relationships between mothers and daughters. The strong bond, that is present amongst the characters, will infinitely outlast all obstacles. From each generation, all of the women are like stairs, one step after another, going up and down, but all going the same way (Tan 241). There are advantages and disadvantages to growing up with American circumstances, as well as learning and obtaining Chinese character, but one must be chosen over the other to be free. I think about two faces. I think about my intentions. Which one is American? Which one is Chinese? Which one is better? If you show one, you must always sacrificethe other (Tan 304).
Word Count: 1156
A Motherly Role
A reoccurring theme in Amy Tan's novels is mother-daughter relationships. In each of her three novels she represents different roles of the mother and the effects of each; The Joy Luck Club depicts mothers living through daughters, The Kitchen God's Wife portrays mother teaching daughter through past experience, and finally The Hundred Secret Senses displays non-existence of the mother in the relationship.
This excerpt from The Joy Luck Club shows what kinds of things, from real accomplishments to the uncontrollable features of nature.
"Auntie Lin and my mother were both best friends and arch-enemies who spent a lifetime comparing their children. I was one month older than Waverly Jong, Auntie Lin's prized daughter. From the time we were babies, our mothers compared the creases in our belly buttons, how shapely our earlobes were, how fast we healed after we scraped our knees, how thick and dark our hair was, how many shoes we wore out in one year, and later, how smart Waverly was at playing chess, how many trophies she had won last month, how many cites she had visited" (27).
Jing-Mei, the piano player in The Joy Luck Club, felt the most pressure from her mother, because her mother had to follow behind the word of the prodigy in town. '"Of course you can be a prodigy, too '" Jing-Mei's mother, Suyuan, tells her after receiving the news of Waverly, the chess prodigy (141). The expectations for Jing-Mei have heighten now that her mother's friend's daughter has been held in such a spotlight, as to be called a prodigy. Suyuan takes it upon herself to make her daughter rise above the accomplishments of her peers, and prove to the mothers their family is high in the running competition, whether Jing-Mei approves or disapproves. Suyuan decides that with piano lessons she and her daughter will rise above Lindo and Waverly. Jing-Mei only sees tedious lessons and hours of practice, but her mother envisions proudly sharing success stories between friends, comparing and convincing other mothers that her daughter, Jing-Mei, was indeed the best.
Every detail and aspect of their lives were picked out an compared and for the one daughter that lost these comparisons, a lowered self-image was the result. Jing-Mei never believed in herself, because she felt, since her childhood, she had failed her mother.
"In the years that followed, I failed her so many times, each time asserting my own will, my right to fall short of expectations. I didn't get straight A's. I didn't become class president. I didn't get in to Stanford. I dropped out of college.
For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me" (155-156).
For the mothers this competitive nature was meant to build confidence and secure the success of their daughter, for the weaker and less confident personality, like Jing-Mei's, the inability to come out on top, effected her self-image and her capabilities for her success. It is her childhood failures that molded her adult life, she never won as a child and it became the same when she was an adult.
The competition between the families are intense. One mother reports magniloquent success stories of their daughter and another mother returns her news to surpass the last.
'"She bring home too many trophy, lamented Auntie Lindo that Sunday. "All day she play chess. All day I have no time do nothing but dust off her winnings." She threw a scolding look at Waverly, who pretended not to see her.
'"You lucky you don't have this problem," said Auntie Lindo with a sigh to my mother.
And my mother squared her shoulders and bragged: "Our problem worser than yours. If e ask Jing-Mei was dish, she hear nothing but music. It's like you can't stop this natural talent" (148-49).
Such debates are common, and a similar element in all gossip was, as this excerpt so distinctly shows, was fractiousness.
Through the piano Jing-Mei carries the responsibility of not only her mother but the entire Woo family. Jing-Mei does not consider this as a privilege, but as an unwanted burden. "I felt as though I had been sent to hell," was her remark after the suggestion of lessons (46). The daughter's opinions about lessons are not as enthusiastic as her mother's, but Jing-Mei must, as an act of a daughter, do as she is told. If Suyuan is successful in presenting her daughter as accomplished, then Jing-Mei will win favor from her mother's friends. If the mothers feel they must try to transcend Jing-Mei's accomplishment by "suggesting" their daughters to display their talent, like Suyuan did after hearing of Waverly, then Suyuan has met her goal.
When a disappointing outcome of failure and disgust is given, the emotional trauma is not an event easily forgotten. Often times the result ends in anger toward the mother and the feeling of rejection. Questions like these from Jing-Mei to her mother often arise, '"Why can't you love me? I'm not a genius! I can't play the piano. And even if I could I wouldn't go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!'" (146). By the reaction of Jing-Mei two observations can be made; one, that she only feels love from her mother with accomplishment, and two, the difference in their thinking. China raised Suyuan, would want to make a spectacle of a talented daughter, while American raised Jing-Mei, even with such a notable ability, would be satisfied with herself without such an announcement.
Through the relationship between Suyuan and her daughter, Amy Tan clearly suggests Chinese mothers rely on success to establish status. Other's thoughts determine their statue, and the mother will go to extremes to be accepted in the high flown Chinese community.
Unlike Suyuan and Jing-Mei of The Joy Luck Club, Winnie and Pearl of The Kitchen God's Wife, learn about each other's secrets; instead of tension and pressure as large factors in the relationship, love and understanding come into view. Through flashbacks of Winnie's life in China dealing with an abusive cold hearted, and womanizing husband, Pearl recognizes the strength and wisdom of her mother.
"And in my father's eyes, I had been perfect, his "perfect Pearl," and not the irritation I always seemed to be with my mother" (48). Never could it have been that Winnie did not love Pearl. Because of Winnie's horrid past her possible over protection of Peal might have been mistaken as "irritation". Maternal instinct drives Winnie to protect her daughter. "So you see, I did not have a mother to tell me who to marry, who not to marry. Not like you. Although sometimes, even a mother cannot help her daughter, no matter what." If Pearl were to ever go through what her mother did, Winnie would not be able to forgive herself for allowing such a catastrophe to happen. "That man considers himself first, you second, and maybe later you will be third or fourth, then never" (134). She shares with Pearl after recognizing the familiarity with Wen Fu.
As Winnie reveals the conclusion of her story and Pearl reveals her secret of her illness, the understanding between the mother and daughter has reached its peak and all those around them are witnesses. "And now you are closer, mother and daughter, I can already see this"(524).
Although adversity has filled Winnie's past, through her strength she is able to share it with her daughter and together they will continue to learn about one another.
In what critics is her most unusual novel, Amy Tan presents a mother daughter relationship with the absence of the mother; perhaps it is because the mother is white, which is unique to The Hundred Secret Senses.
Olivia is the daughter of a Caucasian mother and Chinese father, who dies early in her childhood. Olivia's mother spends much of her time dating men. Consequentially she feels neglect. "And my mom usually put his wishes above anyone else's" (10). Soon Kwan, Olivia's half sister from China comes to America to live with them, and Kwan takes the place of her mother.
"With Kwan around my mother could float guiltlessly through her honeymoon phase with Bob. When my teacher called Mom to say I was running a fever, it was Kwan who showed up at the nurse's office to take me home. When I fell while roller-skating, Kwan bandaged my elbows. She braided my hair. She packed lunches for Kevin, Tommy, and me. She tried to teach me to sing Chinese nursery songs. She soothed me when I lost a tooth. She ran the wash cloth over my neck when I took my bath" (12).
To Olivia, no matter how much Kwan did for her and how little her own mother cared for her, Kwan cold never begin to substitute their mother. "To Mom, Kwan was a handy baby-sitter, willing, able, and free" (11). Olivia's mother was so intensely preoccupied she failed to notice the need of her own daughter. "I should have been grateful to Kwan. I could always depend on her. She liked nothing better than to be by my side. But instead, most of the time I resented her for taking my mother's place" (12).
In Olivia's situation, her mother-daughter relationship is hardly one at all. Even unsuccessful attempts with men seem to occupy her, so greatly she fails to see her daughter grow into a woman. Kwan is the only caretaker of Olivia and she builds Olivia into a strong woman.
Tan does an incredible job giving dramatically different aspects of what is essentially the same, the building of a strong woman though the bond of mother and daughter. Each case is unique, but the outcome of the daughters in all of the novels was a positive one. After familiarizing oneself to each scenario, Winnie and Pearl seem to be the closest, but all three end in happiness and strength of a daughter who had grown into a woman
literature that explores another culture serves as a vast and
learning experience. By providing material that not necessarily
to the reader's background, a multicultural curriculum opens up
opportunity for a reader to absorb the material as is, without the
of previously gained information or prejudices. Such
have a tendency to immediately interest and captivate the
and therefore can easily integrate in the book cultural and
facts that will be remembered. The Kitchen God's
Wife by Amy
is a perfect example of a fictional novel in the American Literature
that expands the students' knowledge of Chinese culture. The
contributes to the reader's understanding of pre-World War II
customs and exposes to the reader information about political and
events in China during the World War II time period. While
a wealth of information, the novel still manages to retain a f!
plot that keeps the reader entertained and interests him or her
continuing the reading.
The Kitchen God's
up as a simple modern day narrative
about a family to which a modern
day reader can relate. The story leads
into a flashback, which
almost immediately begins to shower the reader
with examples of
Chinese culture and intricate explanations of Chinese
This overwhelming amount of cultural information is closely
into the plot, which combined allows the reader to, without
it, understand and remember facts about Chinese ways.
the reader is wrapped up in a world where polygamy and
are commonly accepted practices, and where all customs are
to be practical. As the story unwinds, the reader is bombarded
all these multicultural facts, and virtually without realizing it,
or she is exposed to a wealth of information.
Not only cultural
but also political and social events are
presented throughout the
book. The war between China and Japan is
remaining in the background during most of the book.
to Japanese and Chinese tactics, meetings, bombings, and
help are constant. All the time battles are mentioned as well as
chronology of the events of the war. Important facts such as city
are noted and in some cases details are given. For example,
of casualties were presented during a discussion of Japanese
of a Chinese capital city - the information goes almost
by the reader, yet it remains the back of one's mind and serves
a fact which in widens the reader's scope of knowledge.
book is filled with historical notes. Such things as
in China and the morals of people of that era are
and whole sub plots in the book are dedicated to
with social conditions and relations. A whole portion,
is devoted to Winnie's, the main character's, father. The
goes from being a powerful and rich to a poor and ruined man. The
tale of why and how the father got to be that way is included in
book, providing the reader with insights about the time period,
and social politics.
Reading literature that explores
another culture is very important
to today's teens, so it is very
beneficial to include books such as The
Kitchen God's Wife
in American Literature curriculums. Today's teens are
mostly American backgrounds with American heritage and American
Because of the vast size of this country and the diversity of
people, the teens do not get an adequate exposure to history and
of other countries. It is very important to broaden and diversify
minds, and placing books with as much information in them as
Kitchen God's Wife into American Literature
curriculums is an
efficient way to get teenagers to broaden their