Where the gods fly

Essay by jytte123High School, 11th gradeB+, December 2014

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Where the Gods Fly

The distance between a mother and a daughter can be as far as the distance between cultures. Where is the fine line between guidance and control? How far can you go as a mother, and do you always know what's best for your child? In the short story "Where the Gods Fly" written by Jean Kwok, we meet a concerned Chinese mother dealing with a serious culture clash which affects both her and her daughter Pearl.

The narrator is a Chinese woman who has immigrated to America with her husband and her daughter, Pearl. It seems clear that the family haven't chosen to move to America by their own interest, but because it has been necessary to get a job at the fabric. The little family lives under very poor conditions and the parents are not integrated neither with the language nor the American culture. The inability to speak English makes it even harder to adapt to the western culture and Pearl has to translate for her mother.

The story is told with stream of consciousness. This gives us a great insight in her worries and thoughts but this also means that we only know the other persons from the mother's impression and point of view.

Through her many worries and thoughts we quickly get an impression of the woman. She is very religious and as we first meet her she is kneeling before her gods seeking for forgiveness. The narrator and her husband are very hardworking, and spend all their waking hours at the fabric. She feels very guilty for not having the means and the time to give Pearl a decent childhood. As mentioned before, they spend all their time working at the fabric even though it leaves them with no time for themselves...