Tan`s “A Pair of Tickets”
Tan`s"A Pair of Tickets"
InTan’s "A Pair of Tickets," the theme is created in a waythat the protagonist involves the use of generalization, and at thesame time, there is involvement of internal conflicts thatdemonstrate how a person`s heritage is essential. When a person isignorant or if he or she does not embrace their culture, it hasadverse effects, and one may miss out other essential elements thatare part and parcel of life. The short story shows the significant ofthe journey the narrator and the father take back to their motherlandChina. Upon their arrival, they meet an aunt in Guangzhou, and afterthat, their final destination is Shanghai a place where most of thehappening happen. It is at this point where the narrator meets herother half-sisters for the first time in life.
Whilein Guangzhou, the narrator gets confused, and most the time, she isnervous, but she does not want others to notice. She makes effortstowards assimilation of what happens currently however, there isconflict in her mind with different thoughts. While she tries tocompare China and the western life, they do not merge, and conflictscontinue as she questions her real heritage. For example, "Theminute our train leaves the Hong Kong border and enters Shenzhen,China, I feel different” (Kennedy, Joseph, and Dana Gioia 128). Inthis line, it indicates that, throughout the narrator’s childhood,she had never accepted being in relation with the China and itspeople. The short story, therefore, illustrates the philosophicalstruggle that a woman undergoes towards identity acceptance.
Addingto the crisis that surrounds the narrator`s identity, it is clearthat even at an older age of 36 years, she can understand Chinese,but she cannot speak it fluently. Further, there is a relief createdsince there is a fulfilment of her mother`s wishes, which for a longtime, she thought of having journeyed back to meet her abandoneddaughters many years back. Before the mother passed away, she playeda role to instil the importance of Chinese heritage in her daughter`slife, and these are the words from the mother, "Once you areborn Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese” (Kennedy,Joseph, and Dana Gioia 129).
Whenthe narrator visits a hotel, her American upbringing gets reflectedas she lacks the culture and modernization of the Chinese. She doesnot believe that China could have such a new version of a hotel. Inher mind, she believes that China still lags behind regardingdevelopment. She is so westernized to the extent that she makescomparison whereby she goes on over and over again saying, “Howcould they have things as we do? This is communist China?”(Kennedy, Joseph, and Dana Gioia 128). But as she continues with herstay in the hotel, there is a change of self-image in her and startsenjoying the Chinese meals like the pecking duck. The self-imagechange occurred to the narrator by the time her father talked of themother and circumstances that led to other two half-sisters stayingbehind. All the question that had haunted her got clarified which isa significant event towards the realization of the narrator`sidentity.
Theclarification of conflict in the story has no defined order since wefind that, both the climax and resolutions happened concurrently. Atthe peak time, the narrator meets her two half-sisters they runwhile embracing each other and at last, she forgets hesitations.Resolutions then follow where she says, “After all these years, itcan finally be let go” (Kennedy, Joseph, and Dana Gioia 134). Thekind of conflict exhibited is internal because it is the narratorherself who do not want to embrace her identity. About evidence in "APair of Tickets," the reader of the story will feel the realityof the story since it takes place in China where the narrator tracesher roots which are essential as she comes into touch with her pastand the Chinese heritage. Following this perspective, the reader canrelate to the scenario, and at the same time, they get to understandcharacters feelings portrayed in the story. There are instances wherethe reader senses events of both joy and sorrow whereby, they can betouched by happenings and pain experienced.
Tosum up, in "A Pair of Tickets" the author brings out theimportance of a trip to China which has a positive effect as it isthe turning point where the narrator`s life would change. The wholestory shows that there is something missing in the narrator`s life.Towards the end of the story, the relationship that existed betweenthe narrator and the mother brings more meaning since the mother didnot stop telling her about her motherland (Kennedy, Joseph, and DanaGioia 136). The arguments in the short story have relations with thenarrator`s attitude towards her heritage. Finally, promises made byher mother get fulfilled as they go to China and reunite with thelost twin sisters. As days moved on, the narrator transformed andappreciated her roots and at last, she exhibits other traits whichdid not make sense to her earlier.
Kennedy,joseph, and Dana Gioia. Tan`s " A Pair Of Tickets".4th ed., New York, NY, 2014,.
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