A Pair of Tickets by Amy Tan A Pair of Tickets by Amy Tan Amy Tan is an author who uses the theme of Chinese-American life, focusing mainly on mother-daughter relationships, where the mother is an immigrant from China and the daughter is a thoroughly Americanized –yellow on the surface and white underneath. In her book, the mother tries to convey their rich history and legacy to her daughter, who is almost completely ignorant of their heritage, while the daughter attempts to understand her hopelessly old- fashioned mother, who now seems to harbor a secret wisdom, who, in the end, is right about everything all along. At the opening of the story “A Pair of Tickets” Jandale Woo and her father are on a train, the are destined for China. Their first stop will be Guangzhou, China where he father will reunite with his long lost aunt. After visiting with her for a day they plan to take a plane to Shanghai, China where Jandale will meet her two half-sisters for the first time.
It is both a blissful time and yet a time of remorse, Jandale has come to China to find her Chinese roots that her mother told her she possessed, and to meet her two twin half-sisters whom her mother had to abandon on her attempt to flee from the Japanese. Some people have no opportunity to get to know their heritage and their long lost family members. Jandale however, had almost waited her entire life to connect with her heritage and her family. She was willing to visit China and meet with her two half-sisters only in recognition to her mother’s wishes. Jandale should have been delighted to have the opportunity to visit China and get to know her roots and her family.
The theme to this story was effectively treated in that the reader could see the reunion of the sisters, but yet could feel pain and sorrow inside of themselves. Having the story take place in China, helped it to become more realistic for the reader. The reader can feel as Jandale traces her Chinese roots and becomes in touch with her heritage and her past. It is also possible for the reader to place themselves in the same situation and experience the feelings that are being portrayed by the characters. The reader can certainly sense the joyful and the sorrowful events and their hearts can be touched by the happiness and the pain.
The main character in the story is Jandale Woo; she is the one the reader becomes a part of because it is her life that is mostly being affected. When her mother told her that she would one day feel her Chinese blood, she never believed it, but now the reader can get a perception of her understanding her Chinese roots and believing in what her mother has told her. Although Jandale was not born and raised in China like her mother she now has a grasp on her life and on her mothers life too. The story is told through the eyes of Jandale, a Chinese-American women attempting to learn of her Chinese culture and her mothers past. Women readers may relate to this story more than the men because it is told by a woman character. Men may not connect to the experiences of a mother withdrawing from her own children to save their own lives.
I, myself being a young women reader can connect with the pain that is felt throughout the story considerably better than a young man could. Learning about family heritage is something people do not always understand, like Jandale people do not always want to believe their past and the past of their families. When coming to an understanding of their past, people can lay to rest their urging thoughts and can come in closer contact to their present life. Now that Jandale has meet her sisters, she can now make peace in her life knowing that she has fulfilled her dreams and the dreams of her mother. She can now lay to rest the thought of her mother never seeing her twin daughters again and continue on with her existing life.