Sunday, March 11, 2012

Magpies Quotations

 "Maybe it is because she was born to me and she was born a girl. And I was born to my mother and I was born a girl. All of us are like stairs, one step after another, going up and down, but all going the same way" (215).

This quotation is located at the beginning of the chapter.  I believe that it is a really interesting passage that relates to the theme of this section.  It reminded me of the passage in "Let the Great World Spin," where Tilly rants about the cycle her, Jazz, and all the other females in her family were trapped in. In the story An-Mei talks about how she was trapped by being a listener.  She is finally able to find her true voice when she expresses her anger and yells at the second wife about the pearl necklace.

"But after my mother finished her story, I looked at her and saw she was crying. And I also began to cry again, that this was our fate, to live like two turtles seeing the watery world together from the bottom of the little pond" (217).

This quotation ties nicely into the first.  This happens after her mother visits and tells her a story about her tears. The turtle in the story eats the girls tears and then throws up eggs which hatch into Magpies.  The Magpies then feed off of her tears, but when she tries to grab one to pet it. They fly away laughing and cawing at her. 

“And on that day, I showed second wife the fake pearl necklace she had given me and crushed it under my foot. 
And on that second day, Second Wife’s hair began to turn white.
And on that day, I learned to shout” (240).

This quotation is at the end of the section after her mother dies. It is significant because it is the first time that An-Mei is able to speak up and find her own voice.

“My Mother, she suffered. She lost her face and tried to hide it.  She found only greater misery, and finally could not hide that.  There is nothing more to understand. That was China.  That was what people did back then.  They had no choice. They could not speak up. They could not run away. That was their fate” (241).

Similarly to the last quotation, this one has interesting repetition and an interesting voice.  To me, this quotation is the last soliloquy of the section.  She is sort of justifying her mother’s life by saying that in was Chinas customs.    

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