The Concubine's Children is a story with an insightful outlook to what the Chinese had to endure pertaining to immigration and providing for their families during such rigorous times. The story consists of one family torn between two countries; China and Canada. As the author provides concise and vivid details, the story comes alive painting a picture of the hardships they had to overcome.
The country of China is known to have a long history of strict domestic values. Many of these values were reflected in The Concubine's Children. Chan Sam was a hard worker right from the start. In the Chinese culture, the male is the head of the house followed by his sons. When Chan Sam's father died he was a young adolescent and had to drop out of school to support the family. As the oldest of four, Chan Sam became the new head of the household at the ripe age of twelve. He supported his mother and brothers and even sold some mau tin to buy water buffalo in hopes to reduce the manual labor they had to withstand. In China, marriages are arranged by the parents. As well as supporting his immediate family, sixteen year old Chan Sam also had a family of his own to support; a wife and daughter. As a Chinese expectation, Chan Sam's wife moved into his parents house where he could then be their provider.
The whole story revolves around the Chinese Diaspora or emigration. Hard times caused the Chinese to migrate to the Americas in order to support the family. Thousands of Chinese including Chan Sam were forced to do this as times in China were not the greatest. The Chinese population overseas grew immensely. Most of them lived in "Chinatowns" in each city. They were horrifically discriminated against Joseph 3
which is why they tended to stray away from society and reside in Chinatowns. Work became harder to find as more came over and was usually exhausting labor. Still the pay was more than in China and was able to support families in the home land. As for China...