The Short Story a Pair of Tickets

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The short story, "A Pair of Tickets", by Amy Tan is about a Chinese-American girl named Jing-Mei, raised in San Francisco, which struggles with identity early in her life. Jing-Mei can be similar to a banana, yellow on the outside but white on the inside. Now 36 years old, she is on a train going back to China to meet her twin sisters that she never knew until her mother pasted away. She suffered from a blood vessel that busted in her brain. This secret has been kept from her until the family received a letter from China. Her father Canning Woo explained the whole situation to her and why her mother left the twins back in China. Throughout the story, she remembers and has flashbacks of her mother Suyuan, expressing the important history of their heritage that she doesn't understand. Now that she has the opportunity to go back and appreciate the importance of her Chinese heritage, it brings back a lot of memories of her mother and the struggles of understanding who she truly is.

Early in Jing-Mei's life, she grew up in a Caucasian environment in San Francisco. She went to school with Caucasians and was really Americanized. She didn't understand her Chinese heritage because she never new what it meant to be Chinese. In the story, Tan writes "Once you are born Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese" (169). Her mother was a complete example of what she is looking for now. It could just be the simplest things like bargaining with the store owners or pecking her mouth with a toothpick in public. Tan makes her feels abandoned and depressed at this stage of the story because she was the only one that did not know about the twin sisters. This pushes her away from understanding her culture because she doesn't know why this secret was kept only from her. She feels distant from the rest of the family because everyone else is raised the traditional Chinese way. In the attempt to get closer to her deceased mother, she attempts to go to China to...
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