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identity

By Princess-Ruqayyah Oct 30, 2014 1279 Words

IDENTITY IS RELATED TO ONE’S POSITION AND PERSPECTIVE. DO YOU AGREE? DISCUSS. Identity is all about nature and nurture. Identity also creates a sense of belonging. Identity starts from the family and continue through social change which occur through one’s life. A person can have several identities as the behavior of a person changes from one to another depending on whom he is interacting with. Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother ignited a global parenting debate with its story of the identity of a Chinese mother’s journey in strict parenting. In the Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, Amy Chua shows her identity as a Chinese mother as she argues that western parenting tries to respect and nurture children’s individuality, while Chinese parents normally believe that arming children with skills, strong work habits and inner assurance prepare them best for the future. Amy Chua presents her identity as a Chinese mother when she chooses to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu the Chinese way. Along with showing her identity as a Chinese mother, Amy Chua also constructs the nature of ethnic identity. Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother gives the reader a portrait of Chinese tradition that is ultimately about as deep as Chinese secret of raising their children. In the novel the readers know at a very early stage of Amy Chua’s efforts to construct her children ethnicity when at the beginning of the story she declares that she is Chinese while her husband is Jewish and her daughters are Chinese- Jewish American. Amy Chua wants her children to recognise her Chinese identity by making Lulu and Sophia learn mandarin because it is the most dominant dialect in china, which represents her links to her family heritage. Furthermore, through her book Amy Chua is successful in reinforcing the influence of stereotype in shaping people’s lives with reasonable explanation and provides quantitative evidence of differences in upbringing between Chinese and the western. Also, she does not view herself as a cruel mother because according to her identity as a Chinese mother has shaped her to rear her daughters that way. Chua can be praised for this as she reminds the readers that stereotype should not be ignored. At the beginning of the story itself Amy Chua declares her identity as a Chinese mother by stating the different kinds of upbringing between Chinese and western mother. She also admits that the text was a story n how Chinese parents are better at raising their kids than western one, hence identifying the intention to portray Chinese culture as superior. Moreover, she also shows that she is proud of her identity as a Chinese when she raises the issues of Chinese positive stereotyping such as common perception of the Chinese kids being “maths whizzes and music prodigies” and Chinese parents being not unlike stern military command whose strictness and obsession over academic excellence of their children may seem wild to western parents. She is proud of her identity as a Chinese when her feeling of the Chinese upbringing supremacy is further apparent through her claims to have a big cultural advantage over the liberal western parents. Hence it can be said that Amy Chua is a cultural hybrid whose identity spans at least two fundamentally different, often incompatible worldviews. Further on with her being raise a Catholics who do not speak mandarin and a Jewish-American husband who is not religious at all, it is clear that her children’s identity will be even more complex, so here she is now able to pick the best stereotypes for her children which she does by saying that her daughters have Jewish intelligence and Chinese hardworking. Hence, Amy Chua attributes her successful parenting style to Chinese culture. All throughout the books Amy Chua shows her superiority in her identity as a Chinese mother by stating that in western societies children have too many choices. Furthermore, Amy Chua exerts her identity as a Chinese harsh parental treatment when she forces her daughters to endure three hours piano and violin practice lesson without food and bathroom breaks even during vacation. Amy Chua never mentions physical punishment but she does thinks it perfectly acceptable to call her daughters garbage as it is done out of love and her daughters’ own goods. Amy Chua knows such methods might horrify western parents who believe that children should be allowed to pursue their own passion. But she argues that the indulgence of western approach is misguided; parents do not sufficiently push children to realize their full potential end up secretly disappointed in themselves. Chinese parents have an entire different mindset; since they know what is best and they can push as well as prod their children to achieve it. Moreover Amu Chua appreciates her identity as a Chinese and she is not ashamed to show it as according to her though she was raised by extremely strict Chinese immigrant parents yet she had the most wonderful childhood. Amy Chua wanted to show that due to her Chinese parents her two daughters have achieved success rather than becoming losers with high self-esteem. It seems that Amu Chua’s position and perspective as a Chinese mother has led her to thrive only on success and respectability. More on, it can be said that the identity of Amy Chua herself is confusing due to the fact that she was born Chinese but brought up in America. So does she relate herself to being Chinese or American? Also it can be said that the identity of Lulu and Sophia has been shaped by the mother’s extreme parenting and not from their own freewill. Amu Chua is proud of her identity as a Chinese mother as she claims that the Chinese way assumes strengths and not weakness. Hence it can be said that Amy Chua parenting struck a complex balance that is less battle than delicate negotiation between identity of nation and body. Lastly, it can be said that Amy Chua makes the audience aware of her identity as a Chinese mother by constantly praising Chinese ways of parenting while at the same time she attacks the western ways of rearing their children. Also, Amy Chua chooses to identify herself as a Chinese although she has been born in America. Hence, it is her choice to identify herself as a Chinese mother instead of an American mother. Thus, it can be said that identity is related to one’s position and perspective. Identity is a matter of choice of a person who he or she choose to be. BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.academia.edu/3315341/Exoneration_of_Stereotypes_Analysis_of_Battle_Hymn_of_Tiger_Mother_by_Amy_Chua_Chapters_I-VIITime News article: Chinese moms really so different? Emily Rauhala/ Hong Kong- Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 Ph.d Octopus- The Tiger Mom and Ethnic Identity: The Jewish Angle by Weiner On Tiger Moms by Julie Park in Examined Life

Tiger Mom v/s Brooklyn Dragon: I Herby Challenge Amy Chua to a Barefist Kung Fu Duel by Jie-Song Zhang Response To Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother: peace song for the tiger mother UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal by Shubha GhoshBut What Does It Really Mean To Be A “Tiger Mother”? University Of Southern California by Liann Ishizuka Tiger Kids And The Success Fame Jennifer Lee

‘Tiger Mother’ explains her strict parenting Today Book by Amy Chua http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/04/sympathy-for-the-tiger-moms/308399/ Sympathy for the Tiger moms 11) Battle Hymn of the Tiger mother Penguine Press

12) Tiger Couple Get It Wrong On Immigration Success by Stephen Steinberg 13) The Problem With A Culture Of Excellence by Bettina Chang 14) The Tiger Mom: stereotypes of Chinese Parenting in the United States by Scarlette Wang

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