Lost Sisters

Better Essays
Stephanie Loftis
Professor Stacy Frakes
ENGL1213
23 October 2010
Who Am I Suppose to Be
When I first read the poem “Lost Sisters,” by Cathy Song, I was under the impression it was about a Chinese women who held great pride for her Chinese culture and who was frowning on the choice of her sister, who made the decision to move to America from China. After further investigation, I discovered that Song’s poem “Lost Sisters,” explains the story of a woman who is facing the difficult realities of being a Chinese immigrant. The poem describes how Song feels psychologically lost between two different cultures. She realizes she needs her Chinese culture as a part of her identity. In the poem “Lost Sister,” Cathy Song frequently uses the rhetorical appeals, pathos and ethos, to convince her readers of the struggles that are faced by being a Chinese immigrant.
In the first part of Cathy Song’s poem, she uses a combination of both rhetorical appeals, as she is explains the historical culture of Chinese women. Song uses ethos in the fact that she is an Asian American, who was born in Hawaii. Her father is Korean American and her mother is Chinese American. Her cultural background gives her the creditability to discuss the struggles that an immigrant may face. Song goes on to state, “In China, even the peasants named their daughters Jade- the stone that in the far fields could moisten the dry session, could make men move mountains,” (line 1-7) Song is emphasizing the meaning of an important Chinese culture. A jade is a stone that, to the Chinese, represents good fortune and health, as well as nobility and perfection. The Chinese hold a certain pride in shaping the desires and lives of Chinese girls in order to produce dutiful women. Women in China do not have much responsibility outside their households, and the Chinese would often use the practice of foot binding in order to limit their mobility. “In a society with a cult of female chastity, one primary purpose of



Cited: Song, Cathy. "Lost Sister." Merickel, P. "Reading Literature and Writing Arqument." Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2008. 194-195. Print. Vento, Marie. "One Thousand Years of Chnese Footbinding." Academic Brooklyn. 7 March 1998. Web. 7 October 2010.

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