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A pair of tickets

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A pair of tickets
Ayoshna Ganesh
Mrs. Stafford—Zero Hour
AP English Literature—Comprehension questions
12 September 2013
“A Pair of Tickets”
1. The use of the train ride into a city in China provides and an appropriate introduction to the narrator “becoming Chinese,” because it symbolizes the journey she is having. Plus most people reflect on things during longer trips and it gives her a chance to reflect on things that her mom has said and what her mom has done for her. In turn it provides a reader about the background of the narrator, the setting, and other key details of the plot. The fact that it is a train ride and that she passes through different stations and realizes how much China has changed with the description of the different city names foreshadows the fact that she too will change after this trip, which starts with a ride to visit her father’s auntie.
2. Once she reaches the train station in which she has to get off at, she finds it overwhelming as the people get up out of their seats while the train is still slowing down to get their suitcases, plus the fact that it is like a bee-hive and that everyone around her is so crazy trying to get through to the customs. She however feels like she fits in with the crowd and begins to push and shove with the crowd as well. It reminds her of the 30 Stockton bus in San Francisco. It has been years since she has been to China and she feels the need to understand why her mom was so set on the fact that one day she too would be Chinese as well. At the beginning of the trip she expresses her initial repulsiveness with the fact the she would “become like her mom.” But as she visits China for another time she has the chance to reflect. Remembering where she grew up and where her heritage comes from.
3. Initially the aspect of being Chinese was more like a category rather than it being her culture or heritage. Later in the story as she begins to question how much she actually understood her mom and begins to learn the stories from the past Chinese becomes something she is not. She feels as if she did not appreciate her mother or her Chinese heritage and sees herself as an outsider in China. But as she learns and understands it, she requests her father to talk in Chinese when explaining her mother’s story, signifying her acceptance of the Chinese culture as a whole and what her mom might have gone through. At the end when she embraces the fact that she has a part of her that is Chinese, not only does it mean that her journey of becoming Chinese has come to an end but also that Chinese or China is no longer and extension of part of her that drags a long, but she herself is Chinese. Throughout the story the word Chinese goes from meaning a obtuse aspect of her mother’s actions to an internal part of the narrator’s self.

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