Analysis Of Lan Samantha Chang 's ' Water Names ' Essay

764 Words Oct 31st, 2016 4 Pages
Lan Samantha Chang’s short story, “Water Names,” on the basis is three sister listening to their grandmother retell them an ancient legend or commonly considered a ghost story. The grandmother finishes the story abruptly leaving the children with many questions, as well as the reader. However if the story is read in-depth, one realizes that the interplay between the present setting and actions with the ancient legend holds an underlining meaning—desire in all forms and the disruption between old and new. Through the use of detail and symbols, Chang relates to the true meaning of “Water Names” to the readers. The meaning of Chang’s short story is not revealed until the very end, which forces readers to reevaluate the entire story and realize the alluding details and symbols throughout the story that link to the true meaning. The mention of the “tiny porch” (Chang 6) is a specific detail that often may be overlooked at first; however, it gives insight into the larger theme of the story. The tiny porch reflects the present setting of the family, though the grandmother makes it clear to her grandchildren towards the beginning of the legend that the “river is so grand and board” (25-26). The correlation between the varying settings of present and past relates to the readers the gap between the two generations—the grandmother and grandchildren. Once again, another cultural difference is referenced in which the children mention, “we had only known of swimming pools, but we tried…

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