Differences Of Ying-Ying St. Lena

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Lena is not a complete diametrical mirror of her mother. Both have numerous similarities but also where the environment around them has been changing. Although this may be true, it is their differences of perspective, their views from different shores, that make it difficult to understand each other. However, we can see how Ying-Ying St.Clair and Lena help each other to solve their own psychological problems. To begin with, both Lena and Ying-Ying St.Clair share the same need to appear acceptable for other people. Ying-Ying demonstrated this when she married her first husband. She would do things to herself to seem more appealing to her new husband, for example “I was pretty for him. If I put slippers on my feet, it choose a pair that I knew …show more content…
Ying-Ying was married to a man back in china, the same man who made a cruel joke about her losing her virginity. Ying-Ying began to love him after he acknowledged her tiger spirit and her tiger eyes that “gather fire in the day” and “shine golden”(Tan 246). After they married, she became pregnant. She took notice of her husband’s frequent business trips, later discovering that her husband has left her for an opera singer. After overcoming her grief, Ying-Ying decided that she will marry Clifford St.Clair once her first husband has passed away. When she immigrated to the U.S, Clifford changed her name to Betty as well as shaving two years off her age. As a result, Ying-Ying felt displaced seeing herself a someone who needed to be found. Not the once cunning tiger she used to be. She loved Clifford as a ghost loves, which is without feeling. In addition to Ying-Ying not truly loving her spouse, there was a lack of communication between the two. Ying-Ying wasn’t able to learn english but she “spoke in moods and gestures,looks,and silences, and sometimes a combination of English punctuated by hesitations and Chinese frustration” (Tan 106). In like manner, Clifford was too stubborn to learn Mandarin so he insisted that his wife learn his language. So he began putting words into his wife’s mouth, words that explained how he thought his wife felt. Comparatively, Lena and …show more content…
Ying-Ying is first challenged with her first husband when he leaves her for an opera singer, leaving her in a pit of grief carrying his son. A son she doesn’t want to keep due to feeling betrayed and angry, so she aborts the child. She is encouraged by her past and is determined to change her life until she meets Clifford and is again regretful of her past choices. She still looks back at her mistakes and realizes that her daughter is following her in her footsteps. She states that she will “use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter’s tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose” (Tan 286). She is explaining how she will use her past experiences i order to reach out to her daughter ad let her know she is making the wrong choices. She is doing this in order to set her daughter free because it is too late for herself. She wants her daughter to find her spirit that her mother was too afraid to find. This is how she is using her past as a

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