The Kitchen God's Wife Analysis

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Amy Tan’s novel, The Kitchen God’s Wife, allows the reader to contemplate the true importance of family. In the story, a motherless girl named Weili or Winnie, which is her American name, is raised by her uncle and two aunts and then sent off to marry the abusive Wen Fu during World War II in China. From her time spent with Wen Fu, Winnie grows as a person for the better. When an individual works hard and finds a supportive family, they will be able to achieve anything; for Winnie, this support guides her to learn how to stand up for herself.
Winnie is born into a family with no siblings to share the burden of her life with, but for most of Winnie’s childhood, her cousin Peanut took on a sister-like role even though the two never really liked
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This goes to show how a relationship that was destined to be a good one, left wives in a depressed state of mind during this time period in China. Because Peanut had first hand experience of how bad matrimonies could be, she offered to help Winnie escape hers with Wen Fu. This was the first time that Peanut had ever really acted sisterly towards Winnie, but with Peanut’s guidance, Winnie finally had a chance to leave her sadistic relationship with Wen Fu. Without this sisterly bond that the duo slowly grew the have, Winnie had thought that she “might kill [her]self if [she] did not find a way out of [her] marriage.” (353) Again, women feel as if their lives are meaningless during this time period. The depression and suicidal thoughts that go through many wives’ minds …show more content…
Auntie Du and Helen began as just some people that she met one day, but in the end these two women had the greatest impact on Winnie’s life. Through thick and thin, these women all supported each other and shared the struggles that others were facing. When Winnie was thrown into jail for leaving Wen Fu, “every month, Auntie Du [went] to see [her], bringing [her] three or four letters from Jimmy each time.”(377) Auntie Du never had to take her time to do this for the couple, but she does any way. This illustrates how Auntie Du went out of her way to succor Winnie just as a real aunt would help her niece. Without Auntie Du’s help, Winnie would have struggled to remain positive while in jail and maybe never would have ended up with her true love, Jimmy. Helen similarly operated like a family member for Winnie. Helen “said [she] was going to die so [Winnie and Pearl] would both tell each other [their] secrets.” (408) Helen openly made herself appear like she was losing her cognitive awareness so that she could assist in bringing together this mother and daughter, even though she was not even apart of their family. This is significant because it shows just how much Helen cares about these people. Any sister would want to make sure there are no problems in their family and this is just what Helen ensures. Without Helen’s interference, Winnie never would have had the courage to share her devastating

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