The Youngest Daughter Cathy Song Analysis

2484 Words 10 Pages
Ever wondered where your ancestors came from? What were they like? What did they become? Well for Cathy Song, her heritage was the success of her life. As a young girl, Song grew up as Chinese-Korean American and knew that she wanted to write about her family’s history. Song has taken her written career serious and tries to educate her readers with the terrible lives of arranged marriage women, through the art of poetry. Not only does she write about her family’s ancestry, but she loves to incorporate the whole Chinese culture into her poems. Cathy’s strong eye for detail and imagery in her poems really captures the message that she is trying to portray to the audience. Song has not only won many awards but stands out for unique style of writing, …show more content…
Song writes from the perspective of the youngest daughter in the family. As the youngest in a Chinese family traditional, she is to take care of her mother and set aside other life goals. The daughter has been imprisoned in her mother’s home for so many years that her skin is “aspirin colored,/ tingles with migraine” (Song 12-13) from the lack of sunlight. As the daughter begins her daily routine giving her mother a bath, she gets “a sour taste” (Song 26) in her mouth when she cleans her breast. “Six children and an old man have sucked from these brown nipples” (Song 28-29) and being the youngest daughter means she will never get the chance to have her own family. To the readers understanding, the daughter is envious of her mother’s life, and feel as if her has been cheated out of her own life based on an old Chinese …show more content…
Song writes about two generations of Chinese women with the same name Jade. One lives in China, where she devotes her life to her family and respects her name because it gives meaning to her culture. She “gathered patience” and learned “to walk in shoes the size of teacups” (Song 14-16) because it was tradition for Chinese women to have small feet. Most women took this tradition extremely serious, which usually ended with them breaking their toes. Whereas, the other Chinese woman lived in America. She did not stay true to her custom ways, but instead “relinquished her name,/ diluting Jade green with the blue of the Pacific.” (Song 28-30). She was free to do what she wanted to do and felt that women where accepted in society, where they “can stride along with men” (Song 35-34) in the streets. Although the women in China is bond to her home and is to take care of her family, she is happy to be surround by the people she loves. However, for the women in American, she has too much freedom after rebelling against her family’s rules and realizes that she now suffers the consequences of living

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