Brave Orkyd And The Characters Of Moon Orchid

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Brave Orchid’s children are not the only ones who have to bear their mother’s impositions. There is Moon Orchid, Brave Orchid’s sister, who has newly immigrated to the United States. She is the “weaker” character and can be seen as a foil character to her sister (Hunt 9). The difference between these two sisters is that Brave Orchid willingly rejects to assimilate, whereas Moon Orchid tries but fails to assimilate into the Western society. She tries to communicate to her nephews and nieces; nevertheless, the gap between them cannot be bound due to the language barrier.

On the first day of Moon Orchid’s arrival, Brave Orchid already tries to manipulate Moon Orchid to claim her rights as the first wife of her husband, who has a second wife and a new family in California. The scene where Brave Orchid continuously makes plans on how to surprise Moon Orchid’s husband seems nothing but inappropriate and unreasonable (). In order to persuade her sister, Kingston’s mother tells her a story of the Empresses of the East:

A long time ago […] the emperors had four wives, one at each point of the compass, and they lived in four palaces. The Empress of the West would connive her power, but the Empress of the East was good and kind and full of light. You are the Empress of the East, and the Empress of the West has imprisoned the Earth’s Emperor in the Western Palace. And you, the good Empress of the East […] free the Emperor. You must break the strong spell…” (Kingston 143).

The story
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