Lost Sister Poem Analysis

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Language Arts: Poetry Assignment - Lost Sister by Cathy Song
Erinn Lee (10) 206

The difference between the life experiences of the two sisters is their vastly different lifestyles. The main difference is the amount of freedom they had. The first sister lived in China. The women brought up in the Chinese culture “never left home” and had freedom “stolen from them at birth”. This shows us that the first sister led a very restricted lifestyle under the influence of a strict culture. The ability “to move freely was a luxury” as they had to go through foot binding. After their feet had been bound, they had to “[gather] patience” and “[learn] to walk in shoes the size of teacups, without breaking”, while learning to be more feminine. This tells us about the hardships that the
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The poet states that “[The first sister] never left home. To move freely was a luxury stolen from them at birth” which in essence means that the women surrounded by the Chinese culture were not allowed to move at their own will and her only purpose in life was to serve her family. Simultaneously, the poet mentions that the first sister had to “[learn] to walk in shoes the size of teacups, without breaking”, which shows that she had her feet bounded. On the other hand, the poet starts the first stanza of the second part of the poem by saying that “There is a sister across the ocean” which tells us that the second sister wanted to be free. She then continues to say that the second sister “relinquished her name, diluting jade green with the blue of the Pacific” which shows that the second sister rebelliously rejected her culture and migrated to America. The entire stanza is very figurative and uses metaphoric words. All in all, the poet presents the life experience of the first sister in China more literally while life experience of the second sister in America is more
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