Poem Analysis: Lost Sister

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Poem Analysis
Lost Sister explores the lives experienced by two Chinese sisters, one remains in her homeland, China and the other immigrates to America. The author depicts the lives of the two sisters by employing images of movement and the different culture customs of the two countries. The sister who decides to go to America loses her original identity but gains a new found freedom while the sister who stays in china has no freedom. Despite their differences, both sisters are unable to find their own identity.
The sister in China has no freedom, while the sister in America has gained freedom by rebelling against her Chinese background. The sister in china “ never left home” because “to move was a luxury stolen from (her) at birth”. The women living in China were oppressed by the men and their lives were mostly restricted to the confinements of their home. They were expected to pursue domestic roles at homeThey were regarded as the weaker gender, meant to stay at home and “quiet” the “noisy stomachs” by being the caretaker of the family. They did not have any freedom at all and the poet has used vivid imagery to portray this in the second stanza. The sister in china had to learn “to walk in shoes the size of teacups” which refers to the traditional foot binding. With feet as small as a teacup, the women’s footsteps were “ as dormant as the rooted willow” and “as redundant as the farmyard hens”. Their movements were limited as the foot binding made it difficult to move
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