Tang Ao's Journey

1037 Words5 Pages
In the 1800s, Chinese immigrants were looking for Gold Mountain, which is what they called the United States because of the wealth there (“Searching for Gold Mountain”). This alone sets the tone of the story, “On Discovery” by Maxine Hong Kingston. In the story, Tang Ao is a Chinese explorer trying to make his way to this luscious place. Like most Chinese explorers at that time, he dreams of trying to get to Gold Mountain. However, Tang Ao unfortunately runs into the Land of Women and is taken in as prisoner. The reason why he is captured is likely because he is a Chinese immigrant. Chinese immigrants at the time were being mistreated in America because of anti-Chinese sentiment in the 1800s (“Chinese Exclusion Acts”). This story symbolically foreshadows the injustices and cruelty that the Chinese immigrants had to face in America. Tang Ao’s journey shows his path to the American Dream was a struggle, and his destiny was unexpected. Throughout the story, Tang Ao is trying to find Gold Mountain, which could means he is trying accomplish the…show more content…
Kingston says that Tang Ao, accidentally came to the Land of Women. This is not his goal, instead it is his destiny; it is a setback he had to face in life in order to achieve his goal. He came upon a group of women who were strong and aggressive and were mistreating and torturing him in many ways. Two old women said, “The less you struggle, the less it’ll hurt” (Kingston 670). This quote symbolizes how Tang Ao is tortured in the beginning, and because of the struggle and pain, he might not have been able to reach is goal of finding Gold Mountain. Instead of helping him because he was lost, the women torture him. This symbolizes that Tang Ao’s journey was a struggle that he had to face in order to achieve his destiny. This shows that people have to struggle at one point in their lives before they are able to
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