Theme Of A Pair Of Tickets

1476 Words6 Pages
Amy Tan’s “A Pair of Tickets” focuses on the character Jing-Mei on her path of self-discovery. The story follows Jing-Mei on her journey to China as she develops a deeper appreciation for her Chinese heritage and her deceased mother. The central conflict in Tan’s story is Jing-Mei’s struggle to understand the different elements of her culture. This realization comes to fruition through a series of steps which are also reflected in Jing-Mei herself. She begins the story by being ashamed of her heritage, but as the story progresses, she realizes how badly she longs to learn more about her Chinese self. Finally, at the conclusion of the story, she fully realizes who she truly is. As Jing-Mei undergoes serious character development, the main conflict, her process of self-discovery, develops alongside her. One major element of the story that showcases Jing-Mei’s development is her narration. At the beginning of “A Pair of Tickets,” she implies that she is ashamed of her Chinese heritage. She describes being Chinese as having “a syndrome;” she states that there are certain characteristics and habits, such as being frugal and having poor sense of fashion, that make them blatantly Chinese (Tan 187). Not only is she making rash generalizations, but the use of the word syndrome in the quote indicates that these qualities make being Chinee something to be ashamed of. Syndrome has an immediate negative connotation and implies that being Chinese is something that Jing-Mei neither asked
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