Woods' English 2A

This blog is intended to be used as a discussion forum for Mrs. Woods' 2A students from Piedmont Hills High School. The blog will allow each student to offer responses and reactions to the novels read outside of class. This blog will also allow you to read the reactions of others.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Waiting Between the Trees"

190 Comments:

Blogger princess_Joanna said...

Tiger Eyes
Chapter: Waiting between the Trees

1. Why did Ying-Ying St. Clair marry a man who always gets himself drunk? I know that she didn’t want to marry him. She was probably forced to marry him. Ying-Ying was really good at looking at things and finding out what would be the result of it. For example, when she was pregnant, she knew it was a boy. I guess it was a good thing that Ying-Ying did by killing her baby boy before it was born because she didn’t want a baby that reminded her of her husband. In one of the previous chapters, it talked about Lena having a dark side because her mother also had a dark side. Now I know that they both have a dark side because they were both born in the year of the tiger. There are two sides to people born in the year of the tiger; there is the gold side, which contains a fierce heart, and the dark side, waiting patiently for things to come and seeing and not being seen. I’m so glad that Ying-Ying met Clifford because he was a much friendlier man than her other husband. How does a person become a ghost? Saint, Ying-Ying’s husband became a ghost. This chapter deserves a thumbs up because it showed another different way of how a Chinese woman grows up and tells her daughter a story of her life. This chapter also ended happily because she married the man she loves and is destined to.

2. The lines, “I did not understand until six months later when I was married to this man and he hissed drunkenly to me that he was ready to kai gwa,” (P. 278) describe the man that Ying-Ying married because it was her fate to marry him. He was an evil man and Ying-Ying was worth more than him because she was beautiful, born in the year of the tiger, and grew up with riches. The lines, “He was clean and pleasant. But he smelled like a foreigner, a lamb-smell stink that can never be washed away,” (P. 284) describes Clifford St. Clair because he was a polite man that Ying-Ying met at the shop that she worked at. I’m glad that she married a man that is more trustworthy than the evil man she married before.

3. From this chapter, I learned that a person who is born in the year of the tiger that lay waiting between the trees. That means that they wait for their fate to show them how to live their life. They see things that haven’t happened yet. I enjoy learning much about other culture, like the Chinese culture because I don’t know much about any other cultures than mine. All cultures are different and I think it’s interesting to find out things about each culture.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger brandi said...

"Tiger Lady"
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

1: Wow! This was a super short chapter compared to the Magpies chapter. This was my favorite Ying-Ying vignette compared to the other one, this one was pretty interesting. It's really fascinating how Tan writes the American way of thinking vs. the Chinese way of thinking. For example, on page 274, Tan compares the American and Chinese way of thinking when she compares the guest bedroom. Lena put her mother in the "tiniest of rooms in the new house" because it "is the guest bedroom. However, Ying-Ying says that "to Chinese ways of thinking, the guest bedroom is the best bedroom, where [Lena] and her husband sleep" (274). Also, it's kind of creepy how Ying-Ying can predict the future, like when she marries the drunk dude, when she marries Clifford St. Clair, when her husband dies, the baby boy in her womb, etc. Why didn't she protest against marrying the drunk dude? Since her family was one of the richest families in town, her father probably could have called the marriage off and use the excuse that the drunk guy was not good enough for his daughter, or something like that. Also, I can't believe how Lena's mother killed the baby boy. How did she kill the baby anyways? I mean it was lifeless when it came out. It was also interesting to read about the golden side and the black side of the Tiger. I like how the chapter ends well for Ying-Ying because at the beginning of the book, she is kind of distraught when she learns that her husband is leaving her, and then in the end, she finds a new husband, so that was good.

2: Ying-Ying and her first husband's relationship did not have a good foundation to start on. I think the only reason why he married Ying-Ying because he thought that she was pretty. On page 278 it says, “I did not understand until six months later when I was married to this man and he hissed drunkenly to me that he was ready to kai gwa.” They soon got married after that. Then, later on, after Ying-Ying became pregnant, the guy left her for an opera singer. The evil man was never able to settle down in one home, he kept moving from woman to woman. So even though it was fate that brought these two together, the relationship ended up to not work out between the two.

3: I really like how Tan wrote this chapter, and how she used flashbacks. At the beginning of this chapter, Ying-Ying is in her daughter's new house, inside the guest bedroom. She is talking about her daughter is too American, and that she can't see what she sees. She knows that Lena can't see that the table is unstable and is going to collapse, along with the vase and the flower. She also sees that the guest bedroom's "ceilings slope downward toward the pillow of my bed. Its walls close in like a coffin" (274-275). Also, she says, "All around this house I see the signs. My daughter looks but does not see. This is a house that will break into pieces" (275). This is when Tan makes her transaction into the past, where she flashbacks on how she got the ability of always knowing what's going to happen, before it actually happens. This chapter was really well written.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 7:36:00 PM  
Blogger BowDownToKevin said...

Arty-tecky
Chapter Waiting Between the Trees

1. This was an interesting chapter. I fell bad for Ying-Ying because her marriage and future were already decided for her at a young age. It’s good that she ditched him and re-married to another, although Caucasian, polite man. I still don’t understand what Ying-Ying meant when she said her daughter had no chi. Does the chi symbolize something? Is having no chi a bad thing? Besides that, I’m glad Ying-Ying’s life has gone from a drunk husband to a nicer, cleaner man.

2. The relationship between Ying-Ying and her first husband was a strange one. I thought she hated him from the start and to the end too, but at some point, she actually falls in love with him. How is that possible? She falls in love with this filthy drunken man that Ying-Ying married against her own will, and after the relationship ends, she feels sorrow for it ending. I just thought that was kind of weird.

3. From the this chapter, I learned about the year of the tiger. Though I don’t believe in the zodiac to define one’s characteristics, I thought it was interesting how the year of the tiger fit Ying-Ying perfectly. The two sides of a tiger can be found in Ying-Ying throughout this chapter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008 7:00:00 PM  
Blogger michelle chen said...

Love Affair
1) I would give this chapter two thumbs up. It was very vain of her when Ying-ying thought that she was too pretty and way better than any one man. I liked how her husband was good to her at the beginning. Then when her changed and became mean, it was scary how she just killed her unborn son, and told the servants to wrap it in newspaper and thrown it into the pond. I also thought that it was so weird when she said that she was too good for anyone man. IT seemed like she truely thought that and that she felt as if it was because she did not listen to her own advice that she ended up losing her husband. She is so vain.
2) The relationship between Ying-ying and her first husband
There relationship started out with him pursuing her; asking for her hand in marriage, and a dowry. At the Tai Lake, she fell in love with him and she conceived a son, but then he started to take so many business trips, each one longer than the last. She finally found out that he was having an affair, and she killed her baby son before he was even born. IT started out good and ended very badly; they once loved each other, and it ended with deep hate. Due to that hate, Ying-ying ended up killing her son.
3) This relates to the opening allegory because in the opening it says that “you must each my daughter the same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.” In this chapter, Ying-Ying wants to tell Lena, her daughter, of her past when she stopped laughing and lost her innocence and hope. She wants to teach her daughter, just like the opening allegory said, to lose her innocence but to always keep laughing. She wants her daughter to always be happy but to know about her mother’s past, and how she lost her innocence.

Sunday, January 13, 2008 3:48:00 PM  
Blogger xochitl_r.r. said...

Title: These Tiger Eyes Are Watching You
(Focusing on “Waiting Between the Trees”)

1) Uh-oh, another Ying-ying chapter! It was just as strange as the last one, but with a darker sense, like someone was losing their soul. And in a way, that’s what happened to Ying-ying; she lost her “tiger eyes” and married a man that she didn’t really love, just held him in a neutral state. I wonder, if she didn’t exactly love him as much as she could have, why did she marry him? Was it because she had nothing left and didn’t care what she did with the rest of her life? Or did she just want another child, another chance at life? Maybe we’ll never find these things out; Ying-ying’s story is very confusing, wrought with betrayals and loss of innocence. I don’t really understand what it means, to be “waiting between the trees,” but I guess it has something to do with the fact that Ying-ying is being a tiger again, waiting for her daughter to regain her senses and look at life again as it really is.
2) Ying-ying and Clifford’s relationship seems very dull to me. It was like she married him just to prove a point, just to say that she could marry again, that she didn’t need her previous husband. Clifford doesn’t seem like a very appealing man, as Ying-ying calls him “kechi,” or “too polite.” She doesn’t seem to particularly like him, either; she says that she “neither liked him nor disliked him,” and that he was “neither attractive nor unattractive” to her. If she did not love him, why did she marry him? Just to prove a point, I think, just to show that someone loved her again.
3) In this chapter, Amy Tan uses multiple literary devices. She uses flashbacks, mainly, but there are several similes tucked into the paragraphs of Ying-ying’s life. The flashbacks are very helpful; they show how Ying-ying came to be how she is, and how she once was, a “tiger.” They help you understand that she was once strong and beautiful, not the submissive old woman she is in her daughter Lena’s life. The similes in this chapter are also helpful in their own way; they weave interesting details into Ying-ying’s story, showing you how to picture this character’s personality, and their looks. It gives the story itself a sense of personality as well; most of the similes in Ying-ying’s chapters are dark, degrading, or neutral. They just give you a sense of feeling for the particular chapter, and help set a mood that you will most likely hold for a long time in that section of writing.

Monday, January 14, 2008 7:06:00 PM  
Blogger janet_s said...

“I can see the future”

1) Reaction:
I give this chapter two thumbs down because it was weird. It was sort of hard to understand and it’s hard to comprehend why Ying-Ying’s failed marriage is an example of how she knows before hand what is going to happen. I also felt sorry for her when her husband who was much older left her for another woman and since she hated him for this; she killed the baby before it was born.

2) Ying-Ying and Lena’s relationship
There relationship is a distant one. They don’t seem to know or understand each other that well and Lena doesn’t know her mother’s past and background. Ying-Ying says, “ I raised a daughter, watching her from another shore. I accepted her American ways (286).” Ying-ying did not feel included in part of Lena’s growth as a child since Lena was growing up in America and she had in China. She probably didn’t approve of the American ways and never accepted them for herself, but she let her daughter be Americanized. Ying- ying is hiding her past story that took place from China while her daughter is blinded by the American ways.

2) Internal vs. External Conflict:
I think that this chapter consists of an internal conflict. The main conflict for Ying-Ying is how to tell her daughter her past, her hope, her dream, and her regrets that she has hid from her all these years. Ying-ying says, “How can I leave this world without leaving her my spirit? (286)” She longs to tell Lena how she can see that their marriage is falling apart before hand and how she loved Lena’s father like a ghost and how Lena has no chi because of this. Ying-ying is troubled that her daughter may not understand.

Sunday, January 20, 2008 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger lydia said...

Stripes of a Tiger
Waiting between the Trees

I thought that this chapter was very interesting because Ying-Ying St. Clair was the daughter of "[her] father's wife." This meant that her mother was not a concubine, but the First Wife. Moreover, her family was one of the richest families living in the area. I thought it was a little weird how she could predict the future and how she was so confident in her psychic abilities.

The relationship between Ying-Ying and her husband is different than regular couples. "[She] neither liked him nor disliked him." For a woman to marry a man that she did now like was customary in China but with an American, it is kind of awkward. It was funny to read how he was in love with her even though they can barely understand what each other is saying.

I loved the use of symbolism in this chapter. Ying-Ying is symbolized by a tiger not only because she was born in the year of the tiger, but also because she behaves like one. Amy Tan describes how "a tiger is gold and black" through Ying-Ying. At first, YIng-Ying's feelings were hidden beneath "[her] black side." But "after the bad man left [her]," she discovered how to be strong and bold.

Monday, January 21, 2008 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger ANU said...

“Arty-tecky”
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees
1) The first thing I have got to note is that fate truly controls Ying-Ying’s life. She believed she was destined to marry this drunken man. Without giving herself the option to consent or deny the marriage, she marries the man since she thinks she is destined to marry him. Also, when she meets Clifford St. Clair she neither likes nor dislikes him. However, she believes her marriage to him will result in happiness in her life. Her beliefs lead her in to marrying this foreign man who doesn’t even understand her. I thought it was cute how Ying-Ying makes Clifford marry her with the fortune cookie.
2) Ying Ying and Lena’s relationship is quite unique. Both mother and daughter go through the same conflict in life which is marriage issues. Ying Ying tries to prevent her daughter from making any more mistakes in life by telling her own story which is full of flaws. Lena doesn’t quite know her mother and is astonished to hear about her mother’s past.
3) Amy Tan captures many similes in this chapter. For example, Ying Ying describes her daughter’s “wisdom is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve.” This is a simile comparing Lena’s wisdom to a bottomless pond. A bottomless pond can be visualized as a dark pond with no ending. This connects to Lena’s wisdom or knowledge since it doesn’t capture anything her mother says or advises. The stones can represent Chinese customs or her mother’s advice. The stones dissolve or in other words, whatever Ying Ying tries to teach her daughter fades into the darkness, meaninglessly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Derek Lau said...

Tiger Lady

1) Reaction
This chapter wasn't extremely interesting or emotional or anything, but it wasn't drop-dead boring either. What I don't get is why Ying-Ying let herself marry the first man. Why didn't she protest and find a better person? At least Clifford was a better husband, even if he underestimated Ying-Ying and never knew she grew up with riches. I think that Ying-Ying did the right choice by having an abortion. I don't think Ying-Ying would want to live with a son who was a constant reminder of the first evil husband.

2) I think that the relationship between Ying-Ying and Clifford is not really a true marriage. I don't think that Ying-Ying marries people because she loves them, rather, she marries Clifford because she sees it has her destiny and fate. Clifford may love Ying-Ying, but I don't think Ying-Ying was ready to love him back.

3) I think that there is an internal conflict inside of Ying-Ying. Ying-Ying grew up as a haughty and almost conceited. She felt that no man was good enough for her, which may be why she marries her two husbands through destiny and fate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 2:30:00 PM  
Blogger YAYit'sdavidg said...

‘’ Rawrrrr Tiger. ‘’

1. This chapter was a little bit confusing for me to understand. I think that Ying - Ying’s vain personality is hilarious and it made this chapter a joy reading. Though it was very confusing like all the other St. Clair chapters, it’s clear to point out all of Ying - Ying’s problems like her husband leaving her. It was especially sad reading about how she killed her baby son. All in all, I thought Tan did a good job. Two thumbs up.

2. The relationship between Ying - Ying and her husband is much more different than normal couples. A regular couple would usually find some physical attraction toward their spouse. However, Ying - Ying says that she ‘’ thought him neither attractive nor unattractive, ‘’ (p.284) confusing in that Ying - Ying didn’t have that much lust towards him. I was also surprised that she, though very vain and high maintenance, still kept his very cheap glass gifts. What’s more surprising is that she chose to keep them anyway. Their relationship is very different than others.

3. I learned a lot about the Chinese culture after reading this chapter. For starters, I learned that killing a baby before it was born wasn’t considered bad at the time. I despise how Ying - Ying could do such a thing, but their times are much more different than ours. Ying - Ying also said that she ‘’ cut off [her] long hair in a manner that was stylish, like a young boy. ‘’ (p.283) I’m guessing that short hair back in those times was a very stylish way to wear hair.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mindyn40 said...

Waiting Between the Trees

1) This chapter seemed a bit odd to me. I liked how this chapter explains how Ying-ying and her first husband met. I also loved how in the beginning, Ying-ying describes her daughter as a “slippery fish” who has been swimming away from her all her life. I was shocked when her first husband left her for the opera singer after what he had told her about her “tiger eyes.” It was also a bit eerie how Ying-ying knew that she was going to marry Clifford, but still acted modest, as if she didn’t know. It was interesting how Ying-ying repeatedly referred to herself as being exquisitely pretty. Most women don’t say things like that, even if it is true. Overall, I’d give this story a thumbs up, because it was fairly short and quickly got to the point.
2) Ying-ying’s relationship with her first husband was like a seesaw. At first, she was at the bottom end. She hated him for embarrassing her with the melon, and he sat proudly at the top, with complete power over her. Then, they were both balanced, in the middle. Ying-ying fell in love with him, and he treated her fairly. At the end, her husband leaves her hanging in the air, at the higher end of the seesaw.
3) I’ve learned that in Chinese culture, a women is helpless in regards to her husband. Ying-ying doesn’t even want to marry her first husband; he even says “…she cannot turn away…she is already mine.” However, Ying-ying soon falles in love with him, and tends to his every whim. Everything she fdid was so that she could please him. At the end, he leaves her for another woman as if she were nothing to him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger Toad said...

"Ghost Lovers"

Interesting….but doesn’t make too much sense. This chapter, with the St. Clair, is again a bit unclear. How did a sixteen year old come to marry some old drunkard and come to love him in six months? I’m starting to think she was a bit whacko when she was born, and not after the guy left her (Even though that part was a little sad). I didn’t quite get the watermelon joke, but I guess it’s some sort of Chinese custom. I also didn’t get why she married Mr. St. Clair when she doesn’t like him. Why didn’t she just refuse him when he started courting her? And her aunt, why did she even bother to tell Ying-ying about her husband being killed? She’s already left her previous life ten years ago; let her live a new life! In the end, the chapter didn’t feel like it flowed smoothly, some of the events seem to happen out of nowhere.

When they first met each other, Ying-ying had already known that she would be marrying Mr. St. Clair. However, she “neither liked him nor disliked him.” He, on the other hand, was pretty attracted to her to be courting her for four years. He wasn’t rich, but he bought her a lot of gifts and wanted to please her. Ying-ying describes him waiting “like a dog in front of a butcher shop.” This simile has a negative connotation, along with other words such as “worthless” shows her self-pride and how she looks down to him. She didn’t really marry him because she finally came to love him, but because of the news that her first husband had died. She sort of lost her will and stopped caring. He, however, thought she finally came to love him and together they moved to America. It was when he finally learns of all the things she’d been hiding that they finally love each other, equally, as ghosts.

The conflict in this chapter is pretty much internal. Ying-ying’s first husband, whom she’d loved, deserted her to live with other women. She became broken and sort of depressed for the next ten years, when she finally thought she was ready to live life as a woman. However, upon hearing the news that her husband had died, she once again became permanently dead inside, and was never again whole. This conflict is what guides the plot line through the chapter, following Ying-ying’s actions as her husband left her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger margaretie=] said...

Tiger mother/daughter
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

Reaction: This chapter seemed longer to me than it really was, probably because there was less action and more storytelling. Nevertheless, I liked reading "Waiting Between the Trees." Again, we are explained the reason for why Lena, like Rose, is so passive in her relationship with her husband. The daughter's characteristic is a result of her mother inadverdently passing the trait down to her daughter. Ying-Ying, who can sense things before they actually happen, once allowed terrible things to pass her by because she believed it was her fate, and that she could do nothing to change it. Just like Rose taking after An-Mei, Lena also takes after Ying-Ying, inheriting her mother's submissive nature. This chapter shows that, even though the women no longer live in China, the old customs and beliefs of the Chinese, that females should be nonresistant and yielding, still live on in its people.

Ying-Ying and Lena St. Clair
Ying-Ying and Lena St. Clair lead strange lives. To me, both mother and daughter are constantly haunted with the ghosts of their own paranoia. Sadly, their suffering is the result of their own passivity. After Ying-Ying realizes her mistake, it is already too late, and her daughter is already suffering in a broken marriage. In the end of the chapter, Ying-Ying is upset that her "chi" is not passed down, so she plans to give it to her daughter by telling her about her past. The relationship between the mother and the daughter is like a mirror. Both women go through the same conflicts in life, with marriage and with personal issues. Moreover, mother and daughter are alike in that they live in lives of dysphoria and unhappiness, like ghosts unwilling to speak up for themselves.

Connecting to the allegory
In the opening parable, Tan writes about a grandmother who, while playing with her granddaughter, asks her why she is laughing. The grandmother believes the baby to be Syi Wang Mu, or the Queen Mother of the Western Skies, and listens to the baby, who tells her that one must lose one's innocence, but never one's hope. This allegory shows that not only can a child learn wisdom from an elder, but that even an elder can learn wisdom from a child. The fact that this learning works both ways is evident in the chapter, "Waiting Between the Trees." As Ying-Ying watches her daughter's marriage go down the drain, she is forced to reckon with her past once more. Ying-Ying learns to confront her past and absorb from it lessons forgotten along the way.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Chaddycakez said...

Fierce like a Tiger
Chapter: Waiting between the Trees

1) I just love how Tan can transition from such a sane chapter such as 'Magpies' and completely switch into goth mode with Ying-Ying's chapter. This chapter started off pretty good and delved into the strange life of Ying Ying St. Clair and how she can predict the future because it's in her manner. This was just another weird chapter featuring the St. Clair's but I like how it had some sort of explanation for Ying-Ying's lack of sanity. It must have sucked to be married and then concieve a child and be dumped, that led to Ying-Ying's abortion and then fall from grace. It just gets really strange after that with her departure for ten years, living in poverty and then describing herself as becoming a ghost? Maybe she means that after her ex-husband dumped her, she died? I just do not get it overall, and have to give this chapter a thumbs down.

Ying-Ying and Clifford's relationship is another example of giving love but recieving nothing in return. Ying-Ying does not even like Clifford! She doesn't even think that he is attractive and “neither liked him nor disliked him,” which is just really sad. On the other hand, Clifford is obsessed with this woman trying to court her for 4 years and buying her all these gifts. The relationship is basically neutral? It gets even more bizarre when Ying-Ying says that the two are finally together once Clifford died. Weird.

3) From this chapter, I got a little insight into how the Chinese Zodiac can govern one's personality. Being a monkey, I am described as talkative, creative, and hotheaded which are actually all true. In Ying-Ying's case, she fits her whole tiger persona with her stealthy demeanor. I mean it's obvious she is hiding something, and just like a tiger she can be quite unpredictable. :/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:28:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Not everyone is the same

1)I think that this story was really sad because of how she was treated badly by her uncle, but they ended up marrying. I thought that the Uncle was a jerk for leaving her and running away, but I also thought that Ying-Ying took it very well and got through her life fine. She adjusted to live with her family and soon she was able to get her own place. I think that the Uncle deserved to die by the other wife.
2)I think the relationship between Ying-Ying and her uncle was one sided, because it started with the uncle making fun of her and causing her some pain. She said that her face “burned with embarrassment” after that had happened (page 277). But then they loved each other for a while before the uncle ran away and then she lived by herself. The uncle also got married to another person
3)Conflict:
I think that the main problem in this chapter was man vs. man with the two people being Ying-Ying and the Uncle, because the Uncle caused her the most grief in the entire chapter. Also, she stayed true to the uncle while he was out with other women. She also waited for him to die before he remarried to Saint. I think that the uncle caused problems by just meeting with Ying-Ying.


-Aaron Ly

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger tinarifffic said...

Like A Tiger
Ch: Waiting Between the Trees

1) After reading this chapter, I learned more about Ying Ying St Clair's past, which was quite interesting. This chapter was the most "normal" out of all the St Clair vignettes so far. Learning about Ying Ying's past led me to believe it shaped the person she would become in the future. I felt sorry learning that Ying Ying was married at such a young age to some drunk guy then having him leave her when she was going to conceive a child for him, that must have been painful. I'm glad that later on, Ying Ying meets Clifford who proves for be a much more compatible mate for her. Although this chapter was less bizarre than others I have to give it a mixed review because it wasn't that entertaining and the whole ghost thing was rather confusing.

2) Ying Ying & First Husband
The two shared an awkward fast-paced relationship that did not consist of true love. He was an unloving man who wasn't ready to settle down with Ying Ying, even as she was about to bear him a child, he went and left her causing her to abort their unborn child and causing her emotion scars throughout her life.

3) This chapter portrays internal conflict within Ying Ying. She gets torn after her first husband deserts her and stays scarred and torn for the next ten years. She brings herself down and holds a pessimistic view on life and does not allow herself to be happy. Later on, Ying Ying faces the problem of not being able to communicate this to her daughter Lena in a way that will let her understand her mother's past knowledge and experience.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Allison Chan said...

The First Husband is a Chinese Jack Sparrow!
Waiting between the trees

1. I didn't really like this vignette. It was somewhat bizarre and confusing. How come the vignettes about the St. Clair's are so bizarre? Ying Ying is like a psychic, she can predict or feel that things are going to happen. But it seems as if she makes herself believe that what she's thinking will happen. She had the choice to not marry her first husband, but she went by the sign of the flower falling. I really didn't get the opening the melon part. Is that another meaning for engaging in intercourse? It makes me wonder why she would lie to Lena St. Clair about her rich life.

2.Ying Ying and her first husband
Although they were husband and wife, they only felt like they were in love once. But after they got married, her husband became unfaithful, sleeping around other woman. It was a good thing that his last affair ended with his death.

3.The scene where Ying Ying's first druken husband starts sleeping around with different women reminds me of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Jack Sparrow, also a drunk, falls for Elizabeth Swann, who wants to hate him so badly, but finds herself falling for him, just like Ying Ying. Jack Sparrow can never stick to one woman, he goes around with other wenches too. In the end Elizabeth sends Jack to his death, but the guilt gets to her, just like Ying Ying when she found out her husband was killed. (Sorry if I ruined the ending for Pirates 2 if you didn't watch it XD)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger isabel said...

the tiger
waiting between the trees
interesting. This chapter was something unexpected. I know ying ying had a dark side but this was weird. I cant believe that she killed her son before he was even born. I guess i know why. Her husband was a drunk who deserved what he got, but still the baby? I dont think the baby deserved to die but she had her own reasons.im glad her husband died abd that she eventually remarried. This chapter was cool and i loved the part about the tiger.she is a dangerous lady!
2) ying ying and her first husband were exact opposites. Her husband left her while she was pregnet and ran of with some other ladie. Ying ying was by herself and after she kiled the baby she pretty much tortured herself. All she did was work while that husband of hers messed around with other girls. She waited and when she found out he as dead she didn;t even moarn. That guy meant nothing to her.
3) in this chapter ying ying faced an internal structure. I think thats a strugle all the girls would have to face. What would you do if your husband left you while your pregnet for another ladie? What would you do to the baby? This was stressful as it would be for any girl. In the end ying ying beats it and comes out in top. Her husband died while she lived her somewhat happy life and remarried. The part of her remarieng was cute. She deserves a happy ending.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:57:00 PM  
Blogger daisy! said...

Watermelon Marriages.

1. It's funny how cutting open a watermelon means you're going to get married. I felt sorry for Ying-Ying because she had to marry a man she didn't even like. He was drunk and he would be angry with her. I especially didn't like when she killed her own baby because she didn't like the father. When she "hurled a newspaper at them and said to wrap it like a fish and throw it in the lake," (282) I was completely stunned. That's a pretty drastic thing to do, and to a human being! It was barbaric. It was interesting how Clifford St. Clair thought his wife had lived a poor life in China when really she was rich with luxuries. I liked the last paragraph of the story. I finally understood why she was in the dark and why her daughter couldn't see her.

2. Ying-Ying and Clifford seem to not have a very good relationship. She said she "spoke in a trembly voice. [She] became pale, ill, and more thing. [She] let [herself] become a wounded animal." This was after their marriage. It seems as though Ying-Ying wasn't very happy in the relationship she had with her husband, it was unlike a real married relationship. They also don't seem to know much about each other's past because Clifford thought his wife was poor in China, but she really was rich.

3. I learned about the year of the Tiger in Chinese culture. I learned the true meaning of being a "tiger." You have a fierce heart and you wait patiently for things to come to you in life. I think this is a very interesting part about Chinese culture, how animals represent the kind of person you are.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:59:00 PM  
Blogger kristalikesyou said...

waiting between the trees
"tiger"

1. reaction: wowww. In just two pages it seems like there's not much besides hostility between Ying-Ying and her daughter. Lena does not seem to respect her mother and her mom is easily angered by the lack of respect. I liked how Tan is showing us two sides of a story. The spider-like vase and table probably still symbolize Lena and how she is dealing with the decay of her marriage. The flowers being Lena, the vase being her relationship with her husband, or her marriage, and the table is the foundation and the basis of what Lena and her husband know about each other.

2) Ying-Ying and her mother had a testy relationship but very similar to the one Ying-Ying has with her daughter. Only, the daughters act the same as the mothers act the same... What I mean to say is Ying-Ying's mother chides Ying-Ying for doing things wrong and told her that she would "bring shame into the house" but Ying-Ying laughed it off and would run away and frolic. As for Ying-Ying, she thinks to herself that her daughter is ungracious and thinks she should have disciplined Lena more because of the way Lena laughed at her for saying "arty-techy" (to which Lena laughed; the same way Ying-Ying used to).

3) I learned a bit about Chinese culture from this chapter. I learned that the lady ghosts at the bottom of lakes and the symbolic qualities of being born in the year of the tiger. Also, when Ying-Ying killed her unborn son, she said it was not uncommon for women to do that in her time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 7:53:00 PM  
Blogger christopher_tam said...

Tiger Attack
Waiting Between the Trees

1. I thought this was an interesting chapter. It was weird how Ying-Ying married the drunk man even though she could have found someone better. I didn’t get what cutting the watermelon meant, it was sort of weird. I thought it was sad how Ying-Ying’s first husband just left her and their baby. It was also sad how Ying-Ying kills her baby and tells the nurses, “to wrap it like a fish and throw it into the lake.” It was funny how Clifford thought his wife was poor and bought her cheap things but she pretended to be grateful.
2. Ying-Ying and Clifford do no have a solid relationship. Ying-Ying, “neither liked him nor disliked him,” but Clifford was totally in love with her and tried for four years to marry her. Clifford didn’t seem to know much about his wife and they could hardly communicate. Clifford bought only cheap gifts for Ying-Ying because he thought she was a poor country girl. I think Ying-Ying married him to help her get past the troubles of her first marriage.
3. I think the conflict in this chapter is internal. Ying-Ying was so in love with her first husband that she became devastated when he left her for other women. She moves to live with her second cousin’s family and stays depressed there for ten years. When she leaves she is ready to move on with her life. She starts dating Clifford but can’t marry him for four years. She waited for her first husband to die before she married Clifford.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Benji said...

“Tiger Spirit”

Waiting between the trees

1/ Like the other Ying-Ying chapter, I found this vignette very strange, dark, and confusing. I did not really understand what Tan was trying to say within this story. I also felt that the vignette made rough transitions to one part of the story to the other which caused to not see how everything connected to each other. One bright part of this chapter however was how Clifford and Ying-Ying met. I found it interesting how Ying-Ying marries Clifford when she doesn’t really love him. However, it does explain why Clifford and Ying-Ying don’t really have the greatest relationship with one another. Another interesting part was when Ying-Ying kills her son just because he had the blood of his father. It is surprising to see that Ying-Ying has shows no affection to her own son and even has him wrapped in a newspaper and thrown into a lake.

2/ Ying-Ying and Clifford have a very peculiar relationship with one another. On one hand, we have Clifford who marries Ying-Ying because he loves her and on the other, we have Ying-Ying who marries Clifford just because she believes that she would marry him, even though Ying-Ying does not see any attraction between her and Clifford. It is also peculiar to see that Ying-Ying only ends up loving Clifford like the way he does her once he dies. I don’t think that this is a common aspect among couples.

3/ I think that the conflict of this chapter is that of Man vs. Self. In this vignette, Ying-Ying states that she needs to look within herself and find the pain which has cut her tiger spirit loose and then fight that pain in order to regain her tiger spirit. Ying-Ying does this because she is ashamed that she hasn’t passed on her fighting spirit to her daughter which she would need in order to stand up for herself in her relationship between her and Harold.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger ros.anne said...

Ghostly Ladies with Tiger Eyes
Joy Luck Club: Waiting Between the Trees

1) Reaction
I somewhat enjoyed this chapter because it was more straightforward than the rest of the St. Clair's vignettes. It was something I could connect to, falling in love with someone or something I knew I never would love, where I knew it would harm more than heal. It's very sly of Ying-ying, how she knew things before they happened and how she manipulates her own fate to work things out her way. The ending was cute; I was glad Ying-ying did love her husband, but the "it was the love of a ghost" adds a haunting, bittersweet touch to it.

2) Ying-ying and Clifford, her husband
The relationship between these two spouses seems platonic at first. Ying-ying knew something would happen between her and this American man, so she was "not unkind" to him. Clifford, on the other hand, seemed to starve for her affection and waited until she agreed to marry him. Even so, Ying-ying did not love her husband the way other wives might love their spouse. She seemed to appreciate him in her own special way, but it never equaled his genuine, unfading love for her.

3) Connection to Allegory
This story relates to the opening allegory because Ying-ying wishes to tell her daughter what she learned from her past, things she never mentioned to her before. Ying-ying used to be innocent, carefree, and reckless, but she threw it away when she married her first husband. Ying-ying wishes to teach her daughter and "give her [Ying-ying's] spirit."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Where_You_At_Grambow? said...

“Hungry (Tiger) Eyes” (From Dirty Dancing)
Waiting Between the Trees

1. I liked this chapter because it talked a lot about spirits and what it means to be born in the year of the tiger. I think everyone is like a person born in the year of the tiger. Everyone has a nice warm and golden side, even though it may be hidden, and everyone has a dark, mischievous and cunning side. It’s so sad that her husband thinks he is doing her good by giving her cheap riches, when in reality the mother was born growing up with a lot of riches. Overall, this was an okay chapter, it was not as good as other ones.
2. Ying-Ying and Clifford have a love a first sight relationship. Ying-Ying knows automatically that Clifford can make her complete, bringing her away from her “black side”. Ying-Ying depends on Clifford to help her, so she is more determined to stay by him until she hears of her first husband’s death. Both Ying-Ying and Clifford need and want each other. Ying-Ying says that she made him wait like a “dog in front of a butcher shop.” Clifford and Ying-Ying knew in their hearts that they would get married.
3. This chapter refers to the allegory. In both stories, the daughters do not know of mother’s world. In the allegory the baby is too young to know any better and in the chapter, Lena thinks she knows who her mother is, but really has no idea. Both daughters are innocent when it comes to their mother’s world because they do not know much about it. Lena does not know that her mother gave her no spirit; she is still innocent.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:03:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Deng said...

Not good enough

1. Thumbs up! The vignette of Ling-Ling explained why she was so strange in the earlier chapters. It wasn’t as confusing as the other St. Clair vignettes and was actually pretty interesting. I just find it strange how she has some premonition and then it happens. I think she believes something will happen, and then she lets it happen, she did nothing to stop it even though she knew it was coming.
2. Ying-Ying and Lena
Lena does not understand her mother because Ying-Ying never tells her anything. Lena grew up in America and never learned the Chinese culture; she does not understand Chinese ways and superstitions that may offend her mother. Her mother says on p. 274 Ying-Ying says, ‘…to Chinese way of thinking, the guest bedroom, [is] where she and her husband [should] sleep…I think this to myself even though I love my daughter.” Her daughter does not know anything about her mother but only because Ying-Ying never opened up to Lena. Ying-Ying loves Lena, but probably did not want to open up to her daughter.
3. I learned form this chapter that in Chinese culture, you’re supposed to let the guests sleep on your bed while you sleep in the guest’s room. I’ve seen my parents do this, and make me sleep in the living room for my cousins, but I never knew it was part of Chinese courtesy, I just thought they did this for some strange reason of their own. I think that this is a strange custom because THEY’RE the guest so they should go sleep in the guest room, why should I have to move? That’s not really fair…who knows what they might do to my stuff while I’m not there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger melissa said...

The Future Says So Much- “Waiting Between The Trees”

This chapter was pretty interesting to read because I learned about the life of Ying-Ying who was always a little bit peculiar. It was sad to learn about her past with her first, mean husband. Ying-Ying went from a happy and rich life to a poor and lost life within the course of a couple years, due to her unfortunate choices in life. The husband she chooses was very nasty and mean from the start and I was kind of glad when he left. It was a nice chance for Ying-Ying to start over and rethink her life. I was surprised when she decided to live with her poor side of the family even though she was able to make better choices while living with them. When she eventually moves on, it surprised me that she did not take the chance to forget all about her husband. I was glad when he finally died because Ying-Ying was then able to leave for America and restart her life.

Ying-Ying and Lena have lived totally different lives and have many differences because of it. Ying-Ying is very traditional while Lena is very American. Ying-Ying is able to see into the future of Lena’s marriage and knows that it is falling apart. She leaves it up to Lena to try and fix it, but shows her what is happening. When the vase falls off the table, Lena is able to see what will happen to her marriage and her mother just sits on the bed because she already has guessed it. Ying-Ying at first does not tell her daughter about her real life because of her shame of not being wanted by her first husband. As she sees Lena is going through much of what she went through, Ying-Ying decides to tell her daughter of her childhood and about her life in China.

This chapter is related to the allegory because it shows the innocence of Ying-Ying as a child who does not know the truth about life. The grandchild in the allegory is innocent and carefree, much like Ying-Ying who played joyfully with the neighborhood kids and did not listen to her mother. As Ying-Ying gets older she ends up making bad choices and ends up starting over, no longer innocent. When she moves to America and raises her daughter, Lena, Ying-Ying tries to teach her traditional ways but ends up having to accept her American ways. Lena is then later in the same position of her mother- a marriage that is no longer working out. Both Ying-Ying and Lena have to learn to keep their hope and live their life how they want it, not how anyone else wants it. The baby is supposed to be a symbol of innocence and hope, which is what Lena needs to find out of her marriage and what Ying-Ying has already done through her life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger grobanitis_ said...

"Mother Knows Best"
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

1. This chapter was interesting in several ways. I'm pretty intrigued by Ying-ying's craziness. She doesn't seem to well in the head, but all the chapters relating to her are very entertaining. Ying-ying's conceitedness annoyed me and amused me at the same time. I didn't think that a traditional Chinese girl would have such thoughts about herself, because so far in the book, most of the Chinese mothers grew up being humble. I never read anything with so much accuracy in portraying a character. I felt the anger that Ying-ying had for her husband, and the character seemed alive.

2. Ying-ying and her husband Saint hold a strange relationship. Saint loved Ying-ying with all his heart, but she did not love him back in the same way. He was always "anxious and eager to please" Ying-ying, and she just played along, making him more interested in her, but she did not love him at all. She "neither liked him nor disliked him." She married him only to view him as a person in her household. She loved him as a ghost; there was no passion, no longing for each other, no great attachment. He was just there for her and she accepted his presence.

3. (Is the main conflict internal or external and how do you know?) The main part of this chapter revolves around Ying-ying's whole deal with her messed up Chinese husband and the anger she felt after learning he left her for another girl. The conflict is internal, and Ying-ying is dealing with her anger. Her main problems sprouted from her anger for the man who cheated on her, and she resolves her problem by killing the one connection she had with the man: the child she bore with him.

Michelle H.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger diana l said...

Fall of a Tiger

1. When Ying-Ying says the room is like a coffin and no babies should be put in there, it seemed like a foreshadow to deaths coming up ore something bad is going to happen. When she talks about slapping her daughter more for respect, I think she felt a little guilty because her daughter gives her money so it is like a warning. In Ying-Ying’s story, the old man she had to call uncle, was really weird. When he cut the watermelon I think he was implying that he wanted to open her up? Ying-Ying was conceited as a child because she had money and her mother was the first wife of her father. It probably didn’t do her any good to act like that though. She still married a bad man, but she learned from her past. After her youngest aunt told her about her bad husband, I think she left to be with him. She was most likely not happy with her own husband and desperate. I thought it was funny when Ying-Ying left her family because it kind of reminded me of Mulan. She said that she “cut off [her] long hair” like a young boy and she went to work. Unlike the movie, she was trying to help herself to be better. I thought it was sweet how Clifford Saint Clair tried to court Ying-Ying. He did do some corny things like when he first introduced him self. It’s weird how she knew what was going to happen before it did. It helped her to know when to marry again and she was bale to know about her daughter’s marriage. This was a short chapter, but it was good. I would give this chapter a thumb in the middle.
2. Ying-Ying and Clifford Saint Clair had a sort of awkward relationship. He thought that he was saving her from a poor life, but she had already experienced a rich life. She says that he bought her cheap gifts that don’t matter to her. He was just trying to show off because he really liked her. She was nice enough to accept and keep the gifts for a while. It showed that she did like him, but she also did it because she knew that he would want to see it again. That part seemed a little cliché. Saint Clair obviously didn’t know much about Ying-Ying even though he tried to get her to marry him for 4 years. Their relationship wasn’t fully honest yet there weren’t really any lies either.
3. From this chapter I learned that in the Chinese culture, if you are a girl, you couldn’t pick whom you are to marry. Your family pretty much decides for you whether you like it or not. Also, I learned that the husband could leave his wife at any time just because he is a man. Cheating isn’t the same in the olden day China. The zodiac plays an important role in this chapter. Being a tiger comes up a lot and is part of everything that happens. The last thing I learned is that families stick together because when Ying-Ying’s aunt got married, she lived in the same house as Ying-Ying.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger emily_chong said...

Gold and Black – “Waiting Between the Trees”

1. I give this chapter two thumbs up. It seemed easier to understand and it was interesting to read the reason behind why Lena and Ying-Ying are the way they are, passive and unable to speak up for themselves. However, towards the end, Ying-Ying was able to find her courage and stand up for herself. I also felt sorry for Ying-Ying when her first husband left her for another woman and she killed the baby afterwards. It is still pretty strange that Ying-Ying is able to “know a thing before it happens.” I think it might be because she is attentive and pays attention to the superstitious signs. However, she knows that these things will happen, but does nothing to stop it, allowing instead, fate to control her.

2. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena is one filled with misunderstanding. Lena doesn’t know about her mother’s past and the hardships she faced back in China, while Ying-Ying believes she “raised a daughter, watching her from another shore.” Ying-Ying wasn’t involved with Lena when she was a kid and watched her being influenced by American ways. Although Ying-Ying does care for her daughter, but is afraid to tell her of her horrifying past. Only when it seems there’s no hope left does Ying-Ying finally open up, saying she “will gather together [her] past and look.” Ying-Ying decides to tell Lena of her past in hopes of saving her daughter’s marriage.

3. The chapter relates to the opening allegory because Ying-Ying wants to tell Lena how to “lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.” The grandmother in the allegory was once free and innocent, just like Ying-Ying, who was “wild and stubborn” as a child. Then when it says the grandmother taught her daughter “to shed her innocence so she would not be hurt as well” it is the same as when Ying-Ying finally musters up the courage to tell her daughter of her past in China, so her marriage would not fall apart.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Year of the Tiger
Waiting Between the Trees

1)This chapter was a boring. It only talked about Mr. Saint Clair and Ying Ying and how they met. I give it a thumbs down because it was a little weird. It talked about er first husband and then her second husband. It also mentioned that she was a tiger and everything of her was a tiger. Her eyes and the year she was born was a tiger. Ying Ying came from a rich family and even though Mr. Saint Clair gave her gifts, she still accepted it. I thought was nice that she didn’t make a fess about her having all these stuff. What I thought was funny was Ying Ying is like in control of Clifford. He would give her gifts to try to impress her, even though she is rich. He would bring her here and there and she didn’t really like him, until the end. But it is like she trying to play hard to get. She accepts him when she finds out her first husband dies. I feel a little sorry for Mr. Saint Clair because he tried hard to get Ying Ying.

2)Ying Ying really cares about Lena, her daughter. She loves her and that is why she wanted Lena to know how she got through with everything. She cares for her daughter’s future and she already knows that the house she is living in is not going to work out. Ying Ying tells Lena all these things, but she doesn’t seem to care. Lena listens, but she doesn’t take it to consideration. In the end, Ying Ying knows that there is something wrong with her daughter’s relationship by just listening to the conversation of them to two. Ying Ying really wants her daughter to know how much she cares for her. That is why it ended with “Her eyes will see nothing in the darkness, where I am waiting between the trees” (287).

3) Amy Tan uses symbolism in this chapter. A big one is having Ying Ying referred to as a tiger. Literally and symbolically. Ying Ying was born on the year of the tiger. Even though it was a bad year to be born in, it was a good year to be a tiger. Ying Ying is also a tiger because she is in the darkness, waiting for people or things to come. She is waiting for her daughter to come to her and listen to her. Tan also uses flashbacks. Ying Ying tells how she and Mr. Saint Clair met.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

“The Love of a Mother”
“Waiting Between the Trees”

1.Reaction- This chapter explained a lot of the chaos and bizarreness of the previous chapters of Ying-ying and Lena. I honestly was kind of grossed out when her family Ying-ying was conceiving a boy, but she had to kill it because she hated her husband so much, even though she was happy with it. I'm glad that she ended up marrying a man who treated her a lot better, but it still saddened me that she wasn't really in love with him.

2.The relationship between Ying-ying and Lena has always been weird and abnormal. After this chapter, Ying-ying reveals a lot about her past, and it comes clear why things were so different. I adore the fact that Ying-ying wants to come completely clean to Lena and tell her about her whole past. I think that after this happens, there would be a better understanding between the two. The way Ying-ying loves Lena enough to leave Lena her spirit as she leaves this world is pure bliss, a love that every girl should experience.

3.One of the main conflicts in this chapter is an internal conflict between Ying-ying and herself. In a lot of this chapter, Ying-ying struggles to deal with the fact that she is left by her husband for more than one other woman. Ying-ying learns to deal with this anger that she has towards her husband, and eventually learns to move on. Even after she hears that he is dead, she still hates him, with all of herself. That is when she decides it is time to move on and she marries Clifford St. Clair.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Gold & Black

1. I didnt like this chapter that much because it was confusing. One of the things I didnt understand was how Clifford came to love Ying Ying and why he was so patient with her. Why did Ying Ying's parents marry her to an old man? Once again, Tan demonstrates how people married for position.

2.Ying-Ying's relationship with Clifford is very strange. Clifford loves her and she just expects the outcome of marriage. "But it was the love of a ghost. Arms that encircled but did not touch." By that quote, I think Ying Ying means that she cared for him but could not love him wholly. I have no idea why Clifford fell in love with her but it is possible that he was being shallow. Throughout the chapter Ying Ying cant stop talking about her radiant beauty and her vain character. She also mentions that "[Clifford] courted [her] for four years in his strange way." However, their relationship turned out for the best because Ying Ying was given someone that cared for her and Clifford was able to marry the woman he loved.

3. This chapter relates to the opening allegory because it contains the theme of innocence. Ying Ying is a wild girl born in the year of the tiger but she is also very innocent. She grew to love her first husband because he was sweet to her. After that husband left her, her innocence was shattered and she was filled with bitterness. However, Ying Ying understands what to do in all her difficult situations and she doesnt lose hope that she will find someone better for her.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 6:41:00 PM  
Blogger grobanitis_ said...

"Mother Knows Best"
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

1. This chapter was interesting in several ways. I'm pretty intrigued by Ying-ying's craziness. She doesn't seem to well in the head, but all the chapters relating to her are very entertaining. Ying-ying's conceitedness annoyed me and amused me at the same time. I didn't think that a traditional Chinese girl would have such thoughts about herself, because so far in the book, most of the Chinese mothers grew up being humble. I never read anything with so much accuracy in portraying a character. I felt the anger that Ying-ying had for her husband, and the character seemed alive.

2. Ying-ying and her husband Saint hold a strange relationship. Saint loved Ying-ying with all his heart, but she did not love him back in the same way. He was always "anxious and eager to please" Ying-ying, and she just played along, making him more interested in her, but she did not love him at all. She "neither liked him nor disliked him." She married him only to view him as a person in her household. She loved him as a ghost; there was no passion, no longing for each other, no great attachment. He was just there for her and she accepted his presence.

3. (Is the main conflict internal or external and how do you know?) The main part of this chapter revolves around Ying-ying's whole deal with her messed up Chinese husband and the anger she felt after learning he left her for another girl. The conflict is internal, and Ying-ying is dealing with her anger. Her main problems sprouted from her anger for the man who cheated on her, and she resolves her problem by killing the one connection she had with the man: the child she bore with him. She also had a problem with herself and how she had succumbed to the man's orders and actions. She was ashamed of herself, so she was in conflict with herself. This is shown in "I will tell her that at eighteen the prettiness drained from my cheeks. That I thought of throwing myself in the lake like the other ladies of shame."

Michelle H

Thursday, January 24, 2008 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger OhPuhleezeLouise said...

Floating, Drifting, Drowning--they all look the same
Waiting Between the Trees: Queen Mother of the Western Skies

I hate how whenever I start to think of what I'm going to put in these blogs all I have is questions about it and that all I have to talk about is the parts I didn't understand, so this time I'll just try to fill this paragraph up with more "insightful" things. I liked how she shifted at the end to the scene in the other vignette of the vase falling. I gives a more omniscient view of that scene. I don't know if I think Ying-Ying is conceited when she talks about how pretty she was or brutally honest. I didn't like the chapter much because there weren't many characters, conversations, and it is hard to find the under-the-surface level.

Ying-Ying tried ignoring her first husband at first. Once she was married to him, however, she fell in love with him. Everything she did she did for him. All her thoughts were centered around him and his needs. He probalby only married her because she was very pretty. She was fresh and intriguing because she was young and full of life. He didn't truly love her. He left her without telling her later for another girl. Ying-Ying hated him for the rest of his life.

a I like how Tan uses flashbacks at the beginning and end of the chapter to show a glimpse of Ying-Ying's life at the same point in time as in the previous chapter titled "Rice Husband". It gave the reader a better prespective on why Ying-Ying has the personality that she does. Tan personifies the colors of a tiger so that "the gold side leaps with its fierce heart" and "the black side stands still with cunning, hiding its gold between trees, seeing and not being seen." This lets the reader better understand how Ying-Ying was before her marriage and first child and after she was able to let go. Their contrast signifies what an important time in Ying-Ying's life it was. The metaphors comparing Ying-Ying to a "wounded animal" and a "hunter come to...turn [her] into a tiger ghost" also dig deeper into how Ying-Ying feels. She feels lifeless after she marries her second husband because she doesn't really love him and has no driving force or feeling in her life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger hyxue said...

Fierce Eyes?
(chapter: Waiting between the Trees)

1. Ying-ying's life is so twisted. I never would have expected that she had such a depressing marriage before she met Clifford. I thought she would of had a better life than any of the other women considering the fact that her family was so wealthy. I knew Ying-ying's life had its fair share of strangeness, but I never expected her to have such an emotionally dark past. Its one thing to loathe someone, but its another thing to such utter revenge by taking away an unborn child's life. I guess fate plays some twisted games sometimes.

2. Ying-ying's love for her first husband wasn't really "true" love. Ying-ying admitted that she didn't really like the man at first but his sweet talk and the night they shared together made her change her mind. Ying- ying was blinded by his words and did not question his "long" trips. The trips became longer and longer and we find out that her first husband never really loved her. He cheated on her and ran away to be with a opera singer.
Ying-ying and her first husband's relationship was not love.

3. There were definitely a lot of internal conflicts within Ying-ying. In the beginning of her long flashback, after she had been abandoned by her deceptive husband and impregnated, Ying-ying had an emotional break down. She felt weak and stayed in the care of her cousin's family. During this time, Ying-ying was battling an emotional war with herself. She hated herself, she hated her husband, and she hated her unborn child. Slowly but gradually, Ying-ying found the strength to continue. She killed her unborn child and began to start a new life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Diana_Ngo said...

"Two Tigers"

1) This chapter was interesting... It was a little bit strange. I think the Lena and Ying-Ying chapters are always a little bit out there, but it was okay. I liked this one, but not a lot. Ying-Ying talked about herself being pretty a lot. It is very obvious that she is spoiled; she also talks about her wealth a lot. Ying-Ying is very spoiled, it showed in “Moon Lady” and it was very clear in this chapter, also. I feel bad for Ying-Ying because she had a bad husband.

2) Ying-Ying and her husbands”
It seems to me that Ying-Ying’s husbands don’t really match her. Her first husband was a bad man that cheated on her a lot and left her. She hated him so much that she killed the child she was going to have with him. Her second husband doesn’t seem to understand her and they don’t communicate well. He doesn’t know that much about her and thinks that the gifts he gets her are really fantastic. I think that Ying-Ying husbands don’t really fit her well.

3) Writing Technique:
“I had a swimming feeling in my heart like a creature thrashing to get out and wanting to stay in at the same time” (280). This is a simile comparing her heart to a creature. I really means that she is indecisive.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jeeennifer said...

Black and Gold

1) I thought it was shocking how concieted Ying-ying was, but overall, I give this chapter thumbs up. I hate how Ying-ying predicts things that would always come true, good or bad. She never really did anything about it.

2) Ying-ying had a very sad life when she was with her first husband. She was disgusted with her husband but he liked her. She thought she was destined to marry and she did. The marriage didn't end up so well. Ying-ying always predicts something is destined for her, but it always ends up backfiring against her. Ying-ying fooled herself into loving her first husband and she was really faithful, but he left her for an opera singer.

3)The conflict in this chapter is internal conflict within Ying-ying. She thinks she's too good for anyone especially the men, but she ends up marrying guys and gets unhappy with her life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:13:00 PM  
Blogger kristiee said...

“Living Ghost”- “Waiting Between the Trees”

1. I give a thumbs up to this chapter. Ying-Ying St. Clair’s life changed dramatically since the day she was born. She was once so rich, and was a little spoiled princess, but after she marries her first husband and he leaves her, her spirit is lost. It must have been really hard for her to be abandoned by her husband, but as a Tiger I would think that she would be able to stay strong, but she fell apart. I think that it was kind of unfair for Ying-Ying to marry Clifford St. Clair even when she didn’t love him, but how did he fall in love with her if they didn’t speak the same language?
2. The relationship between Ying-Ying and her daughter Lena is distant. Lena doesn’t know about her mother’s past, how she used to live, and who her mother is. Ying-Ying says that when her daughter was born, “she sprang from [her] like a slippery fish, and has been swimming ever since,” meaning that Lena has been distant and has always been far away from her mother. She also says that “all her life, [she] has watched [her daughter] as though from another shore,” which also proves that they aren’t that close to each other.
3. Amy Tan uses flashbacks in this vignette and it really helped me understand the chapter better. It starts off with Ying-Ying in her daughters house in a crooked room, and the flashed back to when she was a little girl in Wushi to explain how she always knew things before they happened. She talks about the West wind and how she knew she was going to marry the older man, and also about how she knew she was going to have a son before giving birth. The flashback also tells Ying-Ying’s life story while she was in China and how she came to marry Clifford St. Clair and have their daughter Lena. Then the flashback comes back to Lena’s house where her mother plans to tell her about her life and give her daughter her spirit.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ramon M. said...

�No Chi�:
1)Reactions to �Waiting Between the Trees�:
I like this chapter a lot because in a way, all the craziness of the past few St. Clair chapter�s is sort of explained for and finally answered, at least for Ying-Ying�s behavior and how she always saw bad outcomes in everything that happens. When Ying-Ying�s mother tells her about, �the ladies who drowned their shame and floated in living people�s houses with their hair undone to show everlasting despair,(Tan 276)� I think that whole line basically summarizes what Ying-Ying went through and how she felt. When the man she married got her pregnant then left, she tried to quickly �get rid of her shame� by getting rid of the baby when she found it dead. Also, she �floated into people�s houses� when she started to look for certain jobs and stayed with her cousins, all of which were temporary and she only stayed as long as it took. Finally, the way she shows everlasting despair is how she continually denied Clifford to courtship, and how she describes that even though she loved him, she just never felt satisfied or happy.
2) Relationships in �Waiting Between the Trees�:
In this chapter, the big relationship is between Ying-Ying and Clifford. Overall, I think she was playing hard to get, because for one, he courted her for four years! She also is a little bit spoiled in that she treats all the gifts that she gets from him like garbage. Even though she was rich and everything, she had to realize that she was in the working class, and if she honestly didn�t like him, she should have stopped this or taken their relationship to the next level. And most of all, she waits until she gets a letter from her aunt telling her that her husband died, as if she finally had given in and had no other choice but to marry Clifford.
3) Essential Questions in �Waiting Between the Trees�:
The main conflict in this chapter is human vs. self, because in this chapter, Ying-Ying has to battle her inner self to get things together after her first husband leaves her. As if she losses self confidence, she leaves her home and reduces herself to living with her dirty cousins and working in a shop, and because she doesn�t believe in a relationship anymore, she tries to play hard to get with Clifford and denies him every obvious request at courtship.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:28:00 PM  
Blogger ronak=) said...

The Eyes of the Tiger
"Waiting Between the Trees"

1. Although I thought this chapter was kind of strange, I liked it. I liked how some things connected from the previous Ying-Ying and Lena chapters to this one. In a sense it kind of made a full circle. I felt bad for Ying-Ying when her first husband left her. It didn’t really seem like he had much of a reason to leave her in the first place. I thought he would want to have a son, but I guess not as much as he wanted to be with someone else. I didn’t think Ying-Ying should have aborted the baby though. Even she left like it was wrong. I also thought it was weird how everyone laughed as that man made a comment about her virginity with the watermelon and knife. It was really random and above all strange.

2. Ying-Ying and her first husband have a strange relationship. You would think that she would hate him for humiliating her but at some point she actually falls in love with him. She began doing picking out things to wear that would please him and she wanted to have his first son. Her first husband on the other hand, didn’t seem to care about her to stick around. After Ying-Ying became pregnant with his first child he began taking “long business trips” and eventually moving in with the opera singer.

3. In this chapter Ying-Ying St. Clair struggles with an internal conflict. She gets emotionally hurt for at least 10 years after her first husband leaves her. She didn’t even want the baby anymore. Then she finally moves and becomes a woman. However, when she receives word that her husband is dead she feels empty again. She is trying to become whole again and stay whole.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:31:00 PM  
Blogger eelaineelam said...

"Eyes of a Tiger"
"Waiting Between the Trees"

1. I like this chapter because of the love that Clifford St. Clair had for Ying-ying. I thought it was really cute when he gave Ying-ying cheap gifts thinking that they are the riches things that Ying-ying had ever recieved. He did not know that Ying-ying came from a wealthy family and the gifts are useless to her but she still kept them. He loved Ying-ying so much that he waited four years in order for her to marry him.

2. The relationship between Ying-ying and her first husband is horrible. She was only sixteen when she met the man who was older than her oldest brother. To me, that is a very distant relationship in terms of age. He even made fun of Ying-ying with the watermelon. Ying-ying even said that she came to love him because he had compared her to a tiger which was a big compliment to her. After they got married and Ying-ying found out she was pregnant with a son, her husband left her for another woman. What kind of man leaves his pregnant wife? I felt bad that Ying-ying killed her son but I also felt that it is better so that no part of that disgusting man is ever alive. When Ying-ying found out he was dead, I was really happy because now she could get married to Clifford.

3. The main conflict is internal, human vs. self. Ying-ying is struggling with her self when she finds out that her husband has cheated one her while she was pregnant. She struggles with herself because she now she has to decide on what to do with the son she is bearing with the evil man. After that, Ying-ying struggles within herself on finding a way to tell her daughter about her past. She starts by breaking the vase and table that her daughter's husband had made.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:36:00 PM  
Blogger piink&green_lvr14 said...

"Its the Eye of the Tiger
Its the thrill of the Fight!"

Chapter: Waiting Between The Trees

1. This chapter was WOW…It was so weird, although the St. Clair’s are pretty bizarre all together. It was a little confusing because of the weirdness. The watermelon thing at the beginning was also confusing. I couldn’t believe when Ying-Ying got rid of her baby before it was even born. I understand that her husband was a drunken jerk, but the baby didn’t do anything wrong. :( It said she knew it was a boy and she killed it because she didn’t want memories of her ex-husband. She also had such visions in other chapters with the St. Clair’s. I thought it was pretty cool that Ying-Ying and Lena both have a dark side because they are the year of the Tiger. They both have a gentle and kinder side to them, but that dark side of the Tiger shines through.

2. Ying-Ying and Lena
The relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena is very remote. On one side, Ying-Ying is more in touch with her Chinese culture and Lena is more American. They don’t understand each other very clearly because they are so different. Ying-Ying doesn’t like or approve of American customs because they are so easy compared to Chinese. She believes Americans have it a lot easier and that Lena doesn’t know the struggle she went through.

3. This chapter taught me a lot about how Chinese signs or spirits really relate to your real personality. Both Lena and Ying-Ying are both the year of the Tiger. Also both of them have a brighter, fiercer side but also have that dark side that Ying-Ying is ashamed of. Those traits are all those of the Tiger. I relate to their resemblance to their signs because I also have many of the same traits that the Monkey, my sigh, has.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Xtina Vo said...

Care for a Cup of Chi?

I believe that this is the only chapter on the St. Clairs that I enjoyed. Though it is terribly sad because Ying-ying found herself a bad husband, this chapter is very profound. It is great to learn about Ying-ying’s troubled past because it makes her seem less disturbing and more understanding. She went from glamour to gloomy, and her chi, spirit, disappeared along the way. After all she has been through it is crazy to know that her own daughter knows nothing about it. It makes me wonder what my mother hasn’t told me about her past, and her mother, and so on.

The relationship between Mr. Saint Clair and Ying-Ying is mutual love. There are some things spouses do to show their love for each other. To show his love, Mr. St. Clair would rub Ying-Ying’s “feet at night” and he “praised the food that [she] cooked.” Ying-Ying then says she loves this man “but it was the love of a ghost.” This means that she loved him just because she was supposed to love him because he loved her. There was no desire for her to love St. Clair. Though I’m not sure what Ying-Ying means when she says, “Now Saint is a ghost,” maybe that he is dead physically or that his spirit had withered like hers, but I now they love each other equally. When two people love each other on the same level, I think it’s safe to say it is mutual.

The conflict in this story is inside Ying-Ying. Inside, she is fighting to get back her chi, spirit, to give to her daughter. Ying-Ying is fighting against “the spirit that caused me so much pain” to once again harness it to “use this sharp pain to… cut her tiger spirit loose.” It is hard for Ying-Ying to get her chi once again because she has painful memories from the time she used it. She wanted to be a “tiger ghost” and fade. Now she has to get her fading spirit from inside her to help her daughter. Ying-Ying’s internal conflict is to get her chi back.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger himali said...

St. Claire: The Angel of Light
“Waiting Between the Trees”

1. In the beginning, I think Ying-Ying is being to harsh on Lena even though she is disappointed. I liked the line where Ying-Ying states “I have always known a thing before it happens” (275) because it reminded me of the other two chapters from Lena’s point of view. I didn’t understand why Ying-Ying’s parents arranged for her to marry the man. Their family was wealthy and respected so why did one of their pretty daughters have to marry an old drunk man; couldn’t she marry someone else with high social status? I felt sad for Ying-Ying because she was very young when she was married. I think that the turning point of her life was when she aborted her child. Now I know why she was so sad when she had another miscarriage. I feel sorry for Ying-Ying and I think she had to endure a lot compared to the other mothers – she had an alcoholic husband, an abortion, and she was left to support herself without the riches she had when she was a kid.

2. Ying-Ying and Clifford’s relationship is a little awkward. She married him because she knew it was her destiny to do so, not because she loved him. Also, she never told him the truth; she accepted the gifts even though they meant nothing for her and later, she didn’t protest when they moven to another neighborhood in the Bay Area. I think that Ying-Ying needs to decide her own fate and take risks instead of having her own fate be decided for her. She thought it was her fate to marry Clifford but if she didn’t get too close to him and refused his proposal, her life would’ve been different.

3. Amy Tan uses many similes and metaphors in this vignette. One simile is on page 274: “she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since.” Ying-Ying is comparing Lena to a fish and saying even though she was born to her, she has been struggling to get further and further away from her. Another simile is “you would find [the bowl] covered with hungry flies so thick it looked like a living bowl of black bean soup” (283). In this comparison, a bowl covered with flies is being contrasted to a bowl of soup. What Tan is trying to say is that there were so many black flies moving around in the bowl that is reminded Ying-Ying of a soup bowl. A metaphor on page 285 is “I let myself become a wounded animal” where Ying-Ying is comparing herself to a wounded animal. It really means that Ying-Ying felt vulnerable and hurt.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Minh the Master said...

You Can’t See Me!
“Waiting Between the Trees”

Even though it’s not a very happy chapter, Ying-ying’s story is pretty good. She had a pretty fantastic childhood, but her husband is just a pig, and he doesn’t seem to be well-mannered at all. She’s able to hold a grudge very well, and it’s kind of sad how she doesn’t let it go, and ends up killing her own son just because she hates the man he came from. The way she describes her love for her next husband Mr. St. Clair, is kind of weird when she talks about loving like a ghost, and how she doesn’t have a spirit anymore. Even at the end of the story, she is still invisible to her own daughter, and her daughter just doesn’t know anything about her mom.

The relationship between Ying-ying and her daughter seems to be very distant. Ying-ying talks about her daughter as if she’s stupid, even though she says herself that she loves her. Her daughter knows nothing about her past life, her riches, her horrible marriage, or how she came to get married to both husbands.

The flashback that Amy Tan uses to show Ying-ying’s past life is good for the reader because it fills in all the background information needed to know about Ying-ying, like telling of the baby she killed and the power she’s had since she was young to know things before they happen. The reader learns that Ying-ying goes crazy after her 2nd baby dies because of the 1st one that she already killed. We also learn of her relationship with Clifford, and how she just lets him marry her, without really caring. All this is good background information for the reader though, learning more about who Ying-ying is.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger xxxlilaznboiandrewxxx said...

“Need Spirit? Go to Chi-town”
“Waiting between the Trees”

1] Reaction:
I liked this chapter a lot. The symbolism it uses between Ying-ying and a tiger is pretty cool. This chapter also talks about the origin of her ability to predict the future which is a cool power even though it might not be real. It was sad to see that Ying-ying once loved Clifford but now she loves him without feeling.

2] The relationship between Ying-ying and her first husband is wavy, but mostly all crashes. He was a crude man but Ying-ying married him. She somehow knew she was going to marry him even though he was a jerk. She fell in love with him. This surprised me because it seems fake. The husband eventually left her for someone else which shows that there was no love between them at all.

3] There are a lot or symbolism uses in this chapter. One symbolism use is the tiger. Ying-ying is like a tiger because she sleeps but has and eye open, like a tiger being aware of its surroundings. The watermelon being plunged by knife is also a symbol. It symbols a person virginity being taken away.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger evelyntang said...

Tiger? Tigger!
Chapter: Waiting between the trees

1. This chapter was very interesting and strange. I kept on thinking that if Ying-Ying could sense what was going to happen before it did, why doesn’t she do anything to stop it if it was bad. I felt really bad for Clifford too. Ying-Ying was kind of just using him, and pretending that she was in love with him. She didn’t seem to dare about him when he passed away either. I think that that may have affected Lena’s poor self-esteem as a young child. She had a mother who did not seem to love her father, and a father who remained clueless about this even until his death.

2. Lena and Ying-Ying’s relationship has gone through many ups and downs. From Ying-Ying practically living like she was dead, to Lena becoming anorexic. Ying-Ying became like a person walking through life with no soul after her first marriage, where her husband cheated on her and she killed her own son. But she changed for Lena to become stronger, like the tiger.

3. The main conflict in this vignette is an internal struggle within Ying-Ying while telling the story of her past to Lena. It was hard for Ying-Ying because she had to dig up from within what she had put behind her the events that happened so long ago that no one knew about. But she had to press on to help Lena, her daughter.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger CurlyXPrincess8 said...

"word i can't pronounce"
("Waiting between the trees")



1)This chapter was okay. Ying-Ying’s really is into superstion and fate. She believed she was destined to marry this drunken man, and therefore get closed minded and marries one. when she meets her futre husbamd, she was undecisie about liking him or not .she believes her marriage to him will result in happiness in her life. Her beliefs lead her in to marrying this foreign man who doesn’t even understand her at all no matter what. I love the entire fortune cookie thing hhaha very cute.

2) Ying Ying and Lena’s relationship is quite is pretty difficlut because of their beliefs. Both mother and daughter go through the same conflict in life which is marriage issues. Ying Ying tries to prevent her daughter from making any more mistakes.Lena doesn’t quite know her mother or how to react to the situation.

3) Tan uses similies in this chapter various times to compare two things, such as,
“wisdom is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve.” Comparing Lena’s wisdom to a bottomless pond.It really means that she had wisdom but it disinterigrates with all the wrong actins she does.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Erick with a CK said...

She's Feisty!
(Waiting Between the Trees)

1) I thought this chapter was pretty cool since it seemed like Ying-Ying was thinking about her past, only involving a few other characters in her thoughts. I like how she thinks also, how's she's like the woman who knows everything before it happens and thinking about the neutral side rather than the positive and negative. I was truly shocked with the baby scene where she tossed newspaper at the nurses and told them to throw the baby into the lake like fish. This was my reaction O_O.

2) The relationship between Ying-Ying and her first husband is well, awkward. This drunk, sluggish person slowly falling in love with her, it disgusts her. The weird thing is that Ying-ying somehow KNOWS she's going to marry this person. I think the only reason she fell in love with him was because of his "poem" about the tiger really resembled her personality, since she "cried with honest joy" (p. 280).

3) I really like how Ying-Ying compares herself to a tiger based on its appearance. The gold, resembling the fierce heart, and the black that obscures her behind the trees. I think that the "fierce heart" symbolizes her independence, the ability to handle things by herself, being able to live life without anyone influencing her. The black would symbolize how she is able to hide her true feelings and her appearance.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger ChrisNg324 said...

The black tiger side
"Waiting between the trees"

1) I found this chapter to be your classic love story played in a Chinese background. In this love story, she marries a bad man and in the end, the marriage doesn’t work out. Later she finds the perfect man and marries him. Ergo, it was somewhat classic, but in an Amy Tan style. I give this chapter thumbs up for showing a classic side in a different way.
(that kind of sounds like an oxymoron o.o)

2) The relationship between Lena and Ying-ying is that they are very similar. Both had a bad relationship that they both thought were very good at the beginning. They are also both tigers and because of that, supposedly, their personalities are very similar too. These two are as if they share the same life or that Lena is living out Ying-ying’s life over again in the present time.

3) Question 6: This chapter can often be related to times today. There are often many first marriages that don’t work out and end up in divorce. Later, they find a better man and marry him instead. This is much like present day America where more women are standing up for themselves and deciding that the husband isn’t good enough.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick Duong said...

Tigress Abort!

1. Reaction
I thought this chapter was pretty interesting, and also really short compared to the magpies chapter. I was in shock when I found out that Ying-Ying actually married the husband who got drunk all of the time and who was wedded to her aunt. Thats pretty low in moral values if you ask me. After the marriage, Ying-Ying had to give an abortion, which made me think about all the pregnant teens out in the world giving abortion and the new movie Juno, which is about a girl giving an abortion basically. Its a good movie, go watch it. Anyway, this chapter deserves a thumbs up because it shows a different way a Chinese woman grows up and tells her daughter a story of her life.

2) Ying Ying and Lena’s relationship is quite unique. Both the mother and daughter go through the same conflict in life which are marriage issues. Ying Ying tries to prevent her daughter from making any more mistakes in life by telling her own life story which is full of errors. Lena is astonished because she does not know her mother’s past and is fascinated by how similar their circumstances are.

3. Tan writes about a grandmother who, while playing with her granddaughter, asks her why she is laughing. The grandmother believes the baby to be Syi Wang Mu, or the Queen Mother of the Western Skies, and listens to the baby, who tells her that one must lose one's innocence, but never one's hope. This allegory shows that not only can a child learn wisdom from an elder, but that even an elder can learn wisdom from a child. The fact that this learning works both ways is evident in the chapter, "Waiting Between the Trees." As Ying-Ying watches her daughter's marriage go down the drain, she is forced to reckon with her past once more. Ying-Ying learns to confront her past and absorb from it lessons forgotten along the way.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger ayellowpirate said...

"learn to wait"
Waiting Between the Trees
1. This chapter was fun to read. It was fun seeing how Ying Ying changed her personality after her dreadful first husband left her. Before being left, she was easy going and lighthearted. After he left though, she became cunning and cautious of her decisions. She waited four years before marrying Clifford St. Clair, saying she had to wait for a sign. The sign was her previous husband passing away. The Chinese traditional thinking presented in this chapter was fun to learn about too. Apparently, Ying Ying was born in the year of the Tiger, a fierce but cunning creature. Unlike her, I was born in the year of the sheep, a fluffy, weak creature.
2. Ying-Ying’s first husband and Clifford St. Clair have different nationalities and personalities. The first husband was a Chinese born hustler while Clifford was an American born merchant. When Ying Ying first met the first husband, all he did was crack a joke and open a watermelon. When they were married, he did his business and left her for another woman. Clifford though was a gentle person. He gave gifts to Ying Ying and introduced himself when they first met. He loved Ying Ying, unlike the first husband who just wanted a wife that could bear him children. Somewhere in the chapter, Clifford was called a Chinese name by Ying Ying meaning too polite. Also in the chapter, Ying Ying couldn’t say her first husband’s name because he was too evil.
3. The main conflict in this chapter is internal for Ying Ying. I know this because throughout the chapter, Ying Ying states over and over that she is like a ghost, like the dead ghosts under the waters. She feels as if she has nothing to say and nothing to do, like a ghost. She says she cannot influence her daughter so she will not face the same problems, influencing nothing like a ghost. Another problem that Ying Ying states she has is the ability to be more cautious and smart. She says she has the golden stripes of a tiger, the fierceness and wildness, but she doesn’t have the black stripes, the cunning nature and the patience of when to strike and get the best deal.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger kerry_lupercio62 said...

I Can See the Future
Chapter – Waiting Between the Trees
1. Reaction
I did not really like this chapter because everything was very bizarre. I did not understand why Ying-Ying would marry such a horrible man. At first, I thought she had no choice of being with him, but it turned out that she actually did love him! Her first husband was awful for going away on business trips to have affairs with other women. I also didn’t like the fact that Ying-Ying thought she was always so pretty and was too good for anyone. It was very sad how Ying-Ying killed her poor baby before it was born. I didn’t really understand how Ying-Ying’s first marriage story relates to her knowing the future. This vignette was a bit too weird for me, but the description of everything was written very well.
2. Ying-Ying & Clifford
Ying-Ying and Clifford’s relationship is very different from most and somewhat boring. Although Clifford may have married her because he sincerely loved her, I don’t think Ying-Ying married him for the same reason. After Ying-Ying was devastated and scarred from her previous marriage, she no longer felt loved or pretty. I believe that Ying-Ying only married Clifford to prove a point that “love” could be found again and that she was actually wanted by someone again. Ying-Ying says that she “neither liked him nor disliked him,” showing that she did not marry Clifford out of love. The relationship between the two is also a bit unusual since neither person really knows what the other person is saying and tries to guess instead. Communication is an important part of a good marriage, but they don’t know each other’s languages well enough.
3. In the chapter, Tan uses a great example of symbolism and uses flashbacks to make the impact of the story greater to her readers. The tiger of the Chinese zodiac symbolizes Ying-Ying’s character. The tiger is described as “gold and black,” representing Ying-Ying’s story of her past. At first, she was independent, beautiful, and strong, revealing her “golden” side. When Ying-Ying was married to that awful man, she was not her true self and was depressed, showing her “black” and dark marriage. Tan also uses flashbacks to her life in China from the present in America. In the beginning of the chapter, Ying-Ying describes her daughter’s new home and can see all the signs of a bad marriage such as the unstable end table and the wobbling vase. She can see that Lena’s marriage will turn out badly even before it happens. This allows her to flashback to her life in China where she married a bad man. This story explains how Ying-Ying acquires her skill of being able to know the future of something using her surroundings even before it happens. The flashbacks also explain how Ying-Ying was when she was a beautiful, young, and strong girl and how she slowly turned into a depressed woman that is now only a “ghost.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger cassiiieee_ said...

"tiger eyes"

1)This chapter stars Ying-Ying St. Clair. In this chapter, we see her as a young girl, who had just gotten married to a man whose name she cannot speak. I liked this chapter, but I didn’t like it as much as the previous one. The reason I like this chapter is because when she talks, I feel as though I am her, and the feelings she feels are the feelings I feel. In this chapter I could really feel the emotions Ying-Ying are feeling.
2)Two characters I would like to spotlight on in this chapter are Ying-Ying, and Lena St. Clair. There relationship, as mother and daughter, seems really distant. They don’t seem to not communicate as well as they should. “But when she was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore.” What this quote means, is that when Ying-Ying gave birth to her daughter she was more Americanized than Chinese, and as Lena grew up she became even more distant.
3)In this chapter, waiting between the trees, Amy Tan uses a flashback, and many similes. The flashback is when Ying-Ying St. Clair is reminiscing about her past, and her first husband, who she hates to speak his name. Amy Tan also uses many similes through out this chapter, also throughout this book.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger  said...

RAWR

1. The St. Claires vignettes are always my favorites just because of how bizarre they are. The way she describes the tiger is really interesting. The balck and gold side are different so it represents her personality, so she must think she is a very strong person. The part with her killing the baby was intense. I got kind of confused at one part though because, to me, it sounded as thought she cut the baby out of her womb. The end of the chapter is happy. I really like how her relationship with the white man blossoms over the 4 years of working at the shop.
2. Ying-Ying had bad luck with her first husband. He was a drunk man who cheated on her multiple times and only married her because she was pretty. That is definitely the worst reason i have ever hear of to get married. I felt really bad for her when she finally found out about the opera singer. She kind of saw it coming, but never really wanted to face the truth. Its really sad though that the only thing she thought that she could take away from her husband was their child. This action not only punished him, but her also.
3. The facts about her zodiac oddly fit her perfectly. The two sides she talked about, the black and golden, fit the two sides of her personality. Also the year of the tiger are supposedly able to see the future or something and Ying-YIng does this throughout her vignettes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger emily. said...

Purr One Minutes, Roar the Next : “Waiting Between the Trees”

1. I thought this chapter was kind of strange because Ying-ying never really experienced true love with either of her husbands. With her first husband, she hated him so much that she ended up marrying him. With her second, she could barely even understand what he was saying because of the language barrier. How could she love someone if she did not understand him? I enjoyed the part when the girl that her first husband ran off with killed him because he tried to leave her. I thought he deserved it. Ying-ying’s first husband was conveyed as a terrible person the second they met and right before he died.

2. Ying-Ying and her daughter’s relationship has always been misunderstood. Lena does not really understand why her mother is so negative towards her, but by the end of the chapter, the reader understands where Ying-ying is coming from and why she acts the way she does. I think that once Lena realizes her mother’s true intentions, their relations will become much closer. It is apparent that Ying-ying really does love Lena and wants Lena to experience love because Ying-ying does not say anything about what she thinks will happen to Lena and her husband in the future.

3. I learned a lot of Chinese culture from this chapter. I learned that a person born in the year of the tiger is fierce and strong. I learned that they are sneaky and know when the right time to attack is. I also learned that in traditional Chinese culture, one is supposed to let the guest sleep in the best bedroom in the house. I also learned that a Chinese superstition is that it is bad if the walls of a room are slanted because “it is closed like a coffin.” I also learned that another Chinese superstition is to let the wind enter into a house to blow the spirit back to where you want it to go.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Christina Tran said...

“Ying-Ying means Clear Reflections?”
Chapter “Waiting Between the Trees”

1) Reaction
This chapter was really short compared to the others. I thought “Waiting Between the Trees” did not have an exciting plotline because all Ying-Ying was talk about her past and how she could predict things that were going to happen. I gave this chapter a thumbs down because I thought it was boring except for a few parts. I was shocked when she wanted to “wrap [the baby] like a fish and throw it in the lake” because even if the father made the mistake, why should she take it out on the baby (248)? I couldn’t understand that she was extremely mad at her husband but the baby was innocent. After the abortion scene, I lost interest in the chapter.

2) Ying-Ying and her first husband
There wasn’t really a relationship that could define Ying-Ying and her husband’s marriage. In the chapter, it didn’t really explain much about their relationship. Ying-Ying married a man she called “Uncle” and fell in love with him. However, he later “left [her] to live with an opera singer” while she was pregnant with his baby (247). I could tell that she was in love with him and perhaps he was too. However just like the wind, his love for her also diminished. I just felt pity for Ying-Ying and her first husband’s marriage.

3) Internal vs. External
I think this chapter was mostly filled with internal conflict. It first started with the internal conflict that Ying-Ying faced during her marriage with “Uncle.” He cheated and left her during her pregnancy. She encountered emotional problems. More internal conflict occurred when she was troubled over the love issue for Lena’s father. She always questioned herself if she loved him and how could she not love him. Finally, Ying-Ying was afraid of telling Lena about her past. She wanted Lena to learn about the pain that she went through before.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Vinky said...

“Prowl and Prance” – Chapter “Waiting Between the Trees”

This chapter was confusing in the beginning. I sensed confusion in Ying-Ying’s voice throughout the chapter of whether or not to tell her daughter about her childhood and life in China. Not only was this chapter confused but it was disturbing as well. I really can’t believe she “killed” her own baby because she hated her husband for leaving her. It’s really a tragedy. Reading the description of her dead baby made me think about the pain she was going through and continues to feel. After her husband left her, it left an empty hole in her heart. She transformed from a rich unruly girl to a peasant-looking conservative woman.

Ying-Ying and Clifford’s relationship was unconditional. Clifford really loved her and gave her lovely gifts. Ying-Ying also loved him but it wasn’t directly shown in this chapter until the end of the chapter. The items Clifford gives to Ying-Ying weren’t as lavish as the jade jars full of cigarettes when she was younger. I praise Ying-Ying’s ability to maintain loyalty. Although she knew she was going to marry Clifford, she didn’t until her first husband died. Clifford really cared for Ying-Ying and she appreciated everything he did for her.

The conflict in this story is between Ying-Ying and herself. After she married she lost her “tiger spirit”. She wants to help her daughter regain her own tiger spirit and “cut her tiger spirit loose.” Ying-Ying is willing to do anything to get through to her daughter by revealing her own past mistakes and hardships. Ying-Ying’s anger towards her first husband never really left her because she never regained her tiger spirit. By moving to America, she tried to change her ways and she hopes to help her daughter get her fighting spirit back.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joanna Trinh said...

What you know isn't true.
You want to find the real story?
Let me walk you through.
“Waiting Between the Trees”

1. I think Ying-ying is too conceited. “When I was a young girl in Wushi, I was like lihai. Wild and stubborn. I wore a smirk on my face. Too good to listen. I was small and pretty”(275-276). That's just really self-centered. What I really don't get is why Amy Tan was trying to be so obvious about that bad quality of Ying-ying. She even had Ying-ying say, “even though I was a grown woman, I became pretty again. This was a gift. I wore clothes far better and more expensive than what was sold in the store. And this made women buy the cheap clothes, because they thought they could look as pretty as I”(283). Why is Tan making Ying-ying so easy to hate?
I don't understand how Ying-ying came to love her first husband. How could she have “pushed so hard to keep him from [her] thoughts that [she] fell into a marriage bed with him?”(279).
When she talks about the north wind and how it's “the coldest”, I was thinking before she even mentioned that that her husband coming from the north wind must be a bad thing because the sun begins in the east so her husband had to be blown from the east to be a good thing (281).
When Ying-ying said that her “cousin's family treated [her] well because [she] was the daughter of the family who supported them”, it reminded me of a day when I went out with my cousin and his brother from Nebraska (283). I thought they were being too good to me and trying too hard; they were always offering me this and that. Then I remembered that in the past, my mother helped my aunt a lot, so I guess my aunt told them to be good to me.

2. I think Ying-ying's mother loved her too much and didn't know the limits, so Ying-ying became spoiled. “My mother said I would bring shame into the house, but I only giggled as she tried to tuck my hair up with long pins. She loved me too much to get angry. I was like her”(276). It reminds me of my relationship with my own mother. It seems like she's completely devoted to me or something.

3. I really noticed that Amy Tan used many similes in this chapter. Ying-ying said that her daughter's wisdom “is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect anything”(274). That was pretty cool. She also said that “when [Lena] was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore”(274). Ying-ying also described a bad time by saying that “people in the countryside died like chickens on a hot summer day”(282). Similes spice up Tan's story.

4. I'm not sure about the theme in this chapter (it seems as though the theme is harder to find as the chapters go on), but I think you can learn that if you commit sins, karma is going to come and get you. Ying-ying's first husband fooled around with many girls. She said he “had dog eyes. [He] jumped and followed whoever called [him]. Now [he] chase [his] own tail”(285).
Out of this chapter, you can also learn that you can wait patiently and quietly for good things to come your way, but if you wait too long, your life will just vanish. Ying-ying said that she “was a tiger that neither pounced nor lay waiting between the trees. [She] became an unseen spirit”(285).
The conflict, however, is a bit more clear. Ying-ying has to decide whether or not she wants to tell her daughter the truth about her past, and decide if she's willing to try and find a way. This is revealed on all of page 286. Here's a part of it:
“Now Saint is a ghost. He and I can now love equally. He knows the things I have been hiding all these years. Now I must tell my daughter everything. That she is the daughter of a ghost. She has no chi. This is my greatest shame. How can I leave this world without leaving her my spirit”(286).

Saturday, January 17, 2009 6:59:00 PM  
Blogger christinehwang said...

Tiger Lady

Focusing on: Waiting Between the Trees

This chapter gave me a much different view of Ying-Ying compared to how she was portrayed in the Moon Lady chapter. Despite the fact that both chapters described her as a innocent, playful child, in this chapter, she was also shown to have the ability to "[know] a thing before it [happened]."Her gift was not limitless however, for though she knew what would happen, she was unable to stop it...One scene that made me want to gag was the scene in which Ying-Ying's first husband told her to "cut the watermelon." I felt sorry for Ying-Ying who had to both marry, and watch this perverted jerk leave her for another woman. On the other hand, Ying-Ying's relationship with Mister St.Clair caused me to have a totally different reaction. When the book described that he was "anxious and eager" whenever he gave her cheap gifts, I found it really cute, despite his ignorance of Ying-Ying's childhood riches. I also found it really sweet when it was said that he "rubbed [her] feet," "praised the food that [Ying-Ying] cooked," and basically treated her like a queen...One scene that made me depressed was when Ying-Ying gave up her chi and let St.Clair marry her. Though I had nothing against Mister St.Clair, I felt that Ying-Ying had more potential and power.

One adjective to describe the relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena is "unseen." As Ying-Ying said herself, "her eyes will see nothing...where I am waiting between the trees." Though she uses symbolic language, what Ying-Ying is trying to say is pretty clear. She is basically expressing the fact that Lena cannot see her because she has no chi, or in other words, spirit, a will to fight back and challenge her circumstances. Another reason why Lena is unable to "see" her mother is because she has become too Americanized. As described in the scene when Lena offers her mother the "guestroom" instead of the master bedroom, Ying-Ying is described as being disappointed and saddened that Lena's " wisdom is like a bottomless pond.[Someone may] throw stones in [but] they sink into the darkness and dissolve." Lena's wisdom can be expressed to mean her overall wisdom or her knowledge of the Chinese culture. Ying-Ying is "unseen" to Lena in that she had once lost given up her defense, become a "ghost", and also because Lena is oblivious to her Chinese background, which is what makes up Ying-Ying's identity.

One writing technique that Amy Tan used in this chapter was metaphor. An example of this was shown on page 285 in which Tan wrote, "Now I was a tiger that neither pounced nor lay waiting between the trees." Even though she had not used this direct comparision in the beginning of the story, she turned the phrase "I was born in the year of the tiger," into Ying-Ying literally becoming a tiger. Tan's use of metaphor helped create more emotion, more specifically sorrow. Instead of simplying saying that Ying-Ying had lost her chi, she said that a tiger, Ying-Ying, had "let [herself] become a wounded animal. [She] let the hunter come and turn [her] into a tiger ghost." The image of a tiger becoming pale and ill created more sadness in my heart, in that it was easier for me to imagine a tiger losing its strength then a woman losing hers strength. I believe that her choice of portraying Ying-Ying as a tiger was very useful in that both were extremely powerful, fearless, but had become vulnerable and weak because of the "hunters," or the unbearable difficulties in life.

One thing that I learned about Chinese culture, that was mentioned in previous chapters was that "quality" was the most important factor to the Chinese people. When Lena proudly escorted her mother to the guestroom, Ying-Ying was displeased because her thoughts were not the same as those of her Americanized daughter. She thought differently from her daughter in that she believed that "the guest bedroom [was] the best bedroom," the master bedroom. Their contrasting views showed how this aspect was a part of the Chinese custom.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 1:30:00 PM  
Blogger Kimmy T said...

Kimmy Tran
Period 6

1. Lurking in the Shadows
2. Waiting between the Trees

3. I didn't enjoy reading this chapter even though it was short. I don't really like the character, Ying-Ying so it was difficult to actually read a whole chapter from her perspective. I thought that she was very conceited and big headed in her story. She kept on bragging about how she was so pretty when she was young. She even said she was prettier than her daughter and that her daughter inherited her father's ugly traits! I don't think a mother should think this about her child.
It was really gross how Ying-Ying had married an old man when she was only 16! Ying-Ying actually liked him back and thought they were destined to be together. I guess I find that disgusting because right now in America, it would be against the law. I thought it was very mean of the husband to just run off with an opera singer and leave his wife, Ying-Ying, with an unborn son, heartbroken and angry. I don't think that it gave Ying-Ying the right though to abort her son. She should've thought it over more because killing her baby son out of rage or even revenge seems to be crueler.
I thought it was cool in the end how Ying-Ying finally decides to give her daughter, Lena, her tiger spirit because in the previous chapter from Lena's perspective, Lena suddenly knew that her relationship with her husband finally went bad and confronted him about it. I think that the spirit of the tiger jumped into Lena then. Its cool how two things can happen at one time and the reader can read from one person's view and then another to see the whole situation.
I also noticed that we don't really find out Ying-Ying's last name but only her husband's: St. Clair. I thought it was weird because we know the other aunts' last names.

4. I think that the relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena is very cold. Ying-Ying doesn't really seem to appreciate her daughter as demonstrated in the beginning of the chapter when she says "she watched her from another shore" (274) and doesn't talk to her a lot. Also Lena doesn't seem very respectful of her mother's ideas because Ying-Ying rants that Lena doesn't listen to her or will laugh at her when she is trying to give advice. I think that if they were closer, Ying-Ying would've talked more to Lena and Lena would've have listened to her mom more.

5. One writing technique that Amy Tan uses in the chapter is simile. You can find a simile on the first page of the chapter: "she sprang from me like a slippery fish" (274). Another simile in the chapter is when Ying-Ying describes her bedroom at Lena's house: "Its walls closed in like a coffin" (275). These help the imagery in the book and lets the reader see the character's attitude to a certain person when the reader sees what the character is comparing the person too.

6. This relates to the opening allegory because in both stories, the mothers (grandmother in the allegory) both regret how they raised their child and want to restore life lessons within their daughter. The grandmother in the allegory wants to teach her daughter to laugh and have joy while Ying-Ying wants the "tiger spirit" to be awakened within her daughter.

Friday, February 06, 2009 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger ming said...

The Hidden Tiger

Joy Luck Club: Waiting behind the tree

1)This chapter wasn’t the best, but it revealed a lot about Ying Ying’s life. I still do not get what Ying Ying’s husband meant by saying “ready to kai gwa”. I think that Ying Ying is too conceited how she thinks she is too good for any man, how she looks so pretty that other women tries to look as “pretty” as she does. Ying Ying has a sad and interesting background. I think that she should have kept that baby even though her husband had left her pregnant, but instead she aborted it and that is just sad. Her husband is a bad man and I think he should’ve stayed.

2)Amy Tan uses flashbacks in this chapter. She starts off in the present and then switches gear to the past then explains once more. This improves her writing because she does this so that we can keep reading and she drags us along with her. This makes us want to read more and more so we keep going until we finish the chapter. Amy Tan describes Ying Ying as a spirit of power and she is going to fight with her daughter and win so that she could pass on the strength of her spirit to her daughter,

3)I learned that the Chinese culture haves their daughter and sons marry at a very young age. Most of the wives end up getting divorced and becoming a widow and which is sometimes a good thing, but more then likely not. Most of the times, as it seems like it, the husband does the most damage and leaves

Saturday, February 07, 2009 4:19:00 PM  
Blogger Andy Lam said...

1. Return of the Tiger
2. Waiting Between The Trees
3. I first thought that the American word that Ying-Ying wanted to call Lena and her husband was a cuss word because she said it was very ugly, but then I discovered that it was actually the word architect. I also found Amy Tan’s making Ying-Ying call Social Security So-So Security genius because it also makes it seem like Ying-Ying isn’t feeling very secure, which she does. I read about how she strangely fell in love with a man that made a joke of her. The way she fell in love seemed weird because she didn’t like him but then somehow got married to him. As quickly as I took a liking to him, the way he treated Ying-Ying, I loathed him when he left her for other women during his business trips. I hate men who get married with someone they love and then go out and find another wife without any acceptable reason. I wonder why Ying-Ying didn’t leave for her own family after her husband left her because they were still probably rich or at least could give her a better life than her cousin did. I read that a letter came from Tientsin, and that made me wonder if she had a connection with An-Mei’s mother’s family that she was married into. Then I realize that Ying-Ying thought she was a failure of a mother to raise her daughter right because she had lost her spirit from all the grief she suffered. So now she thinks that she will try to put some sense into her and compensate what she failed to do before by telling her daughter her tragic story.
4. Ying-Ying and Lena are complete opposites because they fail to understand each other. Ying-Ying uses her traditional Chinese ways to talk with her daughter, but Lena uses her American ways to talk with her mother. Their disagreement and cultural clashes makes them distant apart from each other, like when Ying-Ying wanted to discipline Lena when she “had laughed when she heard this (Ying-Ying pronouncing architect wrong)”, and that she regretted that she didn’t “slap her more often for disrespect” (275). That shows how the Chinese culture imposes that the daughter shouldn’t laugh at her mother but in American culture it’s perfectly fine to do so.
5. Amy Tan used a lot of metaphors in this chapter. All the things that involved Ying-Ying having the characteristic of a tiger, with the stripes, eyes, and fierceness of a tiger involved the employment of metaphors by Amy Tan. She really incorporated a lot of Ying-Ying’s characteristic with the characteristics of tigers that many people know of, which really helped me understand Ying-Ying’s thoughts and the reasons behind her actions better.
6. The theme of this chapter is to try and keep someone from straying the wrong way if you really care about them, no matter what it takes because that is what Ying-Ying was trying to do to Lena, putting some sense into her and trying to save their marriage.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 5:44:00 PM  
Blogger spiderlaurie said...

Empty Love
Waiting Between the Trees
1. I thought it was kind of odd that Ying-Ying wasn’t disturbed by the premonition that she was going to marry that laughing watermelon man. It seemed to me as though that guy was really crude and just weird. If I were her I would have cried. And then I thought it was even more weird that she fell in love with him. I just cannot picture anyone loving someone like that. In this chapter they finally revealed what Ying-Ying was always talking to her daughter about in the previous chapters about how a bad man will plant a baby in you. I wonder how Ying-Ying must have felt when she used to be so rich and then Clifford St. Clair thought he was doing something very generous by buying her cheap souvenirs. If I were her, I would have almost been insulted. Ying-Ying doesn’t seem to be in control of her life, but instead it seems as though she is swept along with the premonitions that she feels.
2. I think the relationship between Ying-Ying and St. Clair is almost like a fairytale relationship. Well, at least in St. Clair’s view. Ying-Ying wasn’t doing very much with her life, just working in a trinket shop, when St. Clair comes in and starts courting her. In a way St. Clair helped Ying-Ying get started on the second part of her life. In a fairytale the princess has to wait for the prince in order to get out of the tower she is stuck in. Ying-Ying and St. Clair’s story is similar.
3. I liked Amy Tan’s use of symbolism in this chapter. Through out the story she compared Ying-Ying to a tiger that waits until opportunity comes and who also shines with brilliance. I think that this symbol helps us better understand Ying-Ying’s character.
4. The main lesson in this chapter is that we should be proactive and change things when we know something bad is going to happen. Ying-Ying’s life ends up being so awful because although she predicts that many things will happen to her, she never stops them. Even though she could tell that her husband was cheating on her, she did nothing to try to fix it. That is why she wants to warn her daughter to not make the same mistakes that she did, and to save the marriage between her husband and her.
-Laurie Jeng

Saturday, February 07, 2009 8:40:00 PM  
Blogger Beryllium Baiology said...

Beryl Bai
1. Lost Qi (chi)

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. Clifford sounds nice and all but how cheap. Small trinkets that are nothing compared to what riches she had before just to show how much you like someone? Come on… But then I guess Ying-ying didn’t exactly tell him that she used to be from a rich family that had things with far finer qualities. I wonder how does someone fall in love with someone you can't even communicate with. Even though Ying-ying can see what will be or what is the truth, she doesn’t really say much about it. She doesn’t really tell her daughter what to do, like most of the mothers that know something.

4. To regain her spirit, Ying is going to confront her past. This pain will free her spirit so she can cut her daughter’s spirit free. Like a tiger, Ying ying sits and waits for her daughter. When the vase drops and clatters onto the ground, she waits knowingly the outcome of that vase and her daughter.

5. Ying-Ying;’s black side, her golden side, that she always had when she was young was broken by her husband. It represented her spirit, her chi, that since she lost, her daughter was not able to inherit it from her.

6. The main conflict in this story is Ying-ying trying to find her chi so that her daughter can also have the chi that she needs.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 9:23:00 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

A Tiger with Faded Black Stripes
“Waiting Between the Trees”
1. I liked how this vignette showed Ying-ying’s side to the story of why the table breaks in the chapter “The Rice Husband.” This chapter shows how similar Ying-ying is to her daughter. Ying-ying and Lena are both born in the year of the tiger and should be similar in spirit. Furthermore, like Lena, Ying-ying watched things in her life happen and did nothing to stop it. If Ying-ying, however, knew something before it happened, I wondered why she let herself marry a man she did not love. I also thought that in some aspects, she was similar to Rose Hsu Jordan: Ying-ying did everything to try to please her husband and did not think of herself, therefore, not making her own choices. It felt tragic when Ying-ying, because of her husband, decided to kill her own son because of the hate she felt for that man.
2. The relationship between Ying-ying and her husband Clifford St. Clair is of a loving yet not loving relationship. After leaving her other husband, she started a new life and began to take advantage of her cunning side (or as her ex-husband called it, her black stripes). However, once she met St. Clair, again, she knew that she would be marrying him, but let him court her and eventually marry her. She also knew that he was the sign that the black side of her would go away. Marrying St. Clair was a sign that Ying-ying had already given up and become a ghost of her former self. Although she loved him, “it was the love of a ghost” (284).
3. Amy Tan uses flashbacks to enhance the stories focus. She writes the story of Ying-ying when she was still carefree and innocent. The flashback reveals how Ying-ying came to lose her innocence and her own spirit in the process. It also shows why Ying-ying believes she set a bad example for her daughter and how she feels that it was her fault that her daughter failed to see the signs around her and could not fix the marriage.
4. The allegory at the beginning of the section shows a grandmother and her baby granddaughter. The baby laughs and is untainted by the world and the grandmother finds out that not only can the older generation teach the younger, the younger can teach the older as well. Ying-ying, when knowing her daughter’s marriage is in trouble, decides to tell her daughter of her previous life. Obviously, Ying-ying is still not over her first marriage because up until now, she still lives as a ghost. From Lena’s problem, Ying-ying finds out that she must face her problem and stop living as a ghost so that Lena may live on as well. She decides to teach her daughter what it means to have a strong spirit.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Linda Nguyen said...

“I became an unseen spirit.”
Waiting Between the Trees.

When I was reading this chapter, all I could think about was how egotistical and narcissistic Ying-Ying was as a girl! She’s “too vain to think any one boy was good enough for [her]” and she even thought that she “was far more pretty than [her] daughter, who has country feet and a large nose like her father’s” (278-279). I was like “geesh, she’s definitely ‘lihai’ ” (275). Then I felt bad that she had to marry a really older man when she was just 16! That’s so crazy, but I guess it wasn’t back then. She’s my age though, and she’s arranged to get married against her will. Anyways, besides that, I think Ying-Ying is a pretty strong woman. For going through with a marriage with someone who’s old enough to be her father and for surviving the loss of her baby boy. I read that women who go through that often experience deep depression. I think being born the year of the Tiger has lots to do with her strength. My dad was also born the year of the Tiger and he’s one of the strongest people I know. It kind of bothered me when she married Clifford and then described her love for him was the love of a ghost, or something. Is that like empty love or is it love at all? Is it some kind of unknown deep suffering? That was a little bit confusing and then it became even more confusing when she said that he became a ghost and now they can love evenly?! Somehow, I don’t think that they truly loved each other, and that bothers me. I think that’s why she wants to help her daughter, Lena, with her failing marriage. I think Ying-Ying’s using her dark side of the Tiger to help her daughter, she’s being very cunning.

I guess Ying-Ying’s relationship with Clifford is like an empty rice bowl; it’s hollow. Ying-Ying described their love as the “love of a ghost” and “a bowl full of rice but without any appetite to eat it” (286). I feel that she doesn’t love Clifford as much as her adores her. She doesn’t care and it’s because she has no spirit. And now her daughter has inherited that. Her daughter’s marriage is as empty and lifeless as hers and Clifford’s.

Amy Tan uses a metaphor to compare Ying-Ying with a tiger. She also mentioned that Ying-Ying was born the year of the tiger. But although it’s not directly stated in the chapter, you can assume from lines such as “I let myself become a wounded animal. I let the hunter come to me and turn me into a tiger ghost. I willingly gave up my chi, the spirit that caused me so much pain” (285) that she is comparing herself to a tiger. From these lines, Ying-Ying is now a lifeless tiger, a ghost, or an “unseen spirit.” I think by using strong metaphor adds even more to Ying-Ying as a character. By associating Ying-Ying to an animal we’re all familiar with and it’s traits, it’s easier for us to understand what kind of a person Ying-Ying is- headstrong, fierce, and cunning.

I learned lots of Chinese phrases in this chapter such as “kechi” which means too polite, chuming which means inside knowing of things, and Ying-Ying means Clear Reflection. I wonder what Yang means now… I also learned that Chinese people consider the guest bedroom as the best bedroom. I also learned that “kai gwa” means “open the watermelon” (277). I think these words might come in handy someday…maybe.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rachhhh said...

Tiger Spirit
“Waiting Between the Trees”

3) There is nothing happy in this chapter. Ying ying marries “the bad man” even though she knows it is the wrong thing to do, just because she felt like she could see her future. With the example of the watermellon, she should have known he was not going to be a good husband. He treats her like a plaything, and clearly does not respect. It was so shocking that she got revenge on him by aborting the baby. What kind of person could do such a thing. She even recognized it as revenge. Late when she meets St Clair, she “let him” marry her. She is a victim of her own life. She never loved St. Clair, even though she has painted such a romantic story of him saving her from poverty. It is all pathetic.

4) The relationship between Ying Ying and Lena is one of misunderstanding. Lena sees that her mother is a shadow but doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t know how her mother’s chi was lost. I wonder if she could if Ying Ying would just tell her. I think that Ying Ying puts a lot of blame on her daughter, saying that she does not understand—well how could she? Ying Ying never told her!

5) I like the simile of the fish swimming away farther and farther- Ying Ying’s description of her lifelong relationship with Lena. Of course Lena is swimming away; she doesn’t understand the least thing about her mother.

6b) Like the allegory, Ying Ying is learning from her daughter. As she watches the passive nature of her daughter ruining her marriage, she sees that she has passed this on to her without knowing it. She tried so hard to forget her first marriage, but now she has to confront the memory in order to help her daughter.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tina Truong said...

1) Lihai Tiger
2) Queen Mother of the Western Skies “Ying-ying St. Clair: Waiting Between the Trees”

3) After reading this chapter, I saw how effective Amy Tan’s method of writing 16 different vignettes was. I noticed Tan refer back to Lena St. Clair’s vignette that had the unstable marble end table. She came back to it a few times and I was able to see the relations and it gave a kind of visual thought of the time span. I was able to a picture a chronological order of when the events that related to Ying-ying and her daughter happened.
I thought that it was so gross how Ying-ying ended up marrying the man at her auntie’s wedding. I pictured him as an ugly drunk man that was too old for her. After all, he was old enough for her to call ‘uncle’ and old enough to drink whiskey. And I didn’t understand what he meant when he said, “kai gwa, --open the watermelon,” (277). Why was everyone laughing? I imagined it mean something DIRTY because Ying-ying said, “it was true I was a wild girl, but I was innocent,” (277), but I don’t want to accuse him of anything…still. She foresaw that she would marry him and he said that “she cannot turn away…” (279)—Ah! That creep! Later, however, I thought that he turned out to be not that bad… It was nice how he really did seem to care about Ying-ying; he recited a poem for her and everything. I guess I spoke out too soon… he let go of her when he got her pregnant. So cruel. I expected her to seek revenge when she was mad enough to kill her baby before it was born. She said that “[she] killed [the baby] because [she] came to hate this man so much… [her] body flowed with terrible revenge,” (281). I guess that she meant killing the baby was her form of revenge. To me, that didn’t mean much because he didn’t care about that baby in the first place, so how could it be called revenge?
I noticed that Ying-Ying mentioned that she was the daughter of her father’s wife a couple of times. I realized that that gave her some sort of honor. Going back to An-mei Hsu’s stories, concubines didn’t have the same honor as wives did. So Ying-ying must have been proud for that.

4) In a nutshell, I think that the relationship between Ying-ying and her first husband can be called regretful, especially for Ying-ying’s side of the story. She knew beforehand that the watermelon man was who she was going to marry and she didn’t even like him from the start, so why didn’t she try to stop it before things got too late? After all, it wasn’t even like the man was an arranged fiancé for long anyway. The only reason Ying-ying’s family knew him was because he was “a friend of [her] aunt’s new husband,” (277). Knowing all of that before and not stopping it only to have it ruin the rest of her life is something to regret, is it not? I felt sorry for Ying-ying because it didn’t seem as though he was the most appropriate man out there, regarding his manners… He should have regretted what he did too… but seeing that he died from his actions. Pathetic man, to say the truth.

5) A significant writing technique that Tan used in this chapter was symbolism. Ying-ying compared herself to a tiger, an animal known to be cunning and smart. Ying-ying is able to “know a thing before it happens,” (287) and that kind of makes her mysterious and eerie, somewhat like a tiger. A tiger lurks behind trees to watch things happen. I think that when Ying-ying said that she would be “waiting behind the trees,” (287) when Lena walked up and sees nothing, she meant that though Lena won’t see anything, her mother is still there. It is just like Ying-ying’s premonitions… they haven’t happened yet, but they will.

6) (a. What is the theme or life lesson in this chapter and which line or scene reveals this?)
I think that the theme of life lesson in this vignette is that not everything happens for a known reason. The most important support information that I can find for this idea is the fact that Ying-ying’s first husband left her for other women after he got her pregnant. He made her carry a burden while he carelessly chased others. Unfair and unreasonable. The reason that this scene supports the theme/message that I provided is because, Ying-ying didn’t do anything wrong –that we know of. The reason could be that Ying-ying didn’t choose the right person, but she never intended on marrying that man in the first place, but yet he always acted as if all the ladies really liked him. His arrogance showed when he said, “See, she cannot turn away. She is already mine,” (279). The only other logical reason is that the watermelon man is a foolish jerk and the fact that he died was a result of bad karma, but I just don’t think that that was good enough reason.

Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger tatztastic said...

Brian Tat
Period 7

Reawaken the Tiger

Waiting Between the Trees

Reading the first page, I saw the line “It is the only way to penetrate her skin and pull her to where she can be saved.” I wondered if Tan used that line for reference to the other chapter, “The Voice From the Wall.” The line has words like “penetrate” “saved” and “pull.” In the other chapter of “The Voice From the Wall,” it has the daughter slashes her mother with a thousand cuts and pulls her through the wall. Realizing this connection, it is hinted that the mother will probably confront Lena to save her. From the chapter “Rice Husband,” the marble table is introduced and I said previously in a blog that it could represent the relationship Harold created with Lena. I think the mother says that a person cannot put a heavy bag on the table is trying to mean that a successful relationship will be tested by heavy obstacles in life, but anything put on that table will not work. I really don’t get why Tan decided to put the paragraph about the jade jar. Perhaps she could be using the jar to symbolize Ying-ying’s inability to notice her blessings in life or it could foreshadow how Lena will be born, but her Tiger spirit is poured out and mud scooped in. I don’t understand how Ying-ying managed to fall in the same marriage bed with “Uncle” despite her efforts to reject him. I think the watermelon represents Ying-ying’s freedom, and that when “Uncle” had cut the perfect “watermelon,” her freedom was cut in half and stolen. I thought it was pretty sad how Ying-ying cherished her first husband and did whatever it took to make him happy and then he left her for other women. To hear that Ying-ying was overcame with grief that she actually killed her baby made me feel sorry for her pain. Why did Ying-ying marry Saint so easily? Did Ying-ying feel sadness as the “another emptiness” she had? I like the ending, because it gives a positive feeling about Lena. Ying-ying will gather all of her past mistakes and misfortunes and tell it to Lena so that she may learn.

I think Ying-ying and Saint’s relationship is like a master and its dog, or rather obeying. For example, the Saint is like a dog when he waits for Ying-ying after four years patiently. He has given her things that he might want to see again, just like a dog gives his master a Frisbee, so the dog can see it again. However, their positions switch when Ying-ying discovers that her first husband has died. Saint marries Ying-ying, where she wore large American clothes and accepted her daughter’s American ways. It’s like she obeys Saint for she has no spirit and allows Saint to do mask her old Chinese heritage.

I think Tan used imagery to make the reader’s imagine a bit more about the object and symbolism to help the readers try and discover a connection between the two objects. For example, Tan uses imagery on page 283 to describe the place or condition she had lived in. The place was poor for it was described that “babies crawled on the floor with the mice” and “if you left a bowl with even a few grains of rice, you would find it covered with hungry flies…” Tan also uses symbolism, like a person born in the year of the Tiger had cunning, forcefulness, and patience. Tan also uses flashback to describe Ying-ying’s past and it makes the story exciting, because the reader finds out what happened to Ying-ying from her story of “The Moon Lady.”

I believe the main conflict is man vs. self and internal. I think the conflict is with Ying-ying and her first husband. Ying-ying suffers horribly in response to her first husband when he runs away with an opera singer. I believe she feels saddened when she finds out that a young servant girl murdered him. From being saddened about her first husband, she eventually loses her fierce spirit.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:43:00 AM  
Blogger RHEEAK. said...

Rikki Dionisio, Period 6

1. “Black Stripes”
2. Queen Mother of the Western Skies: Waiting Between the Trees
3. This chapter was somewhat slower than most of the chapters, to me. I learned about the decision that Ying-ying made to abort her son out of anger, and that seemed like a somewhat realistic situation because as humans, we act out and do plenty of things out of anger. Can you blame her? No. But was that a stupid, regrettable decision? Yes, very. Ying-ying did not want any type of reminder of her late husband, so I guess by killing the baby it was a good thing because it was for one, a boy, and two, obviously a reminder.
4. The relationship between Clifford St. Clair and Ying-ying is loving and genuine. Clifford would do little things that showed he still cared, like rub her feet. Ying-ying’s first husband was nothing but a drunk who did not have real love for her. Sometimes I think that Ying-ying loves her husband more than her daughter because Ying-ying and Lena have very little interaction and affection in this chapter, whereas the light shines tremendously on the love and affection Clifford and Ying-ying share.
5. A technique that Tan uses to help enhance her writing is symbolism. She has Ying-ying compare herself to a tiger. That not only is symbolic, but teaches about Chinese culture at the same time because it shows that they believe that they inherit some type of quality from an animal and that is why they are the way they are.
6. The conflict in this chapter is internal v external because she states that after she married she “lost her tiger spirit” and battles the anger she has for herself for marrying such a man. She battles with herself wondering if she really has the ability to love Clifford and whether or not to tell Lena about her dark past.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger kristin x] said...

Crouching Ying-ying, Hidden Tiger
Waiting between the trees
1. I think Ying-ying is really self-centered. She talks about how she was so pretty as a girl, and how when she grew up, she was still pretty. She would wear nicer clothes in the store where she worked, so everyone else would feel bad and try to be prettier. That’s really conceited, that she thought of herself so highly. Then she leaves her husband because he was cheating on her. She feels the need to suffer for his stupidity, crammed in a house with a ton of other people. She’s a very strange woman. Lena doesn’t see how weird her mother is, how she used to be so strong and then became weak after her husband left her. Then she met Clifford St. Clair and decided he was a sign that she would be strong again. I think it’s weird that Ying-ying thinks she needs a man to be strong. There are a lot of single women today that are doing just fine without a man, but times have changed, so I guess it was pretty normal to need a man back then.
2. Lena and Ying-ying’s relationship almost have a misunderstanding in their relationship. There are a lot of misunderstandings in this book, almost always between mother and daughter. Lena doesn’t know how Ying-ying used to be, about her strength and how it was taken from her by a dishonest husband. Lena doesn’t know a lot about her mom’s past or how she came to be who she is now. Most of the misunderstanding happens on the daughter’s side though; they don’t know how much their mothers lost or gave up.
3. Similes described Lena a lot. Her wisdom “is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve” (274). She was also compared to a slippery fish when she was born, “swimming away [from her mom] ever since.” (274). They give a more humorous and vivid picture of what’s happening and a better understanding of Lena’s character.
4. I think the theme in this chapter is if you have the power to change something for the better, then you should. Ying-ying has many things in her life that could have been better. She says her first husband has “dog eyes”, she knows that he will eventually leave, but she does nothing about it. She also knows that the table will rattle and the slim vase on top of it will fall, but she ignores it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger JessieT said...

1. Eyes of a Tiger
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. This chapter made Ying-Ying seem so vain and conceited. She had very small feet and was very proud of them, so whenever “a pair of silk slippers became dusty, [she] threw them away (276). She was even so proud to think that “any one boy was good enough for [her] (278). Her naivety made her unappreciative of the riches her family had, unaware of all the poverty elsewhere in China. Even so, I can’t help but feel sorry for Ying-Ying because of what she had to go through with such a terrible man. I wonder why he cheated on her when she was so beautiful and rich. It was so sad when she took her own baby’s life. She should have let him live because he would have grown up to be a fine boy. I can’t help but wonder if she really loves Saint and her daughter, or if she wishes she could have changed things back in China.
4. I think the relationship between Lena and Ying-Ying St. Clair could be described as distant. Its obvious that they don’t really know each other all too well. In the beginning of the vignette, Ying-Ying states that she “watched her as though from another shore (274). This implies that since she was born, they haven’t been that close to each other.
5. In this chapter, Tan uses a flashback to help give more depth and understanding to the character Ying-Ying St. Clair. Now that I know more about her past, I really don’t hate her as much as I did before. When Ying-Ying lost the baby in “The Voice from the Wall” it must have pained her even more because it reminded her of the baby she lost back in China. That must have been the reason she was falling apart so badly after her loss.
6. I learned a little about Chinese culture in this vignette. Small, dainty feet were considered beautiful while big ones were ugly. That is why women back then had their children’s feet bound, so they would grow to be small and pretty, not big and ugly. I also learned some Chinese phrases, such as “Kai gwa”, or Open the watermelon.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger johnnyappleseed said...

Johnny Chu
Period 7

1. Crouching Tiger
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I wondered why when Ying Ying had to marry a man that she saw in her aunt’s marriage ceremony. She didn’t even know the man and I thought that it is sad that she had to marry him. Ying Ying calls herself a tiger because she was born that year and she did act like one when she was young. She was very wild before she married a man.
4. The relationship between Lena and her mother is great, but Lena always thinks of her mother as very nosy and annoying. This is because her mother always bothered her. Relationship between Ying Ying and her first husband was very bad because after they got married the husband left her for another wife. Her husband probably got bored with her, so he went for a new wife when he went up north to work.
5. I noticed Amy Tan using symbolism in this chapter. She describes Ying Ying as a tiger meaning that they are cunning.
6c. In China girls always got arranged in marriage around the age of sixteen.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger hi,imterri said...

1. “Two Tigers”

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. I felt that this gloomy chapter just dragged on. I was sort of confused during Ying-Ying’s aunt’s marriage. I wasn’t sure if there was another meaning when her ‘Uncle’ said, “Kai gwa,” which translates to “open the watermelon” (277). I didn’t understand why everybody, including ‘Uncle’, laughed loudly. I assumed that what he said had a dirty meaning because Ying-Ying’s face “burned with embarrassment” (277). Perhaps the “perfect fruit” watermelon symbolized her freedom. It turned out that, six months later, Ying-Ying would be married to this gross man. Ying-Ying, with her future reading abilities, predicted that she would end up marrying the man, who even said to her father, “She cannot turn away. She is already mine” (279).

4. I think that Lena and her mother Ying-Ying St. Clair share a distant and misunderstood relationship with each other. Ever since she was born, Lena was never really that close with her mom. She didn’t know how Ying-Ying’s life was before she married ‘Uncle’, a dishonest husband. She didn’t know about her mother’s stolen strength and beauty. She didn’t know what her mother has given up to become who she is now. At the beginning of the chapter, Ying-Ying also says that she “watched [her daughter] as though from another shore” (274). I think the quote is trying to say that, ever since Lena was born, the two never shared a close relationship. One of the reasons for this is because Ying-Ying never passed down her stories to her daughter. Because of this, Lena is following her mother’s footsteps. Both ended up having first marriages that didn’t work out.

5. One writing technique that Amy Tan uses in this chapter was imagery. An example of this would be found on page 279, where she describes Ying-Ying’s appearance. She writes, “…there are deep lines in my mouth where I used to wear smiles. And my poor feet…Now they are swollen, callused, and cracked at the heels. My eyes…are now yellow, stained, and clouded.” This is an excellent example of imagery because Tan uses the ‘Show, Not Tell’ technique. I can picture in my head what Ying-Ying looks like now that she’s old. Ying-Ying doesn’t smile as often as she used to, wearing a frown and a pair or furrowed eyebrows on her face everyday. Her feet, cracked and swollen. I learn that she has walked far distances, making her feet tired. There is also a good use of word choice thrown in the quote. “Yellow”, “stained”, and “clouded” have a negative connotation. Like a tiger, Ying-Ying wears dull, “yellow” eyes, meaning that they're tired. “Stained” eyes are no longer innocent. Her eyes are also “clouded” and confused.

6. This relates to the opening allegory because it states that “you must each my daughter the same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever” (239). In this chapter, Ying-Ying wants to tell Lena about her past--when she stopped laughing, losing her innocence and hope. She wants to teach her daughter how to lose her innocence but, at the same time, always keep laughing. She wants to understand her past, how she became the person she is now. Ying-Ying wants to tell Lena all these stories so that she won’t end up making the same mistakes that she did.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Tiffany Vuong
6th period
1. “Beyond the Small Old Lady”
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. Can Ying-Ying prevent her premonitions from happening? Why didn’t she try to prevent herself from marrying the guy that cut the watermelon in front of her? It was odd to read her talking about this arrogant man and soon after she decides to marry him, then soon beginning to actually have some feelings that turn into love for this man. I didn’t understand why she got an abortion. She hated the man so much to take the life of her son that she always wanted. I thought she was pretty stupid when she had to make the choice of either drowning herself in the lake with all the other ladies of shame or taking the life of her son and getting an abortion.
4. Lena and Ying-Ying have a silent relationship. Throughout this whole chapter, Ying-Ying explains in what ways she and Lena are similar. “My daughter thinks I do not know what it means to not want a baby (281).” Lena doesn’t know that her mother had given an abortion due to the fact her husband left her. Lena basically doesn’t know her mother at all. She doesn’t know that her dad didn’t save her mom from the poor country village that Ying-Ying was from. She doesn’t know that she was married to a drunken man before she was even born. Lena has no clue about her mother’s past and without Ying-Ying finally having the guts to tell her, would’ve stayed that way.
5. I love how Tan uses flashbacks to walk you through the moment as its happening. For instance, when you’re walked through the moment Ying-Ying meets the friend of her aunt’s new husband and how he tells her to open the watermelon. It lets you imagine and create your own opinions of the characters. When I was reading the passage I already didn’t like him, but then it was surprising when she actually marries him.
6. The main conflict in this chapter is internal. Ying-Ying is trying to get herself to finally come out and tell Lena about her past and how similar they really are. Even though Ying-Ying knows it’s going to be hard for Lena to believe she's going to have to tell her. She's going to have to tell her the real story of how her and her father met not the story she believes at the moment.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger Steeveen said...

1. Open the watermelon!
2. Waiting between the Trees
3. I thought it was quite interesting how this vignette ties together with the previous chapter “Rice Husband”. The chapter starts off with the weak and unstable end table in the guest bedroom collapsing, just as Lena’s marriage too is collapsing. From the previous chapter, we got to view the event from Lena’s point of view,
however in this chapter; we see it from Ying-Ying’s outlook.
Aside from the “Rice Husband”, this chapter also ties together with “Voices from the Wall”. When Ying-Ying lost her child during the hours of birth, she became ill and traumatized. I was quite confused at this, but after reading this chapter, I’ve became more aware of her being. This isn’t the first time she lost her child. Ying-Ying had an abortion during her first marriage soon after her husband had walked out on her for another woman. My opinion of the old man who “open the watermelon” (quite disgusting) is he’s one of those absurdly men who just loves women and can never commit or settle down. In his marriage with Ying-Ying, he’s VERY much older than her. After the news about Ying-Ying baring his first-born son, the guy walked out on Ying-Ying and left her for a much YOUNGER woman, or should I say girl. The old man was a coward and a dog basically, never taking responsibilities for anything. Pfft, all the male characters in this book are all so negative and all portrayed as bad terrible tragic events. ):
4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and the old man can be called regretful. Before Ying-Ying was wedded off to the old creep, she held herself high and never fell down to anyone; it was always the other way around. Not until her marriage though, did Ying-Ying began to fall for the old jerk and she ended up with a broken heart, wet red eyes, and a womb carrying a fatherless child. Her regrets still lives on with her everyday, as she remembered how her value dropped instantaneously from a pot of gold to a sack of coal.
5. Amy Tan uses a lot of flashbacks, especially in this chapter. She goes back to the past, during her childhood in China. She remembers the tragic event that occurred back then. Without the flashback of Ying-Ying’s childhood, we wouldn’t have known how to relate or think of Ying-Ying when she lost her baby recently. Flashbacks give us depths and help us analyze information from the story.
6. I’ve learned a handful of Chinese words such as kai gwa, chuming, and kenchi. Also, I’ve learned that back then, small dainty feet were considered to be attractive while big bulky feet weren’t. Maybe that was the reason why women bounded their feet!

Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

"Dying Spirit"
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

3. Ew. Just...ew. Ying-Ying's marriage with that older man whom she called "Uncle" was gross from beginning to end. When she first met her "husband", he was joking around the dinner table about "kai gwa" or "opening the watermelon". He mentioned it to her once again after they got married and when he was drunk. At first, I didn't understand his meanings. I felt as clueless as Ying-Ying when she first heard him say it. However, as I was rereading the chapter, I finally understood his meaning. (In sequence) To open a watermelon, you must cut into it and pry it open. Your reward is the tender middle and the seeds. When he told Ying-Ying that he was "ready" to kai gwa, he means to deflower her and obtain her seeds to create babies.... Augh, that is such a crude way to mention it. I felt bad for Ying-Ying because I truly felt that she loved this horrid little man. (Well she did before she realized that he was cheating on her with multiple women.) A point in the chapter that confused me is the part where she aborted her baby with the man. I don't think that the baby deserved to die just because she was feeling angry towards another individual. I also felt it was absolutely horrible how she told the nurses to just wrap the baby in newspaper and to toss it. Harsh.

4. I think the relationship between Ying-Ying and her daughter Lena can be said as distant or misunderstood. Lena never know about her mother's life before her own father. Lena never knew about how her father courted Ying-Ying. Lena never knew about how her mother used to be pretty and strong. However, Ying-Ying can be the cause of all these misunderstandings because she never took the time to tell her daughter about her own stories. In the beginning of the chapter, Ying-Ying states that she has always "watched [Lena] as though from another shore" (275). This quote means that Ying-Ying feels as if her daughter doesn't share a close relationship with her own mother. They are too distant.

5. A technique that Amy Tan uses in this chapter is flashback. Reading flashbacks helo me connect the mother's chapter's together in a deeper understanding. If I refer to "The Voice in the Wall", I understand why Ying-Ying was so devastated when she lost her child. I could have reminded her of the child that she lost in China.

6. This chapter connects to the opening allegory because they both speak of two "mothers" who is trying to decide how to teach their daughters to "lose their innocence but not [their hope]. How to laugh forever" (239). In the chapter, Ying-Ying tells of her past and how she lost her own innocence. By the end of the chapter, she learns that she must tell her daughter of her life because it would teach her not to make the same mistakes.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger PamelaY said...

1. “Crouching Tiger”
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I was annoyed at how Ying-Ying’s first husband made her come to love him, and then left her without a sound. “[She] became pretty for him. If [she] put slippers on [her] feet, it was to choose a pair that [she] knew would please him (280). And yet, after all that, he could leave that pretty woman that he impregnated with a son for an opera singer. I was glad when the other girl killed him, and thought it served him right for playing so many girls. I wonder how Ying-Ying was always able to see into the future. Is it some kind of magical power? Why did she allow Saint to marry her, even though she didn’t love him? Why did she always allow him to put words into her mouth?
4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Saint can be described as one-sided longing. Ying-Ying herself said that “it was the love of a ghost” (286). Her emotions were numb, her spirit dead. He gave her everything, and because of an idiot playboy in her past, she was unable to love him back.
5. In this chapter, Amy Tan used flashbacks. She began telling of how Ying-Ying was staying with her daughter and her daughter’s husband in the guest room, then flashbacked into what happened with her first husband, and how she lost her emotions and became a ghost. Then, she flashed into the future with the vase crashing off of the table.
6. c. I learned that in Chinese culture, the guest room is the best room in the house. I learned that back in China, it is not a crime to kill a baby who had not yet been born. I also learned that Chinese people do not build tables with thin legs because it symbolizes imbalance and flimsiness.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Diana Nguyen said...

Waiting Between the Trees “Fall to Pieces”
1.This chapter was interesting to read and I don't believe that Ying-ying claimed that she could see things before it happened. But her daughter, Lena thinks she does and that's probably why Ying-ying felt that she could have been more disciplined when she was little. I think that maybe the main reason why Ying-ying married a mean was not because she knew that it was going to happen, but that she “wore a smirk on [her] face” and was a spoiled child so she felt guilty about that. When I learned that she had an abortion with her first baby because she was angry at her husband for cheating on her, I felt that it was an impetuous and stupid decision to do so. She was basically killing a real human being that was still in her body and didn't even care to think about the baby's future at all. After staying with her cousin's family for ten years, Ying-ying finally moved to the city and worked in a shop where she met Clifford St. Clair. She knew that she would marry him, but she “neither liked him nor disliked him” (284). One thing that I didn't understand was why Ying-ying married Clifford but it looked like she wasn't in love at all with him. I thought that it was a little cruel for Ying-ying to marry this man whom she didn't love with her entire heart and instead “it was the love of a ghost” (286). It wasn't fair for Clifford because I think Ying-ying never truly loved him and let him be close to her because she sacrificed her spirit, which had gotten her in trouble many times before. I think that she only married him because he was a pleasant and nice man who could protect and provide for her.
2.Ying-ying and Lena have an unstable kind of relationship. I think Ying-ying sees herself when she was a young child in her daughter, Lena and knows that Lena thinks she know everything even though she is a bit jejune of the old Chinese way of thinking. Ying-ying wants to look back into her past so that she knows what may happen to her daughter and she can give her advice on her future so that she'll be stronger than she was. I think that Ying-ying decided to give up her chi or spirit in order to give her daughter, Lena, more strength because of the marriage crisis she's going through now. Ying-ying loves and cares for Lena very much and her affection is shown when Ying-ying says, “And then my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter's tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose. She will fight me, because this is the nature of two tigers. But I will win and give her my spirit, because this is the way a mother loves her daughter” (286).
3.There was a lot of similes that were mentioned in this chapter. I liked the part where she tried to express her feelings for her first husband and said, “I had a swimming feeling in my heart like a creature thrashing to get out and wanting to stay in at the same time” (280). Ying-ying also compared herself to “the ladies of the lake” and said, “I threw white clothes over the mirrors in my bedroom so I did not have to see my grief. I lost my strength, so I could not even lift my hands to place pins in my hair. And then I floated like a dead leaf on the water until I drifted out of my mother-in-law's house and back to my family home (282).
4.The theme that is revealed in this chapter here I think is that in life you have to respect your elders and try to learn something about them from their past so that you can learn from their mistakes and be stronger. Ying-ying felt ashamed that her daughter had no chi and so she left Lena with her spirit, hoping that she will be stronger in the end.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger amy wang said...

An Unseen Spirit
Waiting Between the Trees
1. When Ying-ying’s half sisters asked who she wanted to marry, I wondered why she had thought of the man who had cut open the watermelon. To her, he was just someone that she had happened to meet who had offered her some watermelon, giving her the special attention that she was probably used to receiving. She said she came to love the man soon after they were married. Why did she marry her in the first place if she didn’t love her? When she said that she killed her son before he could be born, I was really surprised. If she already knew how her son would look like, how could she kill him? Being able to foretell things before they happen gives Ying-ying a lot of preparation for something. She knew that St. Clair would one day ask to see the trinkets, so she had kept them. She knew that she would receive the sign she was waiting for before marrying St. Clair, a sign that came, telling her that her husband was dead.
2. Ying-ying’s relationship with St. Clair is of a ghostly love. St. Clair loves Ying-ying and is under the impression that he had saved her from a peasant life. Ying-ying, however, loves St. Clair, but it is not a full love. Ying-ying hid her life from St. Clair. Ying-ying is unable to fully love St. Clair because of how much her previous husband had hurt her.
3. Amy Tan uses flashback in this chapter. In order to show Ying-ying’s life change, Amy Tan takes us back into Ying-ying’s life before she married her first husband. She shows us how Ying-ying came to be a living ghost, and how she revived a little bit. She brings us back to the present, so that Ying-ying can tell her daughter of her past, to show her daughter who she once was, and how she turned into the tiger who is waiting.
4. This chapter relates to the allegory at the beginning of the section because in the allegory, the grandmother is talking to her granddaughter about losing her innocence and how to laugh. In return, her granddaughter teaches her how to lose her innocence, but not her hope, how to laugh forever. Ying-ying lost her innocence and hope, and she wants to teach her daughter her mistakes, so that her daughter will not commit the same ones she made. She wants her daughter to lose her innocence, but not her hope.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 5:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy Nham said...

1. Gold and Black
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. After reading this chapter, I became sympathetic and scared of Ying-ying at the same time. As a child, Ying-ying was fun-loving and innocent until she fell in love with and married the wrong man. Soon after she became pregnant, her husband left her for another and Ying-ying was buried in despair. That made me feel sorry for her. But later, Ying-ying aborted their baby in revenge. Not only that, but she told the nurses to wrap the fetus in newspaper and throw it in the lake. Even though the husband was wrong, I hated how cruel Ying-ying was by taking out her vengeance on her baby. It’s not as if the baby did anything wrong.
4. I would describe Ying-ying and Clifford’s relationship as shallow. Ying-ying “neither liked nor disliked” Clifford when he was courting her (284). However, after finding out that her first husband is dead, she becomes overwhelmed once again with bitterness and hate. She became sickly and married Clifford, as if nothing mattered anymore. In Clifford’s case, he really did care for Ying-ying. He rubbed her feet at night and cried when Ying-ying shows him the gifts he gave her so many years before. However, he didn’t know Ying-ying’s dark past and secrets until later. It wasn’t until then that their relationship became much deeper.
5. One writing technique that Amy Tan uses is symbolism. One symbolism is a tiger. Ying-ying was literally born in the year of the tiger, but the tiger represented Ying-ying’s personality: strong and fierce. The stripes on the tiger also symbolized actions that Ying-ying would take in the future. The gold color shows when she is being courageous while the black stands for her cunningness by waiting patiently for something to come. Literally, Ying-ying was waiting for a good opportunity to marry Clifford. Symbols enhance the story by adding more depth to the tale.
6. I learned about what the Chinese believe the personality traits that people born in the year of the tiger would have. These people are strong-hearted and cunning. I also learned that in Chinese culture, the guest bedroom should be the master bedroom.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 6:13:00 PM  
Blogger MMMMymy_ said...

1. “This is why I’m Hot!”
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. After reading this chapter, it reminded me of my mother’s situation. She was forced to marry my dad too, and she told me how she used to be really pretty. She still is, but whatever. She claims she was prettier than me when she was younger. Anyway, this chapter dealt with Ying-Ying which meant something weird and superstitious was about to happen. I thought her talk about the structure of the house was such nonsense! It was kind of funny actually, and I could see where she gets her assumptions. I felt sorry for Ying-Ying though. She had such an easy life when she was younger. She was part of a rich family, she was pretty, she had a high self esteem, and no one could bring her down. She was too good for everyone. Then all of a sudden, she was growing up and she lost everything that mattered. She married a man who cheated on her; she lost her confidence, and she lost her high standards. Ying-Ying felt so ashamed of herself that she wanted to die, but she ended marrying Mr. St. Clair. It wasn’t real love, but he would be able to take her to America, and he appreciated her. He did little things that thought would make her happy, and tried really hard to win her heart. I guess she pretended that he did. How devastating though, I’d hate to be stuck in that situation.
4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Mr. St. Clair can be described as a dependent love. Ying-Ying needed to love again, and needed affection from someone again after being so deeply wounded by her first husband. Mr. St. Clair probably just needed a wife, and wanted someone pretty. Actually, he probably just needed someone to take care of the household back in America, and to raise a family with. Ying-Ying had no one else, and how could she not love someone that wanted to be with her so badly? It was fake though, not the burning passion that she would’ve wished to have.
5. One technique Amy Tan used in this chapter symbolism of the tiger. The tiger was an animal that was gold and black which meant it had a fierce heart and “it hides behind the trees waiting patiently for things to come”. She compares Ying-Ying to this, and she’s also born in the year of the tiger. Her spirit as a child was young and strong. She was wild, and untamed. Later on, I guess her spirit faded away, and it became hidden within her. That’s why after she grows up her spirit was broken, and she wasn’t the same Ying-Ying.
6. The main conflict in this chapter was the internal conflict of Ying-Ying. She was such a fun person before she was hurt by her first husband. She had to fight her will to kill herself, and move on with life. Luckily she was able to, and she knew she wouldn’t be the same. She had matured out of her childish stage. Now she would be a woman, and step up to whatever challenges hit her. She found Mr. St. Clair who would be her savior and take her to America, the land of new opportunities.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 6:41:00 PM  
Blogger brainfarced said...

Eileen Ly from 7th period

Gold and Black Stripes

Waiting Between the Trees

I feel sorry for Ying-ying because of her innocence that has been taken away by the ugly man, but I also dislike her because she killed a baby and was too good for anyone in the beginning. I was also surprised. The Ying-ying from The Voice From the Wall I thought was kind of weak and mellow. But in this chapter, she was just like a tiger, waiting to pounce. I hope her daughter will learn to grow a backbone too.

The relationship between Ying-Ying and her ex husband would be best described as empty and far-fetched. He left her right after she had her baby causing her to kill her baby from grief. He was the one in the first place who made all those dirty jokes and left Ying-ying to suffer by herself. Ying-ying herself didn’t even do anything to stop her marriage. I think she realized that and wanted to tell her daughter that so she would have to repeat the same-old mistake.

Amy Tan uses a lot of powerful word choice within this chapter, and uses the tiger as an animal symbol for Ying-ying. Ying-ying gains her fierceness back, enough to save her daughter. The chapter ends with a bit of foreshadowing. This makes the chapter mysterious but also pleasing to read.

The main conflict in this chapter is internal: Ying-ying versus herself. I know this because she spoke about her life back in China and her problems with her daughter, about the loss of chi within her daughter’s soul. She realizes that she needs to teach her daughter about the fierce pride, like a tiger’s.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 7:00:00 PM  
Blogger Jane Willy said...

Jane Wong
Period 6

1. The Past
2. Waiting Between the Trees.
3. I thought this chapter was not as emotional as Magpies because there were less events that caused the reader to feel any grief. However, I have to admit that it was another depressing chapter because Ying-ying starts to talk about the past to her daughter about her own first marriage. Ying-ying talked about how it was not a pleasant marriage and how there was something to do with being born in the year of the tiger. Now the chapter revealed that Lena was also born in the year of the tiger. I could see why Ying-ying would worry that the spirits would go wrong for Lena after what Ying-ying has gone through herself. It's kind of like a mother worrying for her own child for something that will go wrong in the future. It seemed like something that would be "destined" to happen. It also seemed like Ying-ying tried real hard to hide her past of being wealthy with her husband, St. Clair. She did not reveal that she used to be rich and how it was not a big deal that he would always surprise her with simple, yet abundant gifts.
4. I think the character relationship between Ying-ying and her daughter Lena, would be described as caring because if Ying-ying did not care for Lena, she would not have told Lena her past. She revealed that she had not told anyone about her first marriage and now that everyone has grown older, Ying-ying decided to let Lena know more about herself, who was also born in the year of the tiger. In the beginning of the chapter, Ying-ying revealed, "My daughter has money, but everything in her house is for looking, not even for good looking. Look at this end table. It is heavy white marble on skinny black legs. A person must always think not to put a heavy bag on this table or it will break" (274). I thought this was to reflect to how Ying-ying used to be wealthy and how it was not all that pleasant. Ying-ying was never exactly content with her life, so this was to show Lena that a person may be rich, but what is it that really matters? Wealthiness or the way out of the bad spirits?
5. The writing technique Amy Tan uses once again is foreshadowing. Amy Tan writes how Ying-ying tells Lena about the past of her first marriage and how it was like everything changed ever since. "I had a swimming feeling in my heart like a creature thrashing to get out and wanting to stay in at the same time" (280). So this was simile that Amy tan used to describe Ying-ying's feeling towards St. Clair near the middle. She said she "cried with honest joy" (280). I thought it was clever how Amy Tan used a swimming to describe the feeling of how it was like a creature going in and out for more just like how she was feeling certain yet uncertain towards St. Clair.
6. c. I learned a lot about the Chinese culture in this chapter. For example, "kai gwa" not only has one meaning, which is to open the watermelon, but it also means that someone is ready to grow up and get married (278). I also learned that "chuming" meant no inside knowing of things (282). Another word I learned was "chi," which mean the spirit that caused me so much pain (285). I remember how small feet were considered beauty because Ying-ying mentioned how she used to be very pretty with dainty feet.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 7:16:00 PM  
Blogger ashleen said...

1. I can see you, but you can’t see me,
I am the tiger that hides behind those trees.

2. Waiting between the trees

3. Ewwwwwwww…Disgusting! I was sickened when I read that Ying-Ying married that disgusting drunk “Uncle” who was probably ten to fifteen years older than her. The part that confused me was why she didn’t refuse to marry him when she disliked him? Also, when her half sisters asked her who she wanted to marry, the thought of that “Uncle” popped into her mind. I mean she only met him for about five minutes and did she have a liking for him that fast that his thoughts appeared into her mind? Anyways, the joke that the uncle made around the dinner table about "kai gwa" or "opening the watermelon" confused me. Then, he mentioned it again after they got married and I understood what he was trying to say. Gosh, he was really sordid, disgusting, and absurd to have such dirty thoughts roaming around his mind!!!

Also, I was really surprised when Ying-Ying decided to kill her baby. She already knew that she was going to have a baby boy who would look like her husband and when she does have that baby, she aborts it. How could she kill him! I felt miserable when Ying-Ying told the nurse “to wrap [‘the lifeless baby’] like a fish and throw it in the lake” (281).

4. I think the relationship between Ying-Ying and her daughter, Lena, can be described as distant and misunderstood. Lena barely knows anything about her mother’s past. She doesn’t even know about Ying-Ying’s first husband. She doesn’t know that her mother was once a very beautiful and strong girl. She doesn’t even know that her mother had aborted her first child because the child was the son of the man that her mother despised. The reason for the misunderstanding between Ying-Ying’s and Lena’s mother-daughter relationship is probably because of Ying-Ying since she didn’t bother to take the time and tell Lena of her hidden past. Ying-Ying even mentions how she always “watched [Lena] as though from another shore” (274). Their relationship is very fragile and distant and because of that none of them get along with one another.

5. One writing technique Amy Tan uses is flashbacks. Tan goes back into the past and guides her readers through a character’s experience. She showed Ying-Ying’s life before she met her first husband. Then she tells the experiences that led Ying-Ying to come to American and how she became a living ghost. After that, she brings us to the present when Ying-Ying wants to tell her daughter of her past and the mistake she had committed; to reveal to Lena the tiger that hid behind the trees.

6. This chapter connects to the opening allegory because in the allegory, the grandmother is talking to her granddaughter about how she once lost her innocence and how to laugh. Ying-Ying, also, lost her innocence and faith, and wants to tell her daughter of her past, of the mistakes that she had committed so that Lena would not have to endure and face what she had gone through. Both in the chapter and allegory, the “mothers” want to teach their daughters to "lose their innocence but not [their hope]. How to laugh forever" (239).

Sunday, February 08, 2009 7:21:00 PM  
Blogger carmen c. said...

1. “I Must Confess Everything About the Past”
2. QUEEN MOTHER OF THE WESTERN SKIES: “YING – YING ST. CLAIR: Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I thought that Lena was very Americanized in the beginning. She put her mother in the smallest bedroom in the house, clueless about the Chinese thinking of the guest room. I also felt disappointed that Ying-ying did not bond with her daughter when she was growing up because Lena strayed from her. It was funny when Ying-ying couldn’t pronounce architect and social security correctly. It was shocking to know that Ying-ying aborted the son she had with her first husband. I thought that Ying-ying should’ve loved the child no matter how much she detested her husband. She could hate her husband all her life but her son was not her husband but a different human being. I was glad to know that her husband died a couple of years later. He got what he deserved by being killed by one of his women.
4. The relationship between Ying-ying and Lena can be discribed as distant. In the beginning, Ying-ying compared her daughter to a slippery fish, swimming away when she was born. Since Ying-ying married an american, her daughter did not learn chinese ways and traditions and that is why Lena is clueless at times. Ying-ying has “watched [Lena] from another shore,” (274) describing how their relationship is not close. It seems that they live different worlds and need to bond much more.
5. One writing technique Amy Tan uses in this chapter are similes. In the beginning, Ying-ying describes her daughter’s “wisdom like a bottomless pond” (274) which helps the readers comprehend how Ying-Ying’s daughter thinks. She also described Lena “like a slippery fish” (274) which helps us understand how independent Lena acts towards her mother. Describing the walls of Lena’s house like a coffin foreshadows something bad will happen in the house or future. She describes the black vase like a spider leg which helps us visualize the object.
6. I learned more about Chinese customs and thinking. People consider the guest bedroom to be the best in the house opposite of American houses where the guest bedrooms are smaller in comparison to the master bedroom. Lihai means wild and subborn in chinese, and Ying-ying means clear reflection. Chuming means no inside knowing of things and kenchi means too polite.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ha Duong, Period 6! said...

“Like a Tiger”

2. YING-YING ST. CLAIR: “Waiting Between the Trees”

3. In this chapter, I felt that I have been exposed to a completely new “Ying-Ying St. Clair”. I found it hard to find her so conceited, because of the way she is now, how she seemed so weak in previous chapters. But when I learned that she had gone through so much because she married trash of a man, I pitied her. At first, I thought she was going to protest her marriage with such a disgusting man, thinking that she was too good for him, but she didn’t. I was appalled to learn that she actually loved him. I had no idea how she could love such a horrible man, but she did. In a way, I was disappointed that any girl could choose a guy like that. To add to this disappointment, she confessed that she had lost herself in the process of loving him. I thought it was unfair that she had to work so hard to keep his love, while he went off sleeping around and dating all types of women on his “business trips”. I guess this chapter had brought out my inner feminist. When St. Clair went through the pain of him leaving her and such, I wasn’t surprised. But what surprised me that her hate for him was so deep that she had killed her child because of this hate. It was understandable that she was anguished and in great pain because he had left her so tragically, even after she had changed herself so much for him, but I couldn’t comprehend why she would kill her child. I didn’t think it was fair that the child was suffering for what his father did.

What I really liked about this chapter was how St. Clair related her experiences with her daughter. I especially liked this quote, “My daughter thinks I do not know what it means to not want a baby” (281), because it seemed to hit hard in how St. Clair was so pained by her first lost child, and then her second. I became neutral towards St. Clair again when she got back on her feet and met Clifford St. Clair because of how conceited she acted about being a shop girl. And at the end of the chapter, when she admits that she loved Clifford St. Clair in the “ghost way” I was sort of happy to know that his love was eventually matched, though I’m still iffy about their relationship because there was very little communication. But, I guess love works in weird ways. To me, the best part of this chapter is how much St. Clair wants her daughter to understand. After living with so many burdens, she can finally tell her daughter. I love that all the mothers in this book give away something painful that they’ve been living with for so long, for the better of the daughter. It takes a lot of courage and power to do that, and I respect that.

4. An adjective that could describe the relationship between Ying-Ying St. Clair and her first husband is damaged. At first, St. Clair had felt blissful and in love with this man – she did everything for him. But as soon as she found out that “he had left [her] to love with an opera singer” and that once he left her, her “youngest aunt told [her] of others. Dancers and American ladies. Prostitutes. A girl cousin younger even than [she] was” (281). Once St. Clair learned of that, the love she had for him slowly turned into an undying hate. To this day, she still considers him a bad man. Their relationship was forever ruined, tainted with his sins.

5. In this chapter, Amy Tan uses many similes. An example of one of her similes is, “she sprang from me like a slippery fish” (274). This is a simile as it compares two unlike things, using the word like. Tan uses similes to explain things in a artistic way. She does so tastefully, sprinkling them throughout the novel, and in this chapter. Similes are helpful to readers because they can describe the actions and meanings of things without having to say it literally and plainly. Tan’s similes helps readers relate things we have yet to learn of, to things we already know, which artfully improves the text and the reader’s understanding.

6. How is this chapter connected to the allegory at the start of the section?

I think this chapter is related to the allegory at the start of the section because they both talk about a mother losing something she has held onto for so long, in order to teach her daughter. In the chapter, Ying-Ying St. Clair plans to tell her daughter about the sad past that she has held onto painfully, to teach her daughter how she should keep her marriage together, how to stop things before they happen. In the allegory, a grandmother is advised to teach her daughter how to “lose her innocence, but not her hope” and how to laugh forever. I think the relationship between the chapter and the allegory is that a mother(ly figure?) needs to teach her daughter to understand that even though she now sees the bad in people and is no longer innocence, she still needs to learn to cope – to fix it or to take it into her own hands, to make her own happiness, “to laugh forever”. In both, Ying-Ying St. Clair and grandmother have to pass down their knowledge, give up what they have to their daughter/granddaughter in order to teach them. Both require a motherly figure to pass down knowledge, which explains their relation. St. Clair wants her daughter to not lose her hope, even though she has lost her “innocence”, even though she has seen the negatives in her relationship.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:06:00 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

1. Unseen Spirit
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I thought this chapter was kind of bizarre because Ying-Ying St. Clair does not know how to speak up for herself. She continually makes wrong choices that she knows she is not happy about. I was really confused when her half-sisters asked her who she wanted to marry and the first person she that of was her disgusting “uncle”. I don’t understand why she chose him when she didn’t like him in the first place and it was her choice. I thought it was ironic how she judged her daughter’s/daughter’s husband’s profession because it didn’t make a lot of money. Sure, her mother was rich growing up but she settled for her American boyfriend which did not have a lot of money. Its okay for her to marry someone like that but its not okay for her daughter? That seemed unfair. I guess she wants to protect her daughter from the bad spirits because they are both born in the year of the tiger but her mother has set a bad example for her. She marries to men that she never truly loved.
4. I think the relationship between Lena and her mother can be described as distant. Her mother wants the best for her daughter, but she is being judgmental of her. By not telling her about her past, she is not protecting her from the “spirit”. She says that her daughter mind is like, “a bottomless pond…you throw stones in it and they sink into the darkness and dissolve (274)”. If she wants her daughter to understand her better and learn Chinese ways than maybe she should tell her herself. Instead, she just “smiles and [does] not tell her this”. Her mother has important things about her past like her abortion and her first husband. They are not close because they never tell each other anything.
5. Amy Tan uses flashbacks in this chapter to show Ying-Ying St. Clair’s dark past. This is to show that her mother understands what not wanting a child is like. It reveals that she had a horrible first husband that abandoned her while she was pregnant. Through hatred and anger, she decided to kill her baby because it reminded her of her husband. It also tells of how she met her second husband and became American. It shows how she came to be an “unseen spirit” and a “ghost”.
6. The conflict in this chapter is internal with Ying-Ying St. Clair. She talks about her past and how it led her to become a ghost. She has lost her “chi”, which is the biggest shame for her. She wants to lead her daughter in the right direction because she does not want her daughter to have a bad future. She has already lost herself but does not want to lose her daughter.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:09:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lai said...

1. Eyes of a Tiger
2. Waiting between the Trees
3. First off, I have to point out the shortness of this vignette compared to the one right before. It actually brought a grin of satisfaction to my face. I like the shorter vignettes. It brings the points of the story out quickly and sends the reader to the next vignette fairly quickly. I didn’t like her first husband at the start. His cocky attitude already told me that their relationship will die fairly quickly. Of course, his death was surprising, but still, he deserved it. The most interesting part of this chapter was the passage describing her baby, how she killed it before it was born. I could understand her intentions, but doing it was another thing. I still wonder how she killed it. Also, it was crazy how she just tossed a newspaper at the nurses, telling them to drop the baby in the lake.
4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and her first husband was selfish. She wanted the best, and he wanted more. Her husband, leaving her, taking “business trips” ultimately leading up to a second wife, shows his changing selfish need.
5. Amy Tan’s similes were shown many times in this chapter including the time Ying-Ying talked about how “when [Lena] was born, she sprang from her like a slippery fish” (274). These similes create a clear, vivid image of what’s going on by creating a separate image which becomes perfectly entwined with the first picture.
6. This story relates to the beginning allegory because Ying-Ying too was “free and innocent” at the start, “laughing for no reason,” but later, she changed by her first husband (239). Now, she wanted to teach her own daughter, to become strong, like a tiger.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:13:00 PM  
Blogger PeterThai said...

1. The tiger I am
2. Waiting between the trees
3. In this chapter, I thought it must be hard for her to tell her daughter about such a terrible past. I thought it was weird since she just met a man that was called ‘Uncle’ who is disgusting and older than her, but she already developed feelings for him in such a short time. I also hated how even though she ended up marrying that terrible man, that man left her when she was about to give birth to his son. He left her for a younger woman and I hate how he has no commitment to his marriage and that really ticked me off. When I found out that husband was killed, I was happy because he deserved it.
4. I think the relationship between Ying Ying and St. Clair is distant and a one-sided love. St. Claire was after Ying Ying for four years and Ying Ying only decided to marry him after she received news of her husband being killed. Even though they are married, Ying Ying doesn’t seem to show much affection towards St. Clair who believes she was from a poor village and doesn’t know about any of her previous life. I also believe that the relationship is very sad to see because it was probably due to the experience she had with her previous husband to not let herself open up to him.
5. One of Amy Tan’s writing technique is flashback. She brings us from the present to the past of what she is going to tell her daughter about. She thinks back to China and how her life was and the painful memories she still remembers before she met St. Clair. This allows us to have a deeper understanding of her life and why she feels like a ghost.
6. The main conflict in this chapter is an internal one with Ying Ying. She realizes how she is very similar to her daughter but her daughter believes they are different. Even though it is very difficult, she wants to be strong and tell her the true story of her life.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:18:00 PM  
Blogger Brendan said...

2. Waiting between the Trees

3. I thought that this chapter was the most boring chapter in the entire book. I didn’t really see a point to it, and that it was confusing. It was short, and it didn’t explain very well. I didn’t get the whole watermelon thing, when it was split open and how it was horrible. Her mother was an interesting person though, how she can see things before they happen. Her first marriage wasn’t really out of love either, she said she knew she was going to marry him, I really didn’t get why. It was funny how she thinks highly about herself, how she was so beautiful that all the other women were jealous of her.
4. I would compare Ying-Ying St. Clair’s relationship with her daughter Lena as a typical mother-daughter relationship. Ying-Ying can predict things before it happens and tries to teach her daughter. Her daughter, however, doesn’t listen to her. In the beginning of the chapter she talks about the vase and the table. She knew it was going to fall down, yet she doesn’t do anything. Ying-Ying tries to help her like a mother, but Lena, like a daughter, does not listen.
5. In this chapter Tan uses flashbacks to move the plot just like every other chapter. The flashback is used to bring something from the present back to the past to tell the story of Ying-Ying’s childhood. She also uses symbolism in the table and the vase. The table and the vase symbolized Lena’s relationship, that it was being held by a slight balanced, that even the slightest move would cause everything to fall down.
6. In this chapter we learn more about Chinese culture, such as the abortion. Back then, they thought it was okay to have abortions and that it was no big deal. It also tells us about their superstitions about the North Wind. They believed that the North Wind was the wind of bad luck, and how it was always the coldest and the strongest.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

3. Waiting Between the Trees

2. Tigress

3. I thought it was amazing how Ying-Ying transformed over the years. She was conceited, wild, and spunk, but beautiful nevertheless. She was a reckless and vicious tiger. After she falls in love with her husband, she changed completely. She is no longer reckless and independent; she becomes docile and eager to please him. I thought this was an awful transformation. Ying-ying, being so strong and did not need a man to make her happy, cried when he read her a cheesy poem and was overjoyed when she was able to please him. After he leaves her, she readopts her vicious and scheming tiger nature. She killed his son and proceeded to using Clifford St.Clair as a tool to get her out of China. She had no feelings for him and only thought of him as a tool that she’ll use to help herself. I was happy that he changed back to being strong, but I felt bad for Clifford, who was merely a tool.

4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Lena is a strange one. Lena is completely unaware of what her mother is like. Lena doesn’t know about what her mother has been through, or why she’s gong crazy. She doesn’t understand that her mother is a tiger; she is strong and vicious. Lena is completely unaware because her mother is behind the trees, stalking her, and waiting for the right moment to strike.

5. The word choice in this chapter was excellent. Tan uses words such as, “wild”, “stubborn”, and “smirk”. These words helped show that when Ying-Ying was younger, she was quite the brat. Words such as “stroked” and “held”, helped show that Ying-Ying’s husband had strong feelings of affection for her. These specific words helped me truly feel and see exactly what Ying-Ying was going through

6. I think the conflict in this chapter is mostly internal, within Ying-Ying. She starts off completely normal, without a care in the world. Then, as time goes on, she is affected by traumatic events, such as her husband leaving her, and morphs into a crazed woman. Her tigress nature helped fuel this conflict because if she were more docile, she wouldn’t have gone crazy knowing that a man had left her. She never resolves in conflict in herself because she ends up becoming a “ghost”.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Elise N. said...

1.Earn Your Stripes
2.“Waiting Between The Trees”
3.My first reaction to this chapter was that it was not morbid or intense as the other St. Clair stories. Instead, it was very calm and wise. I thought Ying-ying demonstrated a very motherly attitude, like those of the other mothers of the Joy Luck Club. She was not as paranoid and lifeless as her previous stories. To this, I must say that I like it. I never liked reading about her when she was ill, and so I was glad to see that this chapter brought something better for me.
4.The relationship between Ying-ying and the man she first met and called as “Uncle” was very complicated. Ying-ying was practically challenged to a battle with this man, and ended up marrying him. I think their relationship was very impure. She lied to herself, thinking she loved this man, and ended up being abandoned with a baby inside who she did not love anymore. The two as a couple, was an obvious combination for impurity and disaster. The man was much older than Ying-ying, and made rude, vulgar gestures toward her when she was only a young girl. Although she somehow “knew” her fate, she did not have to agree to it – but she did, and so the result was a tainted relationship.
5.In this chapter, I liked Amy Tan’s use of similes. The first simile at the very beginning of the chapter cleared up the relationship between Ying-ying and her daughter very well. Ying-ying thinks of her daughter’s wisdom as a “bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve” (274). She further criticizes her daughter’s depth and says that “her eyes looking back do not reflect anything” (274).
6.I think the theme or lesson of this chapter is to not lie to yourself or hide your shame by lying. It is demonstrated in this chapter that although Ying-ying lied to herself about what had happened as well as her feelings toward Clifford, in the end, Clifford understands how platonic their love is, and Ying-ying decides to tell her daughter the truth about her past and her shame, so that Lena can become a tiger like she used to be.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:38:00 PM  
Blogger CHELSEA<3 said...

1. Eye of the Tiger
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I liked how this vignette follows up after “Rice Husband” with Ying-Ying talking about the unstable marble table and then weaving into a flashback of how she came to know a thing before it happens. I felt sorry for Ying-Ying when she was sixteen because she was so naïve and innocent. At the time, she didn’t know what the man was doing by cutting the watermelon and she ended up marrying him! How sad. I disliked how Ying-Ying began to do things such as “be pretty for him” or “choose a pair [of slippers] the [she] knew would please him” or “brush her hair ninety-nine times” to conceive a son just for her husband and then when the couple get pregnant, her husband begins to take many business trips. What kind of man is that? I would have thought a father to-be would want to stay with his wife, rather than leave. I thought it was interesting how Clifford St. Clair bought Ying-Ying “cheap gifts,” thinking she was poor and never seen anything like them when she was actually very wealthy in the past.
4. I would describe Clifford St. Clair and Ying-Ying’s relationship as sincere. Clifford was polite to Ying-Ying, buying her gifts like figurines and brooches and lighters. She didn’t have to encourage his generosity; he did it out of his own heart. Clifford even waited four years to marry her, until she finally let him.
5. Amy Tan uses flashbacks in this vignette. The flashback allows the reader to view Ying-Ying’s dark past and shows what the character has experienced. Tan shows how Ying-Ying came to be married with her first husband, then to how she came to the United States and how she came to be a living ghost.
6. This vignette has a bunch of local color! For example, the phrase “kai gwa” means to cut open a watermelon but can also means that an individual is grown enough to get married. “Chi” means spirite, and back then in China, killing a baby was not a bad thing.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger Maria.uHHH. said...

“I seeeee youuuu.”
CH. Waiting between the trees

3. Whoa O_O. That was basically my first reaction when I read about Ying-Ying’s past. At first she had to marry a man that she didn’t even like, and right after she learned to love him, he suddenly moved out, leaving her with an unwanted baby. I thought that Ying-Ying would be strong and still have the baby boy, I did not expect her to abort it just because he belonged to a man she hated. That gave me the impression that she was just a weak and timid person; however, when she started talking about the fierce and wild tiger side of her, I realized that she was just waiting to pounce and save her daughter.

4. I think the relationship between Ying-Ying and St. Claire could be described as somewhat desperate. Ying-Ying wanted to fill the empty hole that her ex had drained from her heart, so she chose to marry St. Claire after she received the letter. As for St. Claire, he was just probably looking for a typical housewife and thought that by marrying Ying-Ying, he was doing her a big favor.

5. A writing technique that Amy Tan uses in this chapter is word choice. Using words such as “spirit”, “cunning”, “fierceness”, and “fight”, Tan describes to us the tiger side of Ying-Ying. It helps us to see more of her “golden” and “black” sides, making it more attention grabbing and mysterious.

6. One Essential Question: Choose at least 1 of our essential questions to answer for each chapter:
c. What are you learning about Chinese culture?
From this chapter I learned how back then, it was not a bad thing in China to kill a baby before it’s born and how it wasn’t really looked down upon by the family. I thought that she would be cast out like An-mei’s mother, but nothing in this chapter stated anything about her family rejecting her so I was very surprised.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger yehray said...

1. Chopped in Half
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. This chapter is yet another example on how the women of the Joy Luck Club had faced many difficulties before finally coming to America. This chapter is yet another example on how all of the male characters in this book are complete jerks. Ying Ying did everything she could for this guy because she thought that she loved him. It turns out that this guy does not care about Ying Ying at all and cheats on her. At the end Ying Ying ends up marrying an American but still has not truly him with her heart.
4. Ying Ying feels that it is her responsibility to look after her daughter Lena. Through her experiences, she has never had a good husband. Seeing Lena and her husband fight only reminds Ying Ying of her own past. She hopes that she can reach out to her daughter and help her before their marriage falls apart.
5. This whole chapter is a flashback and it helps us understand why Ying Ying cares so much about her daughter. We can see through her past marriages and experiences, she can see clearly that her daughter’s marriage is failing. She does not want her daughter to suffer the same fate that she had.
6. This chapter is related to the allegory because in the allegory the grandmother talks about losing her innocence and how to laugh. Her granddaughter then teaches her how to lose her innocence, but not her hope, how to laugh forever. In this chapter, Ying Ying lost her innocence and hope with her failed marriages and wants to teach her daughter her mistakes. She wants her daughter to lose her innocence, but not her hope.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Raman said...

“Watching From another Shore”
Waiting between the Trees
1. I liked this chapter because you could finally start to understand Ying-Ying. In the earlier chapters, she seemed very weird and traumatized, but now you can appreciate the pain she went though and comprehend her mindset. After reading this chapter, I feel bad for thinking that she was weak. I now see that she was very strong to be able to keep going and persevere, even with all of the tragedies going on in life. And it was tragic that Ying-Ying lost not only one baby boy, but two. Loosing the second one must have felt like karma to her, payback for “killing” the first. That is a horrible feeling to have on your conscious.
2. The relationship between Lena and her mother can be described as one build on misunderstanding. As Ying-Ying states, when Lena was born, “sprang from [Ying-Ying] like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, [Ying-Ying has] watched her as though from another shore.” Lena never understood what her mother has been going through, because Ying-Ying never tried to chare her past or feelings. In this chapter, Ying-Ying is going to tell Lena her past, so hopefully Lena and Ying-Ying can finally understand each other.
3. In this chapter, Amy Tan uses flashbacks to show Ying-Ying’s past. This enhances the story because you can finally understand Ying-Ying’s perspective, and through telling the story in the form of a flashback, one can experience the story as if one is really there.
4. This chapter relates to the allegory at the beginning of the section because they both show the older generation learning from the younger. In the allegory, the woman learns from her granddaughter that one can lose their innocence, but it is important not to loose one’s hope. In this chapter, through Lena’s misfortunes, Ying-Ying learns to confront her past, in order to help her daughter.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:38:00 PM  
Blogger Vernana Dee said...

Tiger Lady & Fish Baby
“Waiting Between the Trees”
1.Ying Ying is super creepy. I’m starting to borderline dislike her. The abortion thing was just terrifying and to top that off she wanted the nurses to toss her dead baby out like a “fish.” And what a snob! To think that she thought so highly of herself, that she was above so many boys and then ending up with a terrible bum. Good for her. Harsh but true. (Reading the comments, it seems like I’m being really callous to her) Her husband was so gross. I don’t know if I really got his innuendo with the watermelon but I’m pretty I got some idea. Like the penetrating...of the watermelon. Ahem, ahem. That was sick. I think it was even worse in the movie because he scooped the watermelon flesh up and started licking in a perverted way. Didn’t he or did he do the same in the chapter? I’m not really sure. I was kind of confused at the end of the chapter. After reading the entire chapter, I felt like I still didn’t know what her tiger eyes really were. And after the book, I still think the St. Clair family is weird.
2.After this chapter, I had to re-evaluate Ying Ying’s relationship with her husband. When I wrote about their relationship before I described their relationship as “empty” and “without love.” But I realize now that I’m wrong. I don’t think their relationship was bad; I think it was Ying Ying who was empty and without love. Ying Ying did love Saint but her love was so weak. I think that Ying Ying’s weak love sort of drained Saint’s love. She practically sucked the spirit out of Saint, leaving him as a ghost like her and making their love mutual.
3.Ying Ying flashed back so many times in this chapter. With this flashbacks, she explains to the audience what happened to her spirit and why it had left body. In the first flashback, she introduces the readers to her first husband, the man who stole her spirit. In the second flashback, she goes to her second husband, St. Clair. When she meets him her spirit is already spent and gone. And when she finally comes back to Lena’s home she describes herself as a tiger waiting between the trees. The flashbacks really help describe her transition from feisty to ghostly.
4.I learned that the guest room should be the biggest and grandest room in the house according to Chinese. Traditionally in America, however, the guest room is usually the smallest room, a room neglected and left over. When Ying Ying mentioned this in the beginning, it only made me think more highly of Chinese mannerism. Manners seem sort of switched in America because instead of being indebted to their guest, in America, the guests are indebted to their hosts.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:41:00 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Glassey said...

The Sleeping Tiger
Waiting Between the Trees
1) Interesting, both this chapter and Magpies chapter talk about the mothers giving their daughter their spirit so their daughter can live life. I wonder if this is going to be the prevailing theme for this set of chapters. Ying-Ying has a pretty strange life, I still have no idea what the first chapter about her means. She starts out as the daughter of an incredibly wealthy family. Then, through the Chinese system of the daughter becomes part of the husband’s family, she loses all of her family’s wealth. I wonder if all these things happen because they are inevitable and she sees that, or because she thinks they will happen so her attitude makes them happen. She didn’t have to marry Saint, she could have gotten someone else. I wonder why she hides the fact that she was wealthy from Saint and Lena. Why does she let them believe she came from a poor background when she really lived in a huge house filled with jade, wore calfskin boots and fancy silk dresses. She also said she had no spirit, and because she had no spirit, Lena didn’t either. Her spirit is probably her personality, her tiger, which can both wait for things to happen and run boldly toward them. So, Lena didn’t get any personality, no spirit or strength. I guess that is what Ying-Ying will give to her at the end of the chapter.
2) Ying-Ying and Saint. One-way mirror. Fine, so I can not think of a good adjective but this will have to do. Saint knows nothing of Ying-Ying’s true self or her real history. Most of it is not his fault, Ying-Ying did not tell him anything. But, Saint still does not know Ying-Ying, truly. He is under the impression that she loves him, she does, but it’s the ghost of love. He doesn’t understand her, language wise or background wise. Of all the marriages, this one is the definitely seems the weirdest and false one of them all.
3) In this chapter, Amy Tam uses flashbacks to tell Ying-Ying’s story from her perspective looking back. This gives the story some context, Ying-Ying is telling us her background and remembering all the pain she went through. Then, she will take the pain and give it to her Lena to make her real, so Lena will not be a ghost. If this story was not a flashback, it wouldn’t make sense to us and it would not touch us. We wouldn’t understand the context that the story is being told in, instead it would be a random story which we have no reason to care about.
4) This story links back to the allegory at the start because it is all about losing your innocence. Ying-Ying lost her innocence to her first husband and, at the same time, was losing her spirit. Just like the grandmother in the story, she realizes that the way she taught her daughter is wrong and she wants to try again. She wants to give her daughter her spirit and her knowledge, so she will not have to make the same choice as her mother.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger dark bad dan said...

Dan Truong
Period 06

Two Natures.
(on “Waiting Between the Trees”)

3) I get pretty annoyed reading about the St. Clair’s, because it seems so unrealistic. I did feel bad for Ying-ying St. Clair, however, because it always sucks having your marriage arranged for you, especially if you have to force yourself to love that person. It is good that she eventually left that man, and found a better man who turned out to be Lena’s father. I think she made a good choice by abandoning her unborn son. I wouldn’t want to conceive the son of the person who left me for some opera singer.

4) I think the relationship between Ying-ying St. Clair and her first husband was weird. Okay…so she loved this guy while hating him the whole time? She also tried to please him, the sign of a relationship that won’t work out (and it didn’t!). However, Ying-ying did benefit from the relationship because it brought out her Black Nature, which allowed her to become cunning and crafty.

5) One of the techniques that I noticed Amy Tan used some flashbacks. These little jumps into the past allowed us to understand how Ying-ying became who she is, and how she was a tiger. These flashbacks allow us to see how Ying-ying was before Lena was born. It is a really different perspective.

6c) In this chapter, I learned that, in Chinese culture, earlobes with a lot of meat on them actually had a meaning. It meant that your life would be lucky. In Chinese culture they also believe that if you had big nostrils or a crooked nose, then your money and fortune would flow out of your nose. I learned that they believed facial features could tell you a lot about the person’s life.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger meggers said...

Margaret Trask
1. “A Jade Jar”
2. “Waiting Between The Trees”
3. I was disgusted with Ying-ying’s first husband. He was piggish and petty, valued her for the wrong reasons, and in the end, left her all alone with an unwanted baby. When she went to the city, at first I was worried when she compared it to the country flies in her rice bowl, but I soon saw that this kind of independence and strength was good for her. When she met Clifford Saint Clair, I knew that she was already broken from her first husband, but that he would take care of her. Though she called it a “ghost love”, I think he was the best option for her at that point, because she needed someone who would love her unconditionally and that she wouldn’t be able to love fully ever again.
4. Ying-ying’s relationship with her first husband was both destructive and beneficial. It was destructive in the most obvious ways, he took away her beauty in her early years, caused her to hate her first child, and left her alone but married. Later, though, he gave her independence and freedom, leaving her wiser from the experiences he forced upon her.
5. The author uses symbolism when she talks about the jade jar. “But when I think back on that house, and it is not often, I think of that jade jar, the muddied treasure I did not know I was holding in my hand.” (277) Here she speaks of a literal jar used to hold cigarettes in her old house, on of the many luxuries she grew up with. It symbolizes the life she once took for granted, and that though she had not known its value, she realized in the end that it was priceless.
6. The allegory at the beginning of the section was about teaching their daughters to lose innocence but not hope. Ying-ying loses all innocence in her first marriage, but finds hope when she goes to the city to find a job. After marrying Clifford, she gives birth to Lena. Lena, like all new babies, is the greatest hope and joy in her mother’s life. Because of this, Ying-ying will teach her to lose her innocence but not her hope.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger nguyenVIVIAN said...

1. “Tiger Eyes”

2. “Waiting Between the Trees”

3. This chapter explained so much to me. After wondering why Ying-Ying was so strange, I finally understood what pain she had to undergo. First she had to marry a man she didn’t love, and then he left her for an opera singer, while she had his child. It made me sad to know that she got rid of the baby though. I didn’t think it was necessary to kill her son just because she hated his father. At first I thought Ying-Ying was weak, but after learning all that she went through, it really showed that she was strong.

4. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Clifford St. Clair can be described as heartfelt. Clifford was always polite to her and bought her little trinkets, waiting eagerly for her to open them, to see her reaction. He even “courted [her] for four years” (284) which showed that he really liked her. He waited all that time for her, until she allowed him to marry her.

5. Amy Tan uses a flashback to show Ying-Ying’s past. It improves the story because it explains to the reader why Ying-Ying is the way she is, shown to be weak, but in reality, she’s extremely strong. The flashback tells us of how Ying-Ying was left by her first husband, a man she didn’t even love, and the death of her first born. And it also tells us of how she met Clifford St. Clair.

6. From this chapter, I learned that in China, it wasn’t a crime to kill a baby before it was born. No one really cared if you did it or not, and it wasn’t something that people put against you, because Ying-Ying wasn’t shamed by it at the time or anything.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Krasivaia Natasha said...

1. shades of black
2. waiting between trees
3. I was impressed with the determination that Ying Ying has for giving her daughter her spirit. On page 286 she talk about the upcoming fight that she is forseeing ahead. But, she will go ahead with it because she loves her daughter and wants to give her her tiger spirit. She doesn’t want her to go through the same unfufilling love that she had with Saint.
4. The relationship between Saint Clair and her can almost be one-sided. For years he had given her love and everything she wants. Ying ying cannot say that she loved him back though. She didn’t have her spirit so it was unfulfilling. She did not love him with all her heart as he had.
5. I really loved the symbolism of the tiger’s two sided coat. The fierceness of the orange fire and the cunningness of the dark side. It waits patiently for the ideal moment to strike. The gold leaps woth the heart and is the fire that attacks.
6. the conflict mostly occurs between herself. Because she was so rich, she grew up thinking she was better than any man that wished to marry her. when her situation changed she had to marry Clair so that her oppurtunities would improve. But, still she made him wait for 4 years.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marjorie said...

1. Eye of the Tiger
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. Ying-Ying’s story of her past life before Lena was not as thought-provoking as the previous chapters. I didn’t like Ying-Ying’s character at all, I don’t feel she significantly changed after she found out her first husband was a cheater. I was really disgusted by the way she handled the baby she miscarried on purpose. I understand how she would hate having a child of her cheating husband, but to throw an innocent child away because of it is reckless and ruthless. The way she married her current husband was wrong and evil. Her marriage is based off a lie, to gain vengeance against an ex-husband instead of out of love. I feel really sorry for her husband, who unfortunately fell in love with her.
4. Ying-Ying’s relationship with her husband, Clifford St. Clair, can be described as hollow and insincere. Ying-Ying describes their ‘love’ as “the love of a ghost (286)”. They have both become ghosts who love each other equally. A ghost is dead and empty, just as their marriage. Ying-Ying’s agreement to marriage was out of complete insincerity. She only agreed to marry her husband out of bitterness of her ex-husband. It was out of vengeance for him that she married him. Not for love.
5. An obvious writing technique that Amy Tan uses throughout ‘Waiting Between the Trees’ is symbolism. Ying-Ying is often referred to as a Tiger. Being born in the year of the tiger, she is characterized by a tiger’s attributes. The gold and black stripes of tiger are two sides. The black stands still waiting. The gold leaps, hidden between the trees, as stated in the chapter title. These two sides are descriptions of Ying-Ying’s character. This is the main idea of the chapter that explains what her daughter does not understand of her. It completes and ties together the meaning of her past, binding the story’s lesson.
6. In ‘Waiting Between the Trees’, I learned that back in China, it was okay to kill a baby before it was born. As shown by Ying-Ying, she aborts her own baby out of shame of her husband’s cheating. Although abortion was acceptable, she still felt bad of what she did because of her own selfish reasons for doing so. The nurses would ask Ying-Ying what they should do with the lifeless baby, and she told them to throw it in the lake. Did they actually throw it in the lake? I would like to know.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Showboater said...

The Eyes of the Tiger Pierces All
Waiting Between the Trees


As I read the chapter, I thought it was good. Moreover though, I was disappointed because the chapter had been very short. One suspenseful part in the play was when Ying-Ying opted to sacrifice the baby. As I was reading, I kept saying in my mind “When is she going to realize that she’s taking a life, and not abort the baby.” However, to no avail, she had killed the child in her stomach, because it was a symbol of a marriage she did not want.

As I read this, the relationship between the man and Ying-Ying is very strange to me. In the beginning, where he cuts the watermelon and forces Ying-Ying to marry him, I was extremely angry, I hate the idea of rape, or anything close to forcing someone doing anything. Moreover; after I had read that Ying-Ying loved this man back, I was confused. Then I realized that maybe the man had grown onto her. As this chapter progressed, I read how she had aborted her son, which confused me, because had she loved her husband.

During the reading of this chapter, people can see strong writing techniques. During this chapter, you can see the powerful talent of symbolism and similes.

During this chapter, the reader learns even more about Chinese culture. One of these things is how being born during the year of the Tiger is very valuable. Another thing that we learn is that the Chinese Zodiac occurs in increments of 12 years, and that someone acts differently because of what year they were born in

Sunday, February 08, 2009 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Vivian Tran said...

1) “Lihai, Wild and Stubborn”
2) Waiting Between the Trees
3) Boy, if I hated Clifford St. Clair, Ying-ying’s previous husband is no favorite of mine either. That old man was horrible! But at the same time, Ying-ying manages to annoy me so much by thinking so highly of herself. She talks about how pretty she was and how great she was. I feel sorry for her, but that’s a major turn off. This chapter goes back to talk about the “Rices Husband” chapter and finishing grains of rice in her bowl. I was so saddened when I read that her baby had been killed because she hated her husband so much. I hated him so much after that! Children shouldn’t be dying because of him. I felt so bad for Ying-ying, simply marrying Clifford because she felt like she just had to. I laughed at how he thought he was so awesome for buying her gifts, what she called “worthless trinkets” (284), but in reality she was running the show, leading in the game.
4) Ying-Ying’s relationship with Clifford is empty, void of emotion. Ying-Ying talks about how the gifts he treated her to when he was courting her were trash to her, that she only saved them because she knew one day he would be her husband and would ask to see them again. Ying-Ying only let Clifford marry her when news of her husband’s death came, it was based on the right moment for her, not love; it was never love.
5) Amy Tan uses an important metaphor in this chapter. She uses the tiger as her symbol for Ying-Ying’s personality. For example, she says that she has become a lifeless tiger when she decided to marry Clifford, letting us know that her mentality on the world has become much bleaker and she’s become less stubborn.
6) I learned more about the Chinese culture from this chapter. I learned a couple more handy-dandy phrases that I will never use in my poor Mandarin like, kechi, which means too polite. I also learned that Kai Gwa means open the watermelon. I’m going to use that one as often as I can!

Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Trung said...

Trung Tran
Spirit of the Tiger
“Waiting Between the Trees”

1. This chapter was eye opening because it finally made me realize that Ying-Ying was not weak at all. For her to endure so much, she is truly a tough person. She was able to persevere even after having so many hardships in her life. First she was forced to marry a stranger, and then when she finally accepts and learns to love him, he abandons her and leaves her with an unborn son. I thought Ying-Ying had every right to be mad, even if she killed her son. It would not make sense for her to give birth to a son that will remind her of the horrible things the child’s father has done to her.

2. The relationship between Ying-Ying and Saint, her husband, is rather thin. They could barely communicate with each other since they both speak different languages. I think they still love each other, but it seems like they barely know each other. It seemed like such a lie, especially how she hides the fact that she was actually from a rich family and the trinkets Saint gave her that she pretended was so important, was rather useless. I don’t get how she could build her marriage base on lies.

3. Amy Tan used flashbacks in this story to help the reader better understand Ying-Ying. With the flashbacks, I found out about Ying-Ying’s past, how she had a husband before Clifford and how that affected her and made her who she is now.

4. I think a theme of this chapter is that a person deserves what he/she gets based on their actions. For example, Ying-Ying’s first husband was killed because he left another woman. He deserved the pointy tip of the blade stabbed into his flesh for treating the women like objects.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger jpoon said...

Tiger of Black and Gold

Waiting Between the Trees

1. This chapter was surprisingly short, but still interesting. I could not believe that Ying-Ying actually married that despicable man who was so old before she married Clifford St. Clair. I would have run away or something before resulting to marrying a man like him. How the man cheated on Ying-Ying with a younger woman is so disgusting. Because of what he did, Ying-Ying resulted in killing their child before it was born, which she could have just given to someone else to care or something after it was born. I don’t think there was a need to kill the innocent child to be. It was surprising to find out the life Ying-Ying had before Lena.
2. The relationship Ying-Ying and Clifford St. Clair used to have can be described as fake. Ying-Ying worked like a peasant and Clifford always bought her gifts. She never even liked him in a certain manner or bothered to tell him that she was rich, but she still led him on.
3. Flashback is used by Amy Tan to improve her writing. It shows how much Ying-Yong has gone through and why she knows best because she actually has experienced many of the things her daughter is going through.
4. A life lesson that can be taken away from this chapter is that many times we take things for granted. Like the jade jar full of British cigarettes that Ying-Ying considered as “junk” because she was so used to seeing them everywhere all the time, we take ordinary things that are always around us to be less valuable than they really are. Since she lived in one of the richest families, they were always around and so she just took one of the jars and “poured the cigarettes out onto the streets”(276).

Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger marshmichello said...

1. Visions of the Future
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. Ying-Ying St. Clair was cursed with the ability to "know a thing before it happens." When she was a young girl in China, she met a man at her aunt's wedding and the day after, she knew she was going to end up marrying him. After the marriage, she soon became pregnant. Afterwards, her husband often left on "business trips," and actually cheated on her with many people. He eventually left her and never came back. She killed the baby boy that was in her before he could be born. She lived at a second cousin's house for ten years, and then moved to the city. There, she met Clifford St. Clair. He courted her for four years, and they finally married. He brought her to America, where she learned the Western ways.
4. Ying-Ying and her first husband had an off-balance relationship. Things started well, and she soon came to love him. He became the reason for her to do many things, like being pretty or brushing her hair for luck. However, after he planted the baby and became disloyal, she hated him. She was so angry that she kill her unborn son.
5. There was a lot of foreshadowing mentioned in this chapter because of Ying-Ying's ability the know things before they happen. An example of this was when the flower fell, and she knew she was going to marry the man she disliked. It improved the story because it made the chapter stand out a little more from the other chapters.
6. The main conflict in this chapter has to do with Ying-Ying and herself. She battles with her ability. She goes throught internal conflict many times during her first marriage, and after it also. She deals with the two sides of a tiger, that she supposedly has.

Sunday, February 08, 2009 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Annnnnie. said...

My Golden Side, My Black Side

“Waiting Between the Trees”

1. When I read the way Ying-ying thought to herself about the room Lena placed her in, I chuckled to myself. It only made me laugh harder when she couldn’t pronounce the word “architects.” I was quite surprised when I read how different Ying-ying was when she was young. It was a bit disturbing, however, when the “Uncle” was flirting with Ying-ying. I mean, he was older than her oldest brother! It really bothered me to know that Ying-ying knew that she was going to marry him and that she did nothing to stop it, nor did she find it very disturbing. I was disgusted even more when I learned that Ying-ying’s husband was having affairs with other women after he got Ying-ying pregnant. I was shocked speechless when Ying-ying killed her own baby simply because her hatred for her husband grew so much. I also thought that the way Saint Clair courted her was cute, but that the way she thought about his gifts was a bit selfish, and unkind.
2. I think that Ying-ying and Saint Clair have a one-sided relationship in the beginning. As Ying-ying says, she neither “liked nor disliked him.” However, Ying-ying also says “how couldn’t [she] love this man” (251) but then says that “it was the love of a ghost” which really means that she couldn’t really love him with her heart. However, Saint Clair seems to really love Ying-ying, rubbing her feet at night, praising her food, crying honestly when Ying-ying brings out the trinkets, courting her. However, she also says that after Saint Clair knew “the things [she had been] hiding all [those] years,” they could finally love equally. However, before then, their relationship was one-sided. Love was not reciprocal on both sides.
3. Amy Tan uses flashbacks to help improve her chapter. By using a flashback to Ying-ying’s childhood, we are able to learn about her first husband, and how she came to be what she now. From the flashback, we can learn how she met her husband, and how she felt when she lost her second child. By using flashbacks, Amy Tan is able to contrast the two different Ying-yings, and show how much she changed from her childhood till now.
4. From “Waiting Between the Trees,” I notice that these is Chinese culture immediately on the first page. The art of placement, or fengshui, is something that Ying-ying criticizes about the room her daughter leaves her in. She says that the room “has ceilings that slope downward toward the pillow of [her] bed” and that “the walls close in like a coffin” (242) which implies that the room is bad luck. Then Ying-ying also says that the end table’s legs are too skinny, and its white marble is too heavy for it. The art of fengshui focuses on balance and in Ying-ying’s eyes, the entire house is not balanced at all.

Monday, February 09, 2009 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Nila said...

1. "Fierce!"
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. This chapter is very sad in that Ying Ying notes the same sadness from her first marriage in her daughter's. The watermelon man was quite the crazy one, but Ying Ying didn't seem to mind, and this confused me. If I were going to waste my time and money into something as beautiful as my wedding ceremony, I think I would have put more effort into choosing "the one."
4. The relationship between Ying Ying and Lena is very strong. I think through Tan's word choice and mood, readers can infer that the two share a strong bond and the affection that is displayed.
5. Amy Tan uses the technique of flashbacks to show An-mei’s past. This allows readers to see the suffering she endured before she coming to America.
6. (d. How is this chapter connected to the allegory at the start of the section?)
Like the allegory, Ying Ying is learning from her daughter. Her daughter's marriage gives her unwanted memories of her own and although she attempts to forget her first marriage, she must reminisce about it once again in order to aid her daughter.

Monday, February 09, 2009 8:09:00 PM  
Blogger Super Alien said...

1. Watermelon
By Fiona Cheung
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I think I am more interested in the daughter chapters than the mother chapters, because mother chapters talk more about the past, and in the end, it’s all about past marriages that didn’t turn out so well. My interpretations of Ying Ying’s personality were right as she was directly characterized in the beginning of this chapter. I felt sorry for her when she said she married the man—he’s older than her oldest brother and if she calls him Uncle, then he probably is old enough to be her uncle! I was disgusted. I also found it hard to believe that she did find herself falling in love with him, and felt sympathetic that he left her like he left many other women. All these mothers seem to come from such a mysterious and dark past that makes them stronger than others. I was confused throughout this chapter because I think she switched time periods too much—one minute she talks about the marriage, then switches when she was born, and then back to her husband leaving her. Lastly, when she said “Now Saint is a ghost,” (252) did she mean he died, or was he just figuratively dead?
4. What a jerk Ying-Ying’s first husband was! From this chapter, I could infer he was a perverted man who only went after young girls. At first I thought he was a nice uncle, too, until I realized “kai gua” had a double meaning. Unlike the other cruel men mentioned, however, he did not push Ying-Ying onto the bed and force her to have sex with him. Instead, he did work at saying sweet things (though badly) until he successfully “planted the baby” (247). Still, once she was pregnant, he left her and broke her heart. Ying-Ying’s youngest aunt’s news of him leaving her and the “other ones” revealed what routines he has with wooing and dumping girls—dancers, prostitutes, a girl cousin, and even a “worthless girl, a young servant” (251) who killed him to make him stay.
5. The conflict in this chapter was an internal one within Ying-Ying dealing with her struggles to stand back up after her first husband leaving her. She had pretty much been betrayed into this marriage, but she still managed to fall in love with him, with just a few simple words. She had always thought of herself as too good for any guy, yet this man left her as soon as she was pregnant. After this, she described herself as a ghost who “lost [her] strength, so [she] could not even lift [her] hands to place pins in [her] hair” (249). Soon, Clifford St. Clair came along. She hid her past from him, her rich background. When her husband died, she finally gave in and “willingly gave up [her] chi, the spirit that caused [her] so much pain” (251). This conflict was not solved at the end, because she had not fully grown independent of the shadow of her first husband; she still referred to herself as a ghost. She still felt pain and could not bring herself to share it with her daughter, thus, there was still a bit of her past lingering in her that prevented her from completely breaking free.
6. The watermelon was a symbol of Ying-Ying’s innocence. The knife was the man, the murderer of her innocence. Before losing her innocence, she simply though the watermelon was indeed just a watermelon to be eaten. However, six months after the man chopped the watermelon, she was married to him. This marriage marked her loss of innocence and virginity because she was pregnant soon after. Also, the watermelon seeds she cracked the day after her youngest aunt’s marriage were her development into a woman to be married. It was that day that she knew she would be married to her. When she thought of the seeds she was eating, she thought of the man. When a wind blew by and the flower split from its stem, as if a knife had cut it, it was symbolic of her innocence being chopped off by the man, and foreshadowing that the man would steal her virginity.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger MoJoAnna chicken :] said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, January 23, 2010 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger MoJoAnna chicken :] said...

1. Watermelons are Yummy :3 Mmmmmm

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. This chapter wasn't that interesting to me. It was rather confusing actually. I mean she's some rich girl from a rich family and she ends up marrying some old, lazy guy who leaves her and goes around with other women. It was all strange how that worked out. Also, Ying-Ying's psychic abilities to predict the future never fail to amaze me. How does she do it? She knew she was going to marry this guy, she knew she was going to have a boy with "eyes, large and wide apart", "tapered fingers, fat earlobes, and slick hair that rose high to reveal a large forehead." (247) Was she just making some of it up? But, most of the stuff she says that will happen, does happen, so I wonder again...

4. We find out more about Ying-Ying St. Clair in this chapter. She's a snobby rich girl who's really pretty. Her character is dynamic. Ying-ying's strong tiger spirit goes from gold to black to none, a ghost. Her fierce tiger spirit is drained by the worthless man she married. She loses her strength and her beauty. Ying-ying is idle at the beginning, but later works in a shop, where she meets her next husband, Clifford St. Clair. She neither likes nor dislikes Mr. St. Clair and marries him after she finds out about her old husband. At this point, she has already become a ghost. She will hold onto her pain and tell her daughter of her pain.

5. The conflict is man vs. himself, internal, Ying-ying vs. herself. Ying-yin struggles to maintain herself throughout the chapter. Her strong, "lihai", tiger spirit is shaken by the betrayal of her first husband. She is so pained by him that she even kill her own unborn child, "and then [she floats] like a dead leaf on the water." (248) In the end, she loses her spirit, "chi", or rather willingly gives it up. The spirit caused her much trouble, and now that she has gotten rid of it, she is a ghost, "an unseen spirit." (251) Ying-Ying is also troubled that she cannot give her daughter her spirit, and that her daughter has no chi since she was born from a ghost. For this reason, Ying-ying resolves the issue by holding onto her past pain, and presenting that to her daughter.

6. In every chapter, Tan displays great writing technique. In this chapter she uses many similes and imagery. For example, when she describes the guest room Ying-Ying stays in, she says "Its [the room's] walls close in like a coffin." (242) I can literally picture a tight, cramped room closing in on me. It's kind of scary actually. Tan also uses a flashback to tell Ying-Ying's story and smoothly transitions back to the present problem. Ying-ying's premonitions, for example, the watermelon also show foreshadowing. She knew she was going to marry the bad man before it happened. I think that the cutting of the watermelon foreshadowed the loss of her virginity, and the action of her eating watermelon seeds while thinking about her husband could have foreshadowed her pregnancy, like planting seeds in her stomach. Also, more figurative language is displayed at the end of the chapter, when Ying-Ying presumes the role of a tiger and "[waits] between the trees". (252) I thought her use of words was genius and beautiful. The line, "Her eyes will see nothing in the darkness, where I am waiting between the trees" makes it seem like she's actually a tiger waiting to pounce on its prey.

Saturday, January 23, 2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger wilsonvolleyball said...

Black and Gold
Chapter: Waiting Between the Trees

1)Reaction: Ying-ying has been described as a pretty paranoid mother earlier in the book. In Lena's story, she is full of wisdom, and it says that she can see things that are about to happen within the family. In this vignette, we go back to Ying-ying's past, finding out that she was born in the year of the tiger. She grew up in a wealthy family, but I didn't get why the drunk man splitting open the watermelon would later become her husband. Did the watermelon represent some sort of Chinese superstition? Personally I think abortion is a horrible thing to do, even though the baby may resemble her drunkard of a husband, she could still teach him the right ways and not let him go astray. I also think Ying-ying has been blessed with the gift to "see." She was able to see many things including the sex of her unborn child, and many other things. She always seems to have this mysterious yet all knowing atmosphere. Also I do not get why she says Saint is a ghost and how they can share their spirits together.

2) Ying-Ying St. Clair. I think that Ying-ying is a pretty arcane character. Born in the year of the tiger, she has the fighting spirit and also the pride of a tiger. As she said, there are two sides to people born in the year of the tiger, black and gold, like the stripes. First we see the gold side of Ying-ying as a child. She is proud and thinks that she is too good for the likes of boys. Her family environment also shows how her pride is golden, shining above the other poor peasants in other villages. This was the golden age of her life. Then came the darkness as she (forced?) became married to the drunkard that sliced open the watermelon. For years she lived in misery and hate, under the influence of her husband until he eventually left her for some prostitute. She then gradually became golden again after spending time in the country side and meeting up with Clifford, who later becomes her husband.

3) Conflict. I think the conflict in this chapter was Ying-ying against the drunk man, but also against herself. Mostly throughout this story however, I believed that Ying-ying was in a fight to keep her tiger spirit. When she was young, she was full of the proud and lively spirit, giving her a lot of self-confidence and self worth. Later on as she encounters her first husband, her spirit starts to get slowly eaten away by the drunk man. It was completely broken when she killed her own child I think, but then the man leaves her and she goes into the countryside to "restore" her spirit. She was not able to fully restore it until she unites with Clifford I think and that is why she says that Saint and she and share equally in spirit as he fills hers and she fills his.

4) The symbol in this chapter was the tiger. Although a literal tiger wasn't mentioned in this story, it symbolized a lot about the personality and actions of the characters. For Ying-ying, being born in the year of the tiger symbolized her spirit, or chi, and her double sided personality. The
"tiger" molded her into who she was, it also gave her the sight to see through obstacles that may be blocking her way, or preys that she can catch.

Sunday, January 24, 2010 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Soap on a Rope said...

Arun Jandaur
Period 3
Blog# 11: Waiting Between the Trees

1. Gold and Black Tiger; Fierce and Cunning Tiger

2. “Waiting Between the Trees”

3. I’m going to have to say that this was a good chapter. It was interesting the way Ying-ying told the reader honestly that she was arrogant and overconfident. She directly said that she was “wild and stubborn” (243). She thought herself to be the best, thinking that no one was good enough for her. That irritated me, especially because I hate it when people act like they’re better than others. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Ying-ying, though, because of how her husband left her for some opera singer. He was mean enough as it was, like when he “roared a laugh so big [Ying-ying] could see all the way back to his gold teeth” (245). It also must’ve been tough for Ying-ying when she was pregnant because she didn’t want to have her unfaithful husband’s baby anymore. I was absolutely disgusted, however, when she was asked what she wanted to do with the dead baby and she said to “wrap it up like a fish and throw it in the lake” (248). The mood was a lot better later, though, when she found Mr. St. Clair and they started to fall in love with each other. It was nice to know that Ying-ying was moving on and finally forgetting about her past husband.

4. I found Ying-ying to be a very fascinating character. She always seemed to know when something big was going to happen, like her marriage or the characteristics of her unborn child. She is also very arrogant, which agitates me. She doesn’t think any one is qualified enough to marry her and that she is the best. She had finally settled with the bad man, which surprised me because he was way too old for her. What I did like was how devoted she was to their marriage, no matter how appalling and awkward it was. She would even open the windows of her room when he was on his business trips so that the wind could still connect them. She is a rather static character. She is fierce and strong-willed, and stays this way throughout the chapter. Her daughter thinks her to be weak, but really Ying-ying has the strength and cunning of a tiger.

5. I think that the conflict here is Ying-Ying vs. herself and a little bit of Ying-Ying vs. Lena St. Clair. The main conflict, Ying-ying’s internal fight, is about how she tries to keep her spirit and strength intact. As a child, she is bursting with self-confidence but, when her husband cheats on her, she faces much grief. She regains all of it though, when she starts dating Mr. St. Clair and she returns to her normal self. She returns to being a strong-hearted person who cunningly “[waits] between the trees” (251). This conflict does get resolved. The small conflict just barely emphasized was the mother vs. conflict. According to Ying-ting, Lena’s “wisdom is like a bottomless pond” (242), implying that her daughter is unintelligent. According to Lena, her mother is just an old lady with a psychic ability to predict things before they occur. This conflict isn’t resolved, because at the very end Ying-ying decides to “cut her” daughter’s “tiger spirit loose” (252), meaning that it hasn’t been done yet and that neither of the two have reached out to the other.

6. I think that there is a life lesson to be learned after reading this chapter. It is that you should never underestimate someone and that you never know their past until you reach out to them. Ying-ying is trying to make a point that her daughter doesn’t know enough about her and that one day Ying-ying will reach out to her daughter and show her what a strong and cunning person Ying-ying really is.

Sunday, January 24, 2010 6:24:00 PM  
Blogger allison. said...

1. Year of the Tiger
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. In this chapter, Ying-Ying feels like nobody sees her “tiger” side and she wants them to. She falls in love with a man, and they marry. Then he leaves her, and his family, who once favored her, she leaves behind to live with her cousins. She is said to be pretty, much prettier than her daughter but that prettiness left her and now her daughter does not know of her beauty that she did have. Her husband married her because of her beauty but he left her because of her beauty, it became too boring for him and he could not love her anymore. After he leaves her, she is not pretty anymore; it leaves her and is hidden. Her beauty is much like her two sides. The tiger has two sides: black and gold. But few people see the black side, which is her beauty, but she wants that part of her to be known to people. In her cousins’ house, it is crowded, dirty, and boring where she does nothing but think, sitting between two trees. Then after many years, she leaves and she cuts her hair, working as a shopgirl. This is where she meets her next husband, an English man who is “too polite” and buys her meaningless gifts. She hopes that her new husband, Saint Claire will bring out her black side but he does not and now this black side of her, which is also in her daughter, is unknown to both of them. Although it was short, it was still very complicated, just like most of the other chapters in this book but I feel like as I kept reading, all of my uncertainty with this book was answered.
4. Ying-Ying is a very interesting character in this chapter. From Lena’s perspective we get the idea that she is a mean mother who does not see things how they truly are. Lena tells us only of the things that she sees, and not what she does not see or think about. When Ying-Ying tells her story, we see that she has two sides, but one of those sides has yet to be discovered. She wants her daughter to see this side of her, and to give it to her, even though her daughter has this black side too. We find that Ying-Ying has been through much pain in this chapter, much like the other mothers. Ying-Ying only wants her daughter to listen and understand her.
5. The main conflict in this chapter is man vs. man, or Ying-Ying vs. Lena. Ying-Ying wants her daughter to see her black side, but Ying-Ying cannot find it so Lena does not understand what this black side is either. All that Ying-Ying hopes for is for her wanting of this side to be revealed to her daughter, but it never is.
6. The allegory at the start of this section relates with this chapter. In the allegory, the mother is talking to her grandchild about how she wants to teach her daughter the ways of life. Ying-Ying wants to tell Lena the hurts she has been through, and show her a side of her that she does not know, but she will not tell her. The grandmother in the allegory states how she says she gave up her innocence. This also connects to Ying-Ying in that she gave up her “prettiness” when her husband left her, and she does not know how to get it back.
-Allison Olkie Period 3

Sunday, January 24, 2010 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger Myles said...

1. “The Looming Regrets”
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. This chapter was fast and for the most part, easy to fathom. Ying Ying seemed like she lived a wonderful life before she met her first husband who was unfaithful to her and a jerk. What made matters worse was when Ying Ying got pregnant and surprisingly she knew it was a boy. Now she couldn’t just run away from her husband in China because there was a baby involved and so she did the only thing that seemed to come to her mind to get rid of her baby. She killed the baby boy inside of her. Why she did not give it up to someone who might have wanted him is a mystery to me, but even though her way of handling the matter was ghastly, it was efficient.
4. The only logical character that could be focused on in this chapter that had lots of information about that person to write about was the main character, Ying Ying. Ying Ying was probably a very beautiful woman and lived the great life she explained about in which she believed that she was too good for any man until her first husband and her met eyes and locked. She believed that she was going to have a happily ever after life with that man of hers, but she was too naive. That man disrespected her and she had to kill her baby inside of her to escape so that she had nothing to worry about except herself. When she went to America she met a man named Clifford who seemed to want to do anything for her which he always did. Ying Ying, although, thought he was too kind which seems a little peculiar to me. Anyways, she had a baby named Lena, yet Lena had no spirit and all the regrets that Ying Ying had sometimes were too much for her and she became lifeless from time to time. No one deserves the life Ying Ying lived.
5. The main conflict in this chapter is internal and is human vs. self. I believe this would have to be the biggest internal conflict in the book. This internal conflict got to me in a way none of the other conflicts did. Ying Ying’s internal conflict was that she had to deal with regrets including killing her unborn son and never giving and spirit whatsoever to her daughter, Lena. Ying Ying wished that she could have given that spirit to her daughter, but couldn’t until the end when she says that she will be like a tiger who waits and watches until Lena is able to see her with her own tiger eyes.
6. I believe the theme in this chapter is to never lose spirit and or hope. Always believe that you are stronger than anything no matter what comes your way to put you down. Like a tiger, either wait for the prey that you want to come to you or be fierce like the golden side of the tiger and claw your way to all of your goals.

Monday, January 25, 2010 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger BrandonLamTookMyName said...

1. Tiger
2. Ying-Ying St. Clair - Waiting Between the Trees
3. I thought this chapter was actually rather confusing and extremely short. It definitely tops my list of most boring and uninteresting vignettes in this book, where absolutely nothing happens. It shows the difference between the Chinese and American customs, during the controversy between the guest bedroom and the best bedroom. Being Chinese myself, I know that this is true. The Chinese always expect their host to provide them with the best room, as the host always wants to show their guests the best, especially if the guest is an elder. Also, I felt that Ying-Ying resembled an extremely abnormal woman, as she married a man that, even at first sight, was obviously a player and not a good husband. I can’t fathom why she would make such a detrimental decision, one that would ruin her life. In the movie, it shows her killing her son after birth, when he was already fully developed as a baby. I thought it resembled an act of reckless revenge, completely unnecessary and despicable. Although not as inhumane in the book, where she just undergoes an abortion, I still believe she made a hasty decision that caused her pain for the rest of her life.
4. Saint Clair “courted [Lena] for four years in his strange way” (250). Saint Clair represented everything that Lena’s first husband wasn’t. He proved himself to be a gentleman, presenting her with gifts recurrently, hoping to make her happy. He showed persistence and true love for her, waiting four whole years for Ying Ying’s acceptance, while her last husband grew bored of her after one year, leaving her for someone else. Saint Clair treated her extremely well and played a part in saving Ying Ying from the complete darkness that overwhelmed her after her last husband ditched her.
5. While reading this chapter, I found multiple conflicts, such as one that resembled a man vs. man between Lena and her first husband. Her husband, after marrying Ying Ying, soon grew bored of the same woman everyday and began to date other girls, like prostitutes and actresses. They have a fight about it, and her husband leaves her forever, giving her a parting gift of a baby. From then on, Ying Ying begins to have internal conflicts with herself, becoming hysterical at times. She even kills the child in her womb, doing something a sane mother would never do.
6. The author displays an extremely proficient use of imagery in this chapter, especially during the scene where she describes the living conditions of her cousin’s family. “Babies crawled on the floor with the mice. Chickens came in and out like my relatives’ graceless peasant guests. We all ate in the kitchen amidst the hot frying grease. And the flies! If you left a bowl with even a few grains of rice, you would find it covered with hungry flies so thick it looked liked a living bowl of black bean soup” (249). She also epitomizes the use of similes and metaphors in this vignette, using two in the paragraph above alone. These similes and metaphors greatly benefit the reader in viewing what the author wants to convey, and the imagery really puts the reader in the midst of the scene.

~Scott Lee Period 3

Monday, January 25, 2010 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Waiting Between the Trees

1) This was a pretty interesting and short chapter, compared to Magpies. In this vignette, it talked about Ying-Ying's past and answered many questions about Ying-Ying's life. Now I understand why she was such a crazy lady--she was scarred for life for marrying a bad man and killing her own baby. I found it depressing how she lost everything, even though she was born with a strong Tiger spirit, beautiful looks, and great riches. This goes to show how one little mistake can lead to disastrous consequences.

2) In this chapter, Ying Ying seems to be a passive character, allowing bad things to happen to her. This begins only after the bad uncle crushed her heart and spirit, leaving her a lifeless shell of what she had once been. When she decides to kill her own baby out of revenge and hatred, this reveals a part of her harmful and vindictive personality.

3) The past conflict between the bad uncle and Ying-Ying eventually led to the main conflict in this chapter, which is man vs. self. He took everything away from her and ruined her life, causing her to kill her own baby and leave the comfort of her wealth to live in squalor. The conflicts that arise within herself involve guilt for what she had done back in China, and shame for not regaining her spirit to pass to her daughter. At the end of the chapter, Ying-Ying figures out what she must do and decides to fight and win back her daughter. She knows what she must do, but for now, she is still waiting.

4) The tiger is a main symbol in this chapter representing the fierce, strong, and fearful personality of Ying-Ying. The gold stripes represent the strong heart and the black stripes represent patience and cunning. The spirit of the gold had been stripped from her, leaving her in the darkness, thinking and waiting.

Monday, January 25, 2010 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Arctic said...

Nancy Le, period 3
Lady Ghost
Waiting Between the Trees

1. Yingying's first husband disgusts me. Who would be so vulgar in front of a young, pretty, innocent girl, even if she was wild? Eventually, she loses her spirit to him, all the wildness rushing away after she kills his and her son. She lives some years without caring about anything, drifting from day to day, until finally karma slaps him in the face and she is free. She escapes to America with a foreigner who loves her passionately, although she doesn't love him in more than a quiet accepting way. Her bending over backwards to please her first husband reminds me of Lindo's bending over backwards to please her first husband's mother. Perhaps it's a trait deeply engrained into Chinese women, to help them cope in unhappy situations. Perhaps Yingying's craziness was a result of her lacking a spirit, and her new clarity is her golden tiger spirit returning to her.

2. So it turns out that Yingying has a fairly good reason for her breakdown over her miscarriage. She had been emotionally deadened by her abortion and first marriage ("spiritless") up until the loss of her third baby. Then, all the feelings appear to have come rushing back at once, leaving her depressed and nonfunctional for most of Lena's childhood. Now that Lena has grown up, Yingying is allowing her feelings to come back (her "tiger spirit") so that she can finally teach Lena to have spirit. All of this is for her family (trauma from her first and third sons, a desire to support her daughter), allowing me to deduce that under the crazy, wild exterior is a loving mother.

3. The main conflict is Yingying versus her ex-husband, because he runs off and sleeps around, while she is left at home. She retaliates by killing their baby, and in the end it's resolved by his murder and her leaving China.

4. This chapter, like the opening allegory, depicts a mother and her daughter. While the allegory was about a mother deciding to teach her daughter how to keep her innocence and laugh forever, the vignette is about the mother who lost her innocence when she was young, and how she resolves to help prevent the same happening to her daughter (by giving her a spirit.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 8:15:00 PM  
Blogger Linhwaslike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Linhwaslike said...

The Black Side
Waiting Between the Trees
3. I thought this chapter was depressing, leaning towards the description of homes and symbols rather than action. After reading this awfully short chapter, I had sympathy for Ying Ying St. Clair because of what she endured in the past. She was blinded by love at the age of eighteen, loses her innocence to a bad man and gives up the life of her son, all that mattered to her. The reader finally knows why the woman is so corrupted; she is scarred with her past, and now, as she sees her daughter following her foot steps, she must stop her before she has gone too far. In addition, I found it sad that Ying-Ying only married "Mistah St. Clair" to overcome her past with her first husband...does she truly love him? Well, if the woman questions herself, which she does on page 251, she obviously isn't sure. I just find it sad that she thrives on the man's kindness with "unequal" feelings...that is, until he is a "ghost" too. Speaking of "ghosts," Ying-Ying described herself as a "ghost" although she is very much alive. I liked this because it symbolizes that she was unseen in life.

4.The character I would like to focus on is Ying-Ying St. Clair. She is officially scarred for life, but in her eyes, psychiatric treatment will not help anyone. Only a person can turn their life around. For that reason, I think Ying-Ying is very narrow minded, only following her customs and beliefs, but at the same time, I see a lot of strength and confidence in her character. She explains that she can see a thing coming before it comes; one must have a lot of power to do that, right? I do appreciate how she is trying to protect her daughter from making the same mistake as she did because it shows how much she truly loves her daughter.

5. The conflict in this chapter is man vs. man external. It is between Ying-Ying and her first husband. This man she was to call Uncle tricked her into bed with him as he blinded her with his false love. It is unfortunate Ying Ying fell for such a person, for only after a year, he was already bored with her. He leaves the house and seeks love from prostitutes and actresses, which remains a mystery to Ying Ying until notified by a family member. To get back at her husband, Ying Ying does something she now eternally laments. She kills their son because it was all she could take from him, but instead, the loss affected her more than she ever imagined, leaving an unmovable hole in her chest. The memory pains her so much she has not even mentioned it to her daughter, Lena. But back the point, the conflict between Ying Ying and her first husband is resolved, I assume, when he is killed by a younger woman who has the strength to stand up to him.

6. To me, the symbol in this chapter was the tiger. A literal tiger does not exist in this chapter, but its symbolic meaning carries throughout the course of the chapter. For instance, it symbolized the actions of the characters and what side they would belong to: Black or Gold. Ying-Ying was also born in the year of the tiger, which supports why she changes sides; she is figuratively a tiger. She was on the black side, waiting and not being seen, which she did not use until she left her first husband, but now, as her daughter goes through the same challenge, she will let her fiercer side come back, her golden side and her black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter's tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose," (252). Looks like Ying-Ying's daughter, Lena, will too, reveal her tiger side.

Linh Vuong
3rd Period

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Kelsea Wong said...

1. Nor good, Nor bad, an Invisible Neutral TIGER
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. So I was reading the book and I can’t quite understand what is happening, but turning to the movie I compared the text to the film by doing so I put the missing pieces together, which helped me to understand it even more. The film could really help one understand the novel because its visuals linked together creating a flip-book in one’s head. My reaction to this vignette was that it resembled the movie, but the story was much more violent when it came to revenging Ying-Ying St. Clair’s husband. The emotions displayed in this chapter was overwhelming it really caught the reader’s attention when it came to the overlapping emotions of hatred, revenge, shame, love, and several other emotions. Although the vignette was short it explained volumes of the situation given.
4. The protagonist in the novella was Ying-Ying St. Clair since she changed throughout the chapter. In the beginning she was a girl with a dream meeting the Moon Lady and soon coming true she meets her, but it turns out it was a man disguised as a woman. This revealing that everything do not always appear to be what they appear, which Ying-Ying fails to find who she is. When growing up she falls in love with a player who sleeps with other women. This man not only betrays his marriage with his wife, but treats terribly. Ying-Ying yearning for revenge she kills the unborn baby boy in her womb. Feeling lost and guilty of what she done she leaves her husband and isolates herself from her family. While she worked at a clothing store she meets Clifford St. Clair who buys her all these gifts. Later on, Ying-Ying allows this American to marry her after receiving a letter from her aunt stating her husband died. The lost hope leaving her devastated and empty is what she filled up by marrying again. Ying-Ying stills feels lost whenever she cannot leave her chi-spirit to her daughter since she lost in her past mistakes.
5. The conflict is human versus human since Ying-Ying is always lost in the world and worried about her daughter’s spirit. Ever since a little girl when she fell in a lake and uncover the truth of the Moon Lady she felt confuse and scared. Then in her early sixteen she comes across killing her son just to revenge her husband. These complications all adds up to becoming a much more hidden meaning of how her emotions are uncontrollable and that they add up to a bigger product. And with all these emotions building up it creates a problem of Ying-Ying losing her innocence and spirit.
6. There are several symbols in this vignette such as the watermelon. In class discussing of the man who stole Ying-Ying’s heart dug his hand into the watermelon representing the innocence and virginity she lost. How the phrase about the tiger could symbolize how she was born as a tiger and that bad spirits enter leaving behind bad luck. The expensive clothing Ying-Ying chooses to wear might represent the wealth. When she explains that she neither something nor the other thing this might imply that she is always located in the middle, neutral. She has an unseen spirit that may have gotten stuck with all the mistakes she done in the past, which might show similarities of not taking action of her life. Ying-Ying’s lost and confusion leaves her stranded in between.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kayla L. said...

1. Gold is fierce
2. Waiting between the trees
3. There was a lot of local color in this story, like when Ying-Ying says that “the guest bedroom is the best bedroom, where she and her husband sleep” (242) which is easy to agree with, but in America we give any room that is available and your guest should be happy that they even get to stay in your house at all. The other local color I liked was the part about the year of the tiger and how it describes the people who were born that year. The quote “then she told me why a tiger is gold and black. It has two ways. The gold side leaps with its fierce heart. The black side stands still with cunning, hiding its gold between trees, seeing and not be seen, waiting patiently for things to come.” (248) is describing Ying-Ying because she was year of the tiger. For what reason do Chinese women need to have tiny feet? How distressing for Ying-Ying to actually love her husband (wives don’t marry for love in China apparently) and then he left her and the baby that he had just “planted” for an opera singer and prostitutes. Jerk!

4. Ying-Ying was the only character that really stood out for me; unlike some of the previous chapters were the antagonist sticks outs more then the protagonist. She seemed so innocent and undeserving of all the misfortune dropped on her lap, though she was kind of wild. I’m guessing that it’s not often that wives love their husbands in China during this time period, so it surprised when she did fall in love with hers, but of course the husband turned out to be a real sleaze bag. What a tough decision to make to give birth early so your baby comes out dead. I think this somewhat broke her spirit which she cannot give to her daughter. “My daughter thinks I do not know what it means to not want a baby” (248) shows that she and her daughter are not very close and Lena knows very little about Ying-Ying.

5. The conflict is internal with Ying-Ying trying to pick up the pieces of her broken marriage. Ying-Ying was very vain yet settled for a guy who only wanted a son, but Ying-Ying was not aware of this until she was told that he had been sleeping around on his long “business trips”. Later she became a shop girl and meet Clifford St. Clair who would become her next husband. She waits for a letter that tells her that her first husband was dead and “something strong and bitter flowed and made [her] feel another emptiness in a place [she] didn’t know was there.” (251) and through this emptiness she married St. Clair and gave up her chi, or spirit. It causes her too much pain to think back to her husband in China and so she cannot tell her daughter about her past.

6. A big symbol in this chapter was the tiger. The tiger represents that Ying-Ying has two sides to her personality. The gold stripes on the tiger represents her fierce heart and the black stripes represent her cunning or to wait patiently “between the trees”. She learns to use her black side only when her life starts to fall apart because her husband left to cheat on her.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 6:11:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

1. Tiger spirits

2. Waiting between the trees

3. This vignette is pretty sad like the last one. The thing about this vignette is that Ying-Ying asked for it, rather than being raped like An-mei’s mother. The man that Ying-Ying loved just left her for other girls, which shows that the man is a terrible person and is like a player. Another thing that made me sad was that Ying-Ying ended up aborting her son because of the anger by being dumped by his husband. I could relate to this chapter because it talks about how Ying-Ying was born in the year of the tiger, like me who is born in the year of the dog. I found it somewhat interesting about the tiger spirits.

4. Ying-Ying seems to have super powers because she can predict events that occur. She predicted that her kid was going to be a son with her telepathic abilities ! Although she has a crazy 6th sense for prediction, she couldn’t seem to predict that she was falling in love and getting married to a big jerk. She fell in love with him without knowing him very well, which shows that she’s a bit idiotic to believe the whole “love at first sight” deal.

5. I believe the main conflict of the chapter is Man Vs Man between Ying-Ying and the first husband that she married with. Ying-Ying fell in love with his horrible man who she later finds out is a player. Completely devastated and hurt, Ying-ying aborts the baby that she has with her first husband. The conflict between the two is pretty much resolved since he leaves her for other girls and ends up dying later on.

6. I believe a symbol of the chapter is the tiger. The two different natures of the tiger revealed through gold and black is like the two sides of Ying-Ying. Like a tiger, Ying-Ying is fierce, cunning and crafty. Ying-ying’s choice to love and marry the horrid man caused her to lose her fierceness and spirit.

JamesYu
3rdperiod

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger jen_bug said...

"What A Tiger Is Made Of"
Waiting Between the Trees
3)This chapter was very sad because the whole context of the book was about Ying-Ying St. Clair losing her spirit. She started off as a beautiful, breathe taking young lady and then once she married a very evil man, all her beauty just happened to slip away. Why would Ying-Ying even allow herself to have any kind of feelings for this man? She did say herself, "I knew how to attract attention and be admired." (245) But still for some strange reason she let this man inside of her and change her life forever. Her new husband wanted to just hit it and quit it because, once Ying-Ying was carrying his child he took "business trips" for long periods of time. Ying-Ying's aunt later told her that her husband was really messing around with other women. Overall this chapter was good with a very sad mood to it. No one honestly wants to read about how a mother and daughter both fell for men that they didn't stand up to, were in a relationship where neither of them were happy.
4)Ying-Ying is the character I'm picking to focus on. Her personality and outlook on life changed majorly throughout this chapter. She went from being a beautiful young girl to an ugly worn down women, when she was still pretty young in age. Ying-Ying didn't seem to know that marrying a man who doesn't love you and barely even knows you is not the perfect man to spend the rest of your life with. Although Ying-Ying ends up showing her hatred toward her husband for treating her like scum, she does it in a way that will haunt her forever.She shouldn't have killed her new baby boy because she was angry with her husband. I think instead the wiser move would have been to runaway with the baby and never go back to her husband. After everything Ying-Ying has gone through in the end she still tries to be the best mother she can, by passing down her knowledge to her daughter. Making sure that her daughter doesn't live a life of regret like she has.
5)The conflict is internal and man vs. self. It is obviously between Ying-Ying and she is trying to glue back together the loving marriage she thought she had. To solve the problem taking place Ying-Ying in a way grew a back bone and came up with a way to survive through life. “Something strong and bitter flowed and made me feel another emptiness in a place I didn’t know was there.” (251) This emptiness that she felt is what made her grow up and later end up falling in love with another man who treated her the way she wanted to be treated.
6)The types of writing in this chapter include both flashbacks and similes. Flashbacks because to tell the story Ying-Ying had to look back on her life that she tried to put far far away in her mind.Amy Tan also used many similes in this chapter, one including, "People in the countryside died like chickens on a hot summer day. Here Amy Tan is comparing people to chickens.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger m.méndez said...

1.) Eyes that Shine Gold

2.) Waiting Between the Trees

3.) This vignette is probably the most dramatic and intense one so far. I was so angry at Ying-ying for killing her baby boy. I was disgusted by that scene. That scene was so shocking to me but I guess that is what all lead to her unstable emotions later on. Other than that, I did feel sorry for Ying- ying because she married a guy who was unfaithful to their marriage and slept with other women and I thought that she didn’t really deserve that. In this vignette, I learned about numerous things about the Chinese culture. For example, I learned the importance for the year you are born like Ying- Ying was born in the year of the tiger and it’s a good thing. Besides all that, this chapter was more captivating and intense than I thought it was going to be.

4.) Ying- ying is the most bizarre protagonist in this book. I think that she is now a cold and scared person after encountering the hardest part of her life which was falling in love with a man who treated her with no respect and ended up traumatizing her and ultimately, crushing her heart. Her life began going downhill when she realized that her husband “forgot” to come home and was really with other women. After that realization, Ying- ying was desperate to rid him of her life, sacrificing her baby son to erase any memory of her unfaithful husband. As a result of those horrific events, she becomes a new person like a ghost. Furthermore, it causes her to fear for her daughter’s chi and her life with her husband.

5.) The main conflict in this vignette is external. It is man vs. man, or Ying- ying vs. her husband when he never comes home to her and instead, he goes with other women. She gets depressed and in sense, makes her go a little crazy about the topic and looses it. Even she claims that “was a man so bad that even today [she] cannot speak his name,” (245). Her conflict with him gets so bad that she ends up sacrificing her own son just to take revenge against her husband which is the only thing that could possibly hurt him.

6d.) As is used in many of the other vignettes, Amy Tan also uses flashback in this vignette. Actually, the flashback is very helpful to completely fathom the story. At first, she says that she wants to tell her daughter everything because “it is the only way to penetrate her skin and pull her to where she can be saved,” (242). Then, we learn of her past and she was very beautiful but strong-willed and wild. In the flashback we come to the realization of why and how she is the way she is when Lena grows up into a woman. Another fact is that Ying- ying is a tiger which means that she has two sides- a fierce and cunning side. The flashback helps better understand Ying-ying’s character to see all sides of her personality.

Michelle Méndez
4th Period

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ben_Tran said...

1. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I really liked this chapter because it was short and went by fast. Ying-Ying’s life was going well until she met her first husband who was unfaithful and a total jerk. Ying-Ying couldn’t run away from her marriage because she was pregnant with his child. Ying-Ying is so crazy because she married a bad man and killed her baby. It was really sad how she was born with everything, but her husband ruined it all. That just goes to show that even a single event can have a drastic affect on a person’s life.
4. Ying-Ying is scarred for life and does not believe in psychiatric treatment. She believes that a person must turn his or her life around. Ying-Ying is very strong in her beliefs, which shows she has strength in her character. Ying-Ying has one thing in common with almost all parents, she cautions her daughter of the dangers in life and tells her not to make the same mistakes she did. I found it interesting that Ying-Ying can predict things that will happen, but it just shows me that she is observant and can see the affects certain situations will have on others to create a final outcome.
5. There are two conflicts in this chapter, one between Ying-Ying and herself, and one between Ying-Ying and her daughter Lena. The main conflict is between Ying-Ying and herself in which she tries to keep her strength and mind intact. She goes through a lot when her first husband cheats on her, but finds confidence in herself again when she marries Mr. St. Clair. The smaller conflict was between Ying-Ying and her daughter and Ying-Ying believes Lena isn’t very smart and doesn’t make the right decisions. Lena thinks her mother is just a weird old lady that can predict things that will happen. Their conflict is not resolved at the end of the chapter.
6. One symbol in this chapter is the watermelon. The watermelon represents Ying-Ying’s innocence which was taken away symbolically when her first husband reached into the watermelon and scooped out its flesh. Another symbol is the tiger which represents Ying-Ying and her two personalities which are the gold and black stripes. The gold represents her fierceness, and the black represents her patience and cunning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger aly_n_4 said...

Tiger
"Waiting between the trees"
3. I found this chapter to be quite depressing. Ying-ying St.Clair brings us back to her past, how she lost her spirit. She takes us through her first marriage. Ying-ying St.Clair was raised in a very wealthy lifestyle and was a beautiful lady. She met a man and married him. Soon after the marriage, she gets pregnant with a son. However, Ying-ying found out that he was seeing another woman. Ying-ying fell into a depression and eventually killed her baby boy. When I read that she had done this to her son, I felt really sad. I could understand why she was so depressed, but why did she have to kill her son? I found that interesting and the baby boy was so cute and chubby in the movie.
4. I would like to focus on Ying-ying. When she was a young woman, she seemed so innocent until she had met her husband who she fell in love with. She got pregnant and during the months of her pregnancy, her husband who probably didn't really love her, left her, leaving Ying-ying in a depression. Ying-ying actually kills her new baby boy. I can't picture anyone doing that; such a tragic thing to decide to do. Her spirit was definitely lost after this and it still haunts her to this day causing her own daughter with a difficult marriage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 8:43:00 PM  
Blogger T-DAN said...

Foresight
Ying-ying St. Clair’s “Waiting Between the Trees”

I was surprised that Ying-ying had such an interesting background. I did not expect her to be once “rich and pretty” or “too good for any one man.” This vignette does not explain the dead Ying-ying’s dead baby like the movie version did. The movie version however did not include Clifford St. Clair. I wish it did because I would like to see the relationship between Ying-ying and St. Clair. I don’t know Ying-ying really loved her husband. I was hoping for the movie to establish a better romance connection. I was disappointed thought. It seems though that the marriage was no satisfying or well . . . romantic? Back to the vignette, I didn’t expect St. Clair to “wait patiently for four years like a dog in front of a butcher shop.” I felt bad that Saint acted as if he was a rich man treating a poor country girl St. Clair to things she had never seen in China. Unfortunately, she thought a glass figurine, a prickly brooch of cut class, and a silver-colored cigarette lighter were cheap gifts. The way Ying-ying explained St. Clair in her life makes me feel as if he was not important to her. I feel like Ying-ying was a doormat, just going with the flow. She did not object. I am not really sure sometimes if she has an opinion or a feeling about things.

Ying-ying’s husband is a bad character. Amy Tan included him in the vignette so that Ying-ying struggles through something. He is cause of the conflict that Ying-ying faces. Because of him, Ying-ying develops a hatred that kills their child. Ying-ying’s husband is suppose to be the bad character in this chapter. Without him there would be no conflict for Ying-ying to face. There would be no reason that Ying-ying is messed up and so on. He is a bad husband because he cheated on her right after their marriage and when she got pregnant. In the movie, he is shown as a very bad movie who steals her virginity and sleeps around. He eventually leaves Ying-ying and sleeps around until he is killed by a girl he tried to leave. Amy Tan writes his death in a way that the readers believe he deserved it.

The main conflict in this vignette is external human vs. human between Ying-ying and her husband. I guess you can say it is Ying-ying and her marriage. Her marriage resulted in her unhappiness as her husband sleeps around. It also resulted in the tragic death of her baby boy as she sought revenge against her husband. Her marriage becomes the source of her grief and despair. Her first-marriage was indeed a painful experience that lead to unfortunate things in her future.

This vignette is connected to the allegory because the allegory is about inheritance. Ying-ying thinks she passed on her passivity. The things that a daughter may inherit from a mother may not be intentional. Lena is like her mother. She does not have a say in her marriage with Harold. However, Ying-ying, like the grandmother, learns from her mistake as she sees her daughter make her own mistake. The allegory and the story both has the maternal figure, wanting to teach her daughter using what she learned from her previous mistakes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:27:00 PM  
Blogger T-DAN said...

*The conflict is resolved because when Ying-ying hears that her husband was murdered, she is able to move on and marry St. Clair. She moves away from China and starts a new family. However, she still feels pain from her first marriage yet it makes her into a stronger person.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Alvin said...

Alvin Lee 4th period
1. Hidden Tiger
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I was shocked by Ying-ying’s personality, the feelings she held inside. Also, her past was very surprising, how she had belonged to a rich, wealthy family and how she thought so highly of herself despite her feelings now. I do understand that, because of how she gave up by marrying Saint, she wants to pass her spirit onto Lena and try to make her stand up for herself against her husband.
4. I would like to focus on the main character of “Waiting Between the Trees,” Ying-ying. Ying-ying is determined to make her daughter see what she wants and make her strive towards it because right now she is afraid and passive. The way Ying-ying is so determined to bring out the spirit in her daughter shows how much she loves her.
5. I believe there is not so much an obvious conflict in this chapter because it is mainly a story line on Ying-ying’s past. But, it is seen that there can be an external conflict between Ying-ying and her daughter, Lena, because Ying-ying fights to change Lena, to make her see the truth in what she wants from her husband and marriage. Ying-ying tries her hardest to make Lena stand up for her own personal rights and stop being that doormat, stepped on by everyone.
6d. Amy Tan again uses a flashback in this chapter. Her reason is to show Ying-ying’s background which gives us a backup on why she thinks the way she does and why she feels the way she does. The flashback shows Ying-ying’s unfortunate marriage which presents her reason for treating Lena the way she does, always pushing her forward. Tan also uses word choice when describing Ying-ying’s riches like: silk rugs and jewels, carved ivory, jade jar, to describe the wealth of her family.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Pixx3ieDust said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pixx3ieDust said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:21:00 PM  
Blogger Idara said...

1. Empty soul

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. When I read this, I wondered why Ying- ying married her first husband. She was not forced, so unlike the other people’s stories, she could have avoided losing her soul. I know Ying- ying couldn’t have predicted that her marriage with her first husband would be a failure, but I think that she should have based her marriage on more than just “a feeling” that she would marry him. I think that it’s possible for Ying- ying to teach her daughter to have a soul and to stand up for herself, but it’ll hurt both of them emotionally in the process.

4. A major conflict is that Lena is growing u without a soul and is being a door mat by letting people walk over her. The fact that Lena has this trait is because her mother has no soul and she wasn’t able to teach Lena to stand up for herself. I think that it is possible for Ying- Ying to teach Lena to have a soul. She just has to explain her childhood to Lena, including the moment when she killed her first child.

5. Amy Tan bases this chapter on a big internal conflict. Ying- Ying has conflict with herself because she has no soul and she isn’t happy that she has passed that trait on to her daughter. The whole chapter revolves around the topic of standing up for oneself or giving in to being a doormat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger N`Jess said...

1. “Eye of the Tiger”
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. This vignette was really sad. I couldn’t believe she killed the baby boy just to get revenge, but it explained so much for her unstableness. Her husband in China was a jerk. I was happy when we learn that he died. He deserved that. I felt bad for Ying-Ying though. She lost her fighting spirit once she killed their son. I didn’t get why dint she just tell her family what happened instead of making them think she was dead. I couldn’t believe that St. Claire waited four years to marry her. He must have been a very nice and patient man.
4. Ying-Ying was determined to make her daughter see what she wanted and making her work for it. She wanted to give her daughter a spirit. She was able to predict things before they happened. She passed on this trait to her daughter, that’s why Lena knew that her marriage would fail. When she was young, Ying-Ying was arrogant. She thought that every man was too good for her, until she settle for a bad man.
5. The main conflict of the vignette is internal, man vs. self. She had no fighting spirit after her husband left her. She killed her son which made her crazy. Ying-Ying used to be very active and wild, but those days ended once her son died. She lost her “chi” and Lena was raised without a “chi.” In the end of the vignette, Ying-Ying realized what she had done to Lena and she was determined to change that. She wanted Lena to have a fighting spirit and fight for what she wanted.
6. Two symbols that could be seen in this vignette were the watermelon and the tiger. The watermelon represented Ying-Ying’s innocent. After the man cut the watermelon open, Ying-Ying soon lost her innocence. She lost her virginity and she was pregnant. The tiger symbolized Ying-Ying’s “chi.” Her “chi” was hiding and waiting to come out at the right time. It was waiting patiently for Ying-Ying to realize that she needed it in order to help her daughter. The color of the tiger showed Ying-Ying’s double personality. The represented her fierceness when she was young and the black represented Ying-Ying hiding her true nature.

Jessica Hartono, Period 4

Thursday, January 28, 2010 1:19:00 AM  
Blogger Pixx3ieDust said...

Spirited Away
“Waiting Between the Trees”

3. I didn’t really care for this, or any of Ying-ying’s other chapters. Ying-ying seemed every bit the foolish, spoiled, stereotypical rich girl and I found it hard to rouse any sympathy for her. The descriptions of Ying-ying’s struggles in China were rather brief and to the point, so I never felt truly drawn into the story – though that may have been due to my animosity towards Ying-ying. I also found it appalling how a woman could marry and create a family without pouring her heart and soul into her new life. Ying-ying allowed the past to overtake her future, and I think it’s a shame that it took her husband’s death to make her realize what an impact her passive nature had had upon her daughter. Whatever the case, this chapter wasn’t my favorite. It was rather dull despite the tragic events, and the entire scene with the watermelon confused me. What did the watermelon symbolize?

4. There seems to be something rather manipulative about Ying-ying’s behavior. I understand how her dismal relationship with her abusive first husband made her naturally cower from relationships in general, but still, that’s hardly an excuse. After opening up to her first husband and then being rejected by him, Ying-ying holds herself at a distance in order to protect her already shattered state of mind. She chose to marry “Saint” simply because he was an eager suitor who would treat her with the decency she deserved. He was available, so she followed him and left her past behind the first chance that she got. She married for security, not for love. She married blindly, and unthinkingly because Saint was the “right kind of man” to marry. He was a great guy – he had to be in order to sponsor Ying-ying to America – but he was not the right man for her. But more than that, Ying-ying lost her spirit, and her heart, and every desire that she ever had because of the demons of her past. It is extremely hard for me to respect her when she did not even have any respect for herself.

I also think that Ying-ying was an extremely arrogant young girl. She thought very highly of herself but not at all of her half-sisters who “were all dreaming of being married to worthless young boys” (245). Ying-ying’s words suggest that she believed that she was far superior to her sisters and that she deserved better than “young boys from families not as good as [theirs]” that her half sisters settled for (245). After she met Saint, she even stated outright that “she knew that he would someday be [her] husband” which is so presumptuous of her that it really irks me (249).

Thursday, January 28, 2010 7:38:00 AM  
Blogger Pixx3ieDust said...

5. The main conflict in this chapter is the internal conflict of man vs. self. After being abused by her first husband, Ying-ying lost her chi, and the majority of this vignette chronicles her remorse over the loss of her spirit. Ying-ying was once free-spirited, “wild, and stubborn”, but after aborting her own baby to spite her husband, she lost her fierce tiger spirit (245). Ying-ying raised her daughter like how she lived her life - inattentively, and spiritlessly. By the end of the chapter, Ying-ying realizes that she has passed her weak spirit onto her daughter. Ying-ying struggles to convey her remorse to Lena before it is too late for her daughter to finally develop her own spirit and to finally fight for what she believes in. More than anything, Ying-ying wants her daughter to realize that it isn’t too late to become a door instead of a doormat, and at the chapter’s end, she is waiting to tell her daughter that.

6. Amy Tan used amazing imagery in this chapter, particularly while describing the country house to where Ying-ying escaped from her husband and her dark past. The descriptions of “hungy flies so think that it looked like a living bowl of black bean soup” made me shudder in disgust. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I’ll never look at black beans the same way ever again (247). Her use of flashbacks was also very affective in drawing the link between Lena’s weak spirit and that of her mother. The flashbacks allow us to understand why Ying-ying acted as she did, and how she lost more than just a baby back in China. Through the flashbacks, we relive Ying-ying’s past and we follow her journey through memory lane until she finally realizes how her own weak spirit has affected her daughter – much like how her mother’s had influenced her own – and witness her resolve as she makes a promise to herself to bring back her own tiger spirit as well as that of her daughter.

- Michelle Chan, Period 4 =D

Thursday, January 28, 2010 7:39:00 AM  
Blogger Scott_Lee said...

Brandon Lam

1. I'm getting lazy at doing these.
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. The vignette was short, but easy to understand. Moving quickly, the vignette tells about how Ying-Ying got married. She marries a horrible husband and ends up killing her baby to get revenge against him.
4. Ying-Ying is crazy and that bleeds on to her daughter. Her daughter wasn't taught in certain aspects of life, but Ying-Ying quickly realizes this and tries to inform her daughter. Being a little late, her daughter marries a bastard that mistreats her, but eventually escapes him after her mother's wise words.
5. I think the main conflict is between Ying-Ying and herself. She is scarred forever after killing her baby, and she continually fights to escape the guilt.
6. A symbol in the chapter is the watermelon. I under stood this after Ms. Woods pointed it out when we were watching the movie. It symbolized Ying-Ying's "innocence".

Thursday, January 28, 2010 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger BrynIsBttrThnDonAtGttinDwn said...

1. “I’m like a ninja. I can see you, but you can never see me.”
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I think that this chapter was better at keeping me interested than the last, though that’s probably because this chapter was less than the length of a full novel. I did feel bad that Ying-Ying married the wrong man for her and that it took her too long for her to notice. She should have left him earlier. She possesses the ability to predict things. I guess it just takes a while to kick in.
4. Ying-Ying’s husband forces her to commit actions she regrets, like killing her son to try to hurt her husband. Consequently, she causes her mind and spirit to break. She no longer has any of the strength or wildness she had in her youth. Since she has deteriorated as a person, she had no strength to pass on to her daughter, thus her daughter is just as weak as her.
5. I think that the conflict is somewhat human vs. human, with Ying-Ying against her cheating husband, but is more of human vs. self because Ying-Ying is trying to handle her broken spirit and mind. She has become weak and is no longer the tiger she once was in her childhood. With her weakness, her daughter inherits the same traits. Now with Lena in turmoil, Ying-Ying feels that she must help her daughter become stronger so she will not suffer the same fate as she did back in China.
6. One symbol in this vignette could be the tiger. Like Ying-Ying said, the tiger has two ways each represented in its two stripes. While the “gold side leaps with its fierce heart” the black stripes “stand still with cunning” (pg 248). Though Ying-Ying may have felt that she lost her gold stripes because of her horrible marriage life, her black stripes were there to help guide and aid her later in life.

Bryan Bui

Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger jackie_chen said...

1) Watermelon
2) “Waiting Between the Trees”
3) My reaction to this chapter was that it was nice and short. I thought it was very dramatic and strong. I also found it depressing and scary how Ying-ying could kill her own baby. I was surprised that Ying-ying came from a wealthy family and had so much, yet she turned out to be a lost spirit.
4) The character Ying-ying is very crazy and weird. I think she became this way because of the tragic life she lived. Her first husband cheated on her and abused her. She killed her own baby. Then she ran away and left everything behind. Her actions show how crazy she is and why she turned into such a cold and repressed person.
5) The main conflict of this story was between Ying-ying and her daughter, Lena. Ying-ying was never able to give Lena strength and be strong-willed because of her past experiences. She wanted to help Lena became a stronger person and help her see things. She didn’t want her daughter to end up like her, having to be stepped on and treated unfairly by her husband.
6) A symbol in this chapter would be the watermelon. Ying-ying’s first husband splits it in half. This shows the breaking of Ying-ying’s innocence.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger berries n cream said...

1. Eye of the Tiger
2. Waiting between the trees.
3. This chapter is really short. It also contains a lot of information about her past. Her first husband didn't even love her and treated her horribly. Later on, she became pregnant with his child. Ying-Ying became really psychotic after killing her own baby.
4. Ying-Ying is a character that is wise because of all her past life experiences and advices her daughter to not make the same mistake as her. Ying-Ying has been scarred for life when she watched her own baby die right in front of her. She became really crazy but eventually, got better and became a good mother. After her first marriage, Ying-Ying is now watching her own daughter's marriage cautiously to make sure the same things don't happen again.
5. The conflict in this chapter is Human vs Self. It is between Ying-Ying and her own past memories of her first husband. She has been scarred by her drowning baby and struggles to gain enough mental strength to be a mother and wife. She eventually breaks out of her crazy memories and marries Mt. St. Clair, and with her renewed strength and confidence, she watches over her daughter Lena and her own marriage.
6. One symbol in this chapter is the tiger. The gold striped represents the fierceness and the black stripes represents confidence and courage that helped her to grow back into a normal person later on.

EricTam
Period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger patrickw said...

1. Tiger’s Chi
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. This chapter was very interesting. The way Ying-Ying uses all these superstitions with a relation to Chinese culture makes me want to read more. As I read this chapter I kept thinking why Ying-Ying wouldn’t help prevent the bad things that were going to happen if she can sense it. Ying-Ying’s husband was horrible and leaving your own son to drown made me feel sad inside.

4. Ying-Ying was the only character that really stood out for me. She was so innocent; she didn’t deserve to lose all of it when she married that man. I also felt bad for Clifford when she gives her presents, but she never takes into consideration, his love. She married him because she knew it was her destiny to do so, not because she loved him. And later she never protested when they moved, her soul was loss.

5. The conflict in this chapter is internal; Ying-Ying is trying to pick up the broken glasses of her marriage. After being shattered by her husband she met Clifford who would become her next husband. At the beginning she feels so much grief as she lost her innocence, but as time went by and she met Clifford she regains all her confidence.

6. A noticeable symbol in this chapter is the tiger. The tiger represents Ying-Ying’s two sides, her personality like a yin and yang symbol. The gold stripes represents her fierce heart and the black stripes represents her cunning side.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:13:00 PM  
Blogger WeButterTheBreadWithButter said...

Golden with black stripes or black with golden stripes?
"Waiting Between the Trees"

1) The first thing that I noticed was a heavy influence of Chinese culture, more, I'd say, than other chapters. Ying-Ying uses her traditional Chinese ways to talk with her daughter, but Lena uses her American ways to talk with her mother. Their disagreement and cultural clashes makes them distant apart from each other, like when Ying-Ying wanted to discipline Lena when she “had laughed when she heard this”, and that she regretted that she didn’t “slap her more often for disrespect.”

2) Ying-Ying and Clifford Saint Clair had a sort of awkward relationship. He thought that he was saving her from a poor life, but she had already experienced a rich life. She says that he bought her cheap gifts that don’t matter to her. He was just trying to show off because he really liked her. She was nice enough to accept and keep the gifts for a while.

3) I believe the main conflict is man vs. self and internal. I think the conflict is with Ying-ying and her first husband. Ying-ying suffers horribly in response to her first husband when he runs away with an opera singer. I believe she feels saddened when she finds out that a young servant girl murdered him. From being saddened about her first husband, she eventually loses her fierce spirit.

Alex R.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:46:00 PM  
Blogger Chen Hong said...

1. Finding One’s Self
2. Waiting Between The Trees
3. I thought this chapter was pretty good. The mood was mostly sad though, when Ying-ying tells the whole story on her past and her broken-self due to her relationship with her past husband. She tells us about what he did to her, and how broken she was when she found out he was cheating on her. With all this anger, rage, and sadness put together she aborts her baby to get revenge on her husband. The movie was different from the story though because the baby was actually born before it was killed in the movie.
4. This chapter was a main focus on Ying-ying. She puts her past into words and told us the story in this chapter. She was a pretty girl when she was young. Had a high spirit, and thought she was too good for anyone for her own sake. However, she ends up marrying a man that changed her life and self forever. She ends up getting pregnant only to find that she was not her husband’s only lady. She finds out that he was cheating on her the whole time, sleeping around with different women, and she soon starts to fall apart. She goes a little crazy after, and ends up killing her baby before it was born to get back at her husband. Although this act of revenge was kind of stupid in a sense, this act showed that Ying-ying was weak and because of this, she couldn’t let go of what she had done. She loses her spirit after this, passing it on to her daughter, Lena.
5. The main conflict in this chapter is man vs. man and it is between Ying-ying and her past husband. She suffers from depression after she kills her baby for an act of revenge upon her husband. She does this because she was emotionally hurt from her husband of whom she thought loved her so dearly, only to find out he was lying the whole time. The conflict does not really get resolved, but neither does it really keep happening. Her husband dies, and she regains some strength and spirit, but the memory is still with her forever.
6. A great symbol in this chapter is the tiger. The tiger, which was described as having two separate sides, gold and black, symbolized the way Ying-ying and her daughter acted. They were both born in the year Tiger, thus saying that people who were born in that year would act a certain way, for example, they have two sides to them, the gold side which they would leap with a fierce heart, and a black side in which they would patiently wait for things to come. Because Ying-ying had a very dead spirit when she had Lena, she passed it onto Lena, “…my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter’s tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose” (252).

Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:49:00 PM  
Blogger DaoTheMackDaddy said...

1) " Ninja Pro "

2) Waiting Between the Trees

3) I guess this chapter was okay. Though for most stories the book is better, I liked the movie part of this chapter better. The movie showed more and showed the part where Ying-ying drowned her baby instead of just telling us she did and having no description. I was excited about this chapter because I wanted to see how Ying-Ying felt and what she was thinking of when she drowned her baby. Though the book is lacking that part, it also has the extra added part that I enjoyed. The extra part was the letter from the aunt and her meeting Mr. St. Clairs. When she got the letter from her aunt about her husband's death, I was happy. The guy was a total jerk and deserved to die after what he did to Ying-Ying. The main question I had when I was reading this chapter was; What does she mean when she says she is hiding between the trees?

4) I will focus on Ying-Ying's so called "husband". This guy is an ass. He made Ying-Ying fall for him, just so that he could cheat on her later for an opera singer. Ying-Ying had to go through a lot of heartache to deal with what he did to her. Because of what he did, we can infer that this guy is heartless. If I could read this out to the class I would read it out with the song "Heartless" by Kanye West in the background.

5) The conflict is a conflict between Ying-Ying and her husband. It is external and is man vs. man. Her hustband is mean to her and cheats on her. He calls her mean names (well atleast in the movie). Ying-Ying hates him so much to the point that she decides to drown her own baby while she is gaving the baby a bath. She killed the baby because of her sheer hate for him. Though she loved the baby, she saw that the baby was still a part of the husband. And in order to destroy her memory of her husband she decides to kill the baby.

6) Objects that are mentioned in the story that I will discuss in the story is the marble table in Lena's guest room and the watermelon. The table in the guest room symbolizes Harold, the black lacquer vase symbolizes their marriage, and the flowers represent Lena. When the table collapses, the vase shatters and the roses are set free. What this symbolizes is once Lena and Harold's marriage is over, Lena will have a free life. The other thing is the watermelon. How the man goes into the watermelon with his hands and eats it in front of Ying Ying represents something. It represents her innocence. Once her innocence was taken from her husband she was lost.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger berries n cream said...

1. Two Faced
2. Double Face
3. I found this chapter really interesting. I remember this chapter in the movie when Lindo is getting her hair done for the wedding. There is a lot of mother and daughter comparing lives in this chapter and how they are similar and different. I like how most of the other chapter talks about people dying and horrible childhoods while this chapter takes us back to Lindo leaving her childhood behind and coming to America.
4. Lindo Jong is a really interesting and different character. She named her son Winston because she wanted him to "wins ton". She named her other son Vincent because she wanted him to "wins cent", meaning becoming very successful and rich. She named her daughter Waverly after the name of the street they lived on. Lindo's life in America really began when she met An-Mei and married Tin. I thought it was really cute of Lindo to give Tin that fortune cookie to let him know that she wanted to marry him.
5. The conflict in this chapter is Human vs society. It is with Lindo trying to fit in and live in America. At first, she struggles to adjust to the culture and way of life there. At the end of the chapter, Lindo successfully begins her family there and built her life from nothing to a happy family.
6. The theme of this chapter is to be yourself. Don't be ashamed to show the world that you're different because sometimes it's better to be different than the same as everyone else.

EricTam
Period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger E1ain3 said...

1. Kai gwa
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. In this chapter, the readers are able to scrutinize Ying-Ying’s atrocious past more clearly. Ying-Ying’s first husband turned out to be a filthy, deceitful man who took advantage of her innocence. Soon after her pregnancy, Ying-Ying gets rid of the baby boy, as a form of revenge. However, her unthinkable actions prove to be horrendous and leave Ying-Ying behind with guilt. Also, I think Ying-Ying’s reason to marry Clifford was really dumb. Ying-Ying finally agreed to marriage after she found out that her first husband had died. So, to stop her lamenting, Ying-Ying decides to marry a man she “neither liked,” “nor disliked” (250). Even after conceiving Lena, Ying-Ying questions herself, wondering why she could, “not love this man” (251). As you can see, Ying-Ying never seems to make the right decisions for herself.
4. Ying-Ying St. Clair is the main character I want to focus on. I really admire Ying-Ying for her willpower. Despite her own horrible past, Ying-Ying is determined to give Lena her spirit, “because this is the way a mother loves her daughter” (252). Ying-Ying wants Lena to have a better life than she had. She wants to “pull [Lena] to where she can be saved” (242). All of this truly shows how much Ying-Ying loves and cares for her only daughter.
5. I think the main conflict in this chapter is man vs. self. This internal struggle is fought between Ying-Ying St. Clair and her own self. After her first husband left, Ying- Ying loses her spirit. She was blinded by love and started to become a stranger to herself. She was no longer the strong tiger from her childhood.
6. The watermelon is a big symbol in this chapter. While the watermelon symbolizes Ying-Ying, the knife symbolizes her first husband. After the man cuts open the watermelon, Ying-Ying’s innocence is lost. The man takes Ying-Ying’s virginity, resulting in her pregnancy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger Dennisaur (Trinh) said...

1) Tiger Girl

2) “Waiting Between the Trees”

3) I’m actually glad the husband got murdered. That man needs to stop cheating on his many wives, especially Ying Ying. I never understood clearly why Ying Ying married him to start with. The story about how she met Clifford amused me a lot. I liked how she was unsure about her love for him and how strange it was that she started with an abusive, irascible husband and now she has a husband who is extremely kind and polite. Because of Ying Ying’s first marriage, it has affected her to this day and has even affected her daughter. The opening scene of the chapter made me think Ying Ying became crazy because she had lost all her wealth after she went through her first marriage. Apparently I was wrong.

4) In this chapter, Ying Ying reminisces on stories of her past to make her daughter understand her. She is revealed to be a rich girl in her childhood and quite a complex one. For example, she was married to a horrible man in her first man which ruined her entire strong [gold tiger] spirit and turned her gold tiger spirit to the black one. This shows that Ying Ying is a character that goes through change otherwise known as a dynamic character. Later on she starts to live at her cousin’s house for ten years before she regains some strength and beauty to work at a shop where she meats Lena’s father, Clifford St. Clair. When she met Clifford, she already knew she was going to marry him and was already a hollow shell of her former self when she got married to him. Therefore, when Lena was growing up she didn’t understand why her mother was in her own world all the time.

5) First of all, the conflict is human vs. human due to the fact that Ying Ying had to deal with the terrible husband she married first. Later on, it led to an internal conflict in which she is shaken up by her deranged husband and led to her insanity. To resolve this internal conflict, she decides to drown the terrible husband’s son to get back at her husband. Sadly, this leads to more conflict, in this case she cannot resolve, that turns her into a ghost of her former self.

6) This chapter relates to the opening allegory because like the grandmother trying to teach her granddaughter, Ying Ying is trying to tell Lena about her past and teach her how to get past those obstacles. Ying Ying tried to tell Lena to accept her loss of innocence, but you should never let your loss of innocence trample your life, otherwise you will become like her (Ying Ying) and become a ghost of your former self.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 7:24:00 PM  
Blogger phunkmasterJobyJo said...

Hollow Spirit

Waiting Between the Trees

Oh my goodness I can and can't understand how Ying-Ying can see all these unspoken things in the past, present, and future. How does she know that her future husband would want to see the trinkets he had bought when he was courting her? How does she know that he would even become her husband? And if she could foresee all of that, why couldn't she see that her first husband would be an whoring ass? (Because he is.)

There is no other character that does anything slightly mentionable, other than Ying-Ying. Killing her baby to hurt her husband probably goes down in history as one of the most shameful acts of humanity, along with Mao Zhe Dong's Great Leap forward, among others. After she loses her mind and starts 'seeing' everything, she becomes in this never-ending state of passivity. If she saw how her daughter's marriage would end up, why didn't she intervene, in anything?

Conflict man vs man and man vs self, both internal; Ying-Ying gets foolishly seduced, then cheated on and abused by her ass of a husband. She kills her baby to hurt him, and after which she can never come over the shock.

The allegory is the parent trying to pass on something to the daughter: how to shed one's innocence to protect oneself, and later having to learn to enjoy life even after that loss. Ying-Ying's first marriage was... terrible to see the least. And then later she sees her own daughter Lena suffering pain like her, and so she intervenes, trying to show her daughter her true spirit, the tiger.
~El Schelonai, AKA Nicholas Lee, Period the Fourth

Thursday, January 28, 2010 7:54:00 PM  
Blogger Candy God Cody Dang said...

Watermelon twist
Waiting Between The Trees
1. I don't like Ying-Ying. She is such a strange psycho. She needs help. Why does she fall for a man she doesn't love? Why the heck does she abort her baby in revenge? The best revenge is to live a good life,Not to end a life that hasn't even been given a chance to begin. I guess the chapter was okay. It was very different from the movie. Killing a baby and aborting a baby are very different things. I don't know what the movie producers were thinking. DROWNING A BABY AND ABORTING A BABY ARE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS, ONE IS MURDER AND THE OTHER IS VERY, VERY CLOSE. I do not like the characters of this chapter. The drunk man is so lame, sleeping around with other women. Maybe he should just decide on one.

2. The relationship between ying-ying and her first husband is anything but good. I think tat he only married her because he wanted to "hook up" immediately, just because he thought she was pretty. He didn't think about anything else like her personal habits, likes and dislikes. I can't believe that Ying-Ying committed murder just to "get back" at her husband. It's a good thing her second husband didn't have the same evil nature her first husband had. He treated her like trash.

3. The culture in this chapter was very interesting. It's very interesting to understand how Ying-Ying's intuition is linked with her being born in the "Year of the tiger." It's neat how she can "see" things that haven't happened yet with her "tiger eyes," and wait for them to happen "between trees." It's quite fascinating to see how she reflects the animal she was born in the year of.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:01:00 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

1. Tiger in a Cage

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. Ying-Ying St. Clair seems to be an extremely intelligent woman. After she aborts her child, I felt that her character was much less likable then before. I don't think that abortion is the right way to solve things just becaus her husband cheated on her. I enjoyed reading about the tiger and what the two colors symbolized. It seems as if Ying-Ying has more orange and her daughter, Lena, has more black.

4. St. Clair is a cunning and crafty woman, as her explanation of the tiger shows. When she can see all the flaws in her daughters marriage, it shows that she is observative and insightful. Her abortion after her first marriage also shows that she is agressive and doesn't think before she acts.

5. The main conflict in this chapter is human vs. human. St. Clair has conflicts with her first husband, but she learns from her mistakes after the marriage ends. St. Clair also has a human vs. self conflict because she can't decide whether she should tell her daughter the story of her marriage to unleash the spirit of the tiger.

6. The main theme in this chapter is to learn from mistakes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chibacca said...

Beyond the Outer Layers

“Waiting between the Trees”

Reaction: Ying-Ying, as a young girl was vain because she thought of herself as being too pretty and too good for any man. Even though she thought this, she ended up marrying a bad man even thought she knew it was the wrong thing to do. He didn’t respect her and treated her like an object. It killed me on the inside when she decided to take revenge on him by killing her son. The baby never did anything to deserve it so why did she have to do that? I really wish she found a different way to get back at her husband. I really look at Ying-Ying a different way now because she had the nerve to do this.

Character: Ying-Ying St. Clair portrays to her daughter this one-side and narrow minded person but this is sort of a cover up for her tragic past. She had to endure so much and experience events that made her become what she is today. She had been emotionally deadened by her abortion and first marriage. For these reasons, she is closed-off to Lena and wasn’t really able the guide her daughter for she couldn’t let go of her own feelings and memories. Now, she is trying to protect her from making the same mistakes she made but her intentions are perceived the wrong way.

Conflict: The external man vs. man conflict between Ying-Ying and her first husband, I believe, was the main conflict. He had tricked her to fall for him with his fake love and after only a year, he got bored with her. She no longer appealed to him so he goes out seeking other prostitutes and actresses to tend his desires. Devastated, hurt, betrayed – Ying-Ying took revenge by aborting taking the one thing that he adored, their child. She aborted the baby to get back at him but the lost affected her and left her with the agonizing memory forever. The conflict I assume was resolved when he was killed by another woman who was able to stand up to him.

Flashback: Flashback was used in this story by Amy Tan to help me better understand the chapter. In the beginning of the story, it flashed back to when Ying-Ying was a girl in Wushi and she explained how she could predict everything that was going to happen and also she told the story of how she married the horrible man. The flashback retold the story about her miserable life and killing her child. This explained a lot about why Ying-Ying acts this way towards her daughter and why she has this type of personality. The flashback then comes back to Lena’s house where Ying-Ying was about to explain her tragic life.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger Raymond said...

Raymond Glassey
Period 3

1. Spirited Tiger
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. Once again, Ying-Ying’s chapter was remarkably bizarre. However, admittedly it wasn’t nearly as strange (abstruse) as the “Moon Lady”. The most unnerving thing about reading these though stems from the fact that Ying-Ying is able to see the future while us poor mortals are left ignorant. She knows that she’ll marry Saint and the other husband before it happens, before either of them knows, and yet Ying-Ying never does anything to change the course of her life. Her inactivity in this regard makes her supposed prophetic powers somewhat doubtful, but it is impossible to prove either way. The book is different from the movie though because in this chapter it seems like she aborted the child rather than drowned it after it had been born.
4. The protagonist of the vignette, Ying-Ying, appears to be crazy or somewhat disoriented, and yet when the world is told from her perspective, everything she does seems to make sense. She obviously has a sense of revenge, as demonstrated by the abortion, and she carries with her a deep grief and mental scarring from her first husband. Ying-Ying used to have riches and wealth beyond anyone else and yet, she chooses to throw it all away after she finds out of her husband cheating, and instead marries St. Claire and moves to America. Obviously, her sense of value contrasts with most others, and basically, after she leaves her husband, Ying-Ying’s motives and aspirations become unclear. However, she definitely wants to help her daughter by replenishing her own spirit first, and passing it on to Lena.
5. The main conflict within “Waiting Between the Trees” occurs internally because Ying-Ying has to come to terms with her sorrow and despair of the failed marriage between her and her first husband, thus making it man vs. self. A majority of the chapter focuses on this recovery and her eventual reconciliation with herself, leading up the events of her marrying Saint, and raising Lena. The conflict is definitely resolved in the chapter, slightly before the end.
6. In this chapter, one of Amy Tan’s most prominent writing techniques is her word choice. For instance, in the section where Ying-Ying talks about her time after leaving her husband, Amy Tan uses wonderfully chosen words to emit a feeling of sorrow and despair. She emphasizes thing like colors, her black side, the black bean soup of the poor country, and black flies of the city. Ying-Ying throws away her “white clothes” and loses her strength. Several times, words like dead, bad, and grief are repeated again and again within the section to further strengthen the feeling of sadness.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gisellllle! said...

1. Lions, Tigers, Bears? OH MY.
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I thought it was an interesting chapter, it explained a lot to me why Ying-ying was so peculiar to begin with. I though it was somewhat sad about her past, being married to a drunk man. In the end, however, she ends up with a man who treated her a lot better than the other guy did. Another thing that was interesting in this chapter was when Ying-ying could see events coming; she predicted things that would always come true. Although that was kind of strange, I think it adds a lot of Chinese superstitions.
4. Ying-ying, due to her dark past, is somewhat insane. She kills her baby son thinking it will hurt her husband after he cheated on her. She literally falls apart and has no strength and became utterly weak.
5. The conflict is an internal struggle within the mind of Ying-ying. Her past embraced her in a dark abyss of memories. She struggled to comprehend the fact that her husband cheated on her and that she drowned her son. However, this conflict is resolved when she gets married again.
6. In this chapter, I think one symbol is the tiger. It symbolizes Ying-ying and her personality. Like a tiger, she has a fierce heart.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger EthanJosephLe said...

1. "Tiger"

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. I wonder why YingYing married a really bad man. I thought it was really sad when she killed her own baby. That was really disturbing, and will be stuck in my head for a long time. I'm glad that she met a better man, and seemed pretty decent, if not happy, to live with him. Although he died, I thought he was a much better choice.

4. YingYing's first husband seemed like a terrible person. YingYing was forced to marry him, and he slept around with other women. He was also drunk a lot too. It was tragic how their love ended so quickly, and while she was pregnant too.

5. I think the conflict is human vs self, as YingYing has to deal with the results of her failed marriage. She suffers a lot from it, but in the end, she found a better guy for herself.

6. This story connects to the allegory because they're both about losing your innocence. YingYing's innocence was taken away by her first husband, and she had to deal with the pain from his horrible actions.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:22:00 PM  
Blogger Em, ily! said...

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
(a.k.a. Waiting Between the Trees)

3. Whoa, Lena and Ying-Ying really need to communicate more. They refuse to think based on what they think the other is thinking, which is totally complicated and it'd be much easier to just say their feelings to each other. They're mother and daughter for goodness sakes! And Ying-Ying doesn't want to talk because Lena pays for her "so-so" security?! What was the jade jar symbolic of? I couldn't fathom its significance. Ew, Ying-Ying married a guy old enough that she called him "Uncle"!? Gross. I can't believe she killed her son to get revenge for an idiotic man who cheated on her. Why take your own child's life when you could have taken the husband's life? ;) & it serves him right; he finally got killed by one of his women! Yay! Aw, Mistah St. Clair sounds like a sweet man, like he really wanted to impress Ying-Ying in such an innocent way. Did he become "a ghost" when Ying-Ying told him about her past?

4. Ying-Ying waited until her husband died to remarry St. Clair. This shows that although her husband was a jerk, she still respected their marriage and did not violate the Chinese traditions of her heritage. By remarrying, she also somewhat got revenge against her defeated past husband, becoming another man's wife like that. Although strong and bitter like so, she also trusted herself to purposely weaken herself to fade away her pain and give St. Clair the opportunity to make his approach. She isn't afraid of the future and she is sympathetic for giving St. Clair the chance to win her heart.

5. The main conflict in Ying-Ying's childhood memory should be herself vs. overcoming her past to move onto the future (internal: man vs. self). After that jerk of a husband, she spends a long while trying new things, pushing herself out of her comfort zone, to become a new person. I know, because she tried going from a high-class, spoiled rich girl to a lowly farmer's countryside cousin's place to stay. After ten years of that, she also left for the city to try becoming a shopgirl and this resulted in meeting St. Clair. By the end, I believe it is resolved, because most of her upsetting past was caused by [Insert his unworthy name here] and he finally died by one of his lovers, so I will conclude that he took with her the past of their love/marriage. She finally was able to move on, to find the strength, to let Clifford St. Clair marry her.

6. One of the most significant symbols in the story was the watermelon, of course. When "Uncle" [Jerkface] drunkenly sank a knife into a watermelon, roaring with laughter as he did so, and said "Kai gwa?" At the time, it translated into "Open the watermelon" for Ying-Ying, but later on, she would learn that it had something to do with reproduction. The watermelon represented her innocence and virginity, and he pierced right through it, cracking through its perfection, hurting Ying-Ying every step of the way.

Emily Huynh, Period 4

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger jessica said...

Black + Gold
"Waiting Between the Trees"

As always, Ying-Ying St. Clair's chapter is strange and superstitious. If she was able to see the future before it happened, then why didn't she try to stop it? I felt so sad when she drowned her baby in the movie, but aborting it in the novel wasn't any better.

Ying-ying often refers to herself as being a tiger, a strong spirit with two sides to her: a fierce heart (gold) and a more cunning, darker side. The darker side comes out after she marries the bad man, because he stole her heartstrong spirit until she became like a ghost. By the end of the chapter she wants to find herself again, she wants to find her good "tiger spirit" that she was born with and pass it on to her daughter.

Ying-Ying marrying the bad man is an external conflict (man vs. man), because he cheated on her, causing her to take revenge and kill his baby. Another conflict would also be Ying-Ying hiding this part of her past from her daughter, locking it away like a lost spirit, which is man vs. self.

One symbol in this chapter is the watermelon. It symbolizes Ying-Ying's innocence, which was broken by the first husband. He not only takes her virginity and causes her to become pregnant, but also cuts her soul in half, metaphorically speaking.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:39:00 PM  
Blogger Julianroy said...

1) Tiger...yeaaah

2) Waiting Between the Trees

3) This chapter confused me at first. Why would Ying-Ying want to marry this guy in the first place. He wasn't very nice, and I think she knew he was going to end up cheating on her. It's also sad that she ended up aborting her own son out of rage. After she did this, she now had to live her life as a shattered shell of her former self. I don't think she even married the St. Clair guy because she loved him. She probably married him to fill the empty abyss in her heart,

4) Ying-Ying in the beginning of this chapter seems to be the kind of person who acts without thinking stuff through. First, she marries this guy who likes drinking himself to near death and sleep with other women. When Ying-Ying finally opens her eyes to this truth, she kills her own baby, thinking that it would hurt him, only to find out that she actually killed part of her spirit. So basically, because she acted on her impulses, she ended up scarring herself for life.

5) The conflict in this story is internal and it has to do with Ying-Ying missing part of her soul and not being able to pass it on to her daughter.

6) One of the symbols in this chapter could be the Watermelon. When The water melon could symbolize Ying Ying and when her first husband slices it in half, this is basically what will happen to Ying Ying in the future. Because of her husband's actions, Ying Ying will end up losing a big part of herself to him and end up a ghost of her former self.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger FREAKOFNATURE said...

1. Tiger people
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. In this chapter, Ying-Ying tells her daughter, Lena about her deepest secret. She explains her whole first marriage and then the second marriage which was with her father. She also tells her about the son who she aborted who could've been Lena's brother.
4. Ying-Ying is an intelligent mother who sees things a little before it happens. What's ironic is that it's always the truth and her daughter, Lena, can't ignore that fact. She says, "When [my daughter] was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore" (page 242). Here it shows that even when her daughter kept away from her, she still kept an eye on her and made sure nothing horrible or life-threatening would happen to her daughter.
5. The main conflict is external, man vs. man, between Ying-Ying and her first husband. When she found out that her husband left her with an opera singer, she was heartbroken and suffered from her loss. She also aborted the baby son in her belly due to her depression. This caused her "black side" to die away, but was revived when he died.
6. Amy Tan uses the tiger as a huge symbol in this chapter. The tiger, having two separate sides, gold and black, symbolized how the mother and daugher, Ying-Ying and Lena, lived. Due to the fact that they were both born in the year of the Tiger, they both have a similar way of acting. Unfortunately, when Ying-Ying had Lena, her spirit was deadened. Therefore Lena didn't have the black side spirit either. She then decided, “…my fierceness can come back, my golden side, my black side. I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter’s tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose” (page 252).

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:54:00 PM  
Blogger K said...

Kathy Nguyen
Per 4

1) "Crouching Ninja, Hidden Mother"
2) "Waiting Between the Trees"

3) Well, this chapter was shorter than "Magpies" and actually started out more interesting. How could Ying-ying not see that she would be married to a bad man? Was it only until after he left her, and lead her into killing her first son that gave her the ability to see bad things in the family? Even though she may have been innocent back then when she was sixteen, it should have been obvious that the man she married was a bad man in the first place. At least that jerk finally died, karma got back at him! It's too bad Ying-ying found out after he had already drained her spirit.

4) Ying-ying St. Clair was once "wild and stubborn," (243) but even though she "was a wild girl, [she] was [also] innocent" (245). What led her to become the mother who only sees the bad things occuring in her family was because of her first husband. He got Ying-ying pregnant, and once she conceived her child, she found out he was cheating on her when he was of on his business trips. This of course hurt Ying-ying quite deeply, since she was in love with the man. Ying-ying's husband lead her to kill their son as revenge for him. Realizing what she had done only made herself worse, her once strong and wild spirit now weak. Also, this would be the reason why Lena has a weak spirit, because "she is the daughter of a ghost" (252).

5) The main conflict would be an internal conflict. The conflict also man vs. man, and man vs. self. At first the conflict is Ying-ying and her husband that cheated on her. To resolve this conflict, Ying-ying drowns their son thinking it would end it all. Though, it lead to the conflict of Ying-ying and herself. No longer the tiger she was in her youth, now a broken spirit, she manages to continue living, and eventually marrying Clifford St. Clair and gave birth to Lena. Ying-ying was a ghost when she married Clifford, and that leads to why Lena didn't understand her mother when she was able to predict the bad things that happened in the family. Ying-ying does not want Lena to end up like her, so she decides to resolve the conflict by telling Lena her past.

6c) This chapter relates to the allegory, because the grandmother in the allegory taught her daughter and her granddaughter's mother to lose their innocence so they wouldn't hurt themselves. As Ying-ying wants to tell Lena of her past so she will not live a miserable life. She will cut Lena's tiger spirit loose so when they fight, Ying-ying will win, giving Lena her spirit, "because this is the way a mother loves her daughter" (252).

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger waddupdawg said...

1:Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger
2:Waiting Between the Trees.

3:Like all Ying-Ying st. Clair chapters before, this chapter is also disturbing and interesting to read. It was weird how Ying-Ying marry a man she came to love because she felt that she was destined to marry him, vene though she didn't like him before. Since this chapter is about Ying-Ying, deaths, weird stuff are bound to happen, like Ying-Ying abort her own kid.

4:Ying-Ying St. Clair has precognition. She is able to see things before they happen. She knew that she was destined to marry her first husband and felt that their child would be a boy. She could also see the downfall of Lena's marriage before it happened.

5:The main conflict of this chapter is man vs. man, Ying-Ying vs. her first husband. At first they loved each other, but as time passed, the husband got bored and left her. Ying-Ying takes revenge by killing their baby.

6:The tiger is a symbol in this chapter. The two sides of the tiger represents the two sides of Ying-Ying. The gold represents her heart and she discovers her black stripes when he first husband leaves her.

Wai Chan
period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tara Lynn. said...

1. Eye of the Tiger

2. “Waiting Between the Trees”

3. This chapter was good, although it was pretty dismal. It was depressing when Ying-Ying aborted her baby and then instantly regretted it. I have to say that the movie did a better job at portraying this part than the book, although it was different in the movie, where she drowned her already-born baby instead of aborting her unborn child. The book did a good job describing how crushed she was when she found out her husband was cheating on her, though.

4. Although Ying-Ying was a pretty psychotic character because of what she did to her baby, she pulled herself together a little when she had her daughter Lena. She still showed some of her craziness towards Lena, but that was because she didn’t want her to make the same mistakes as she did and she was very cautious about her daughter’s marriage, due to Ying-Ying’s past marriage where her husband severely mistreated her. She was a very wise woman.

5. The main conflict is Human vs. Self between Ying-Ying and herself. She is haunted by how she killed her own baby years before, and she can’t let it go or forgive herself. She is also scarred by her past husband who was a complete jerk who hit her and cheated on her basically every night. Once she has her daughter Lena and her new husband, though, she pulls herself together and pays close attention to her new family.

6. One symbol in this vignette is the watermelon. Her past husband crushed the inside of the watermelon vigorously with his bare hands, symbolizing how he stole her virginity that same night. Another is the tiger. The gold stripes symbolized fierceness and energy and the black ones symbolized confidence and patience, and they represent Ying-Ying’s split personalities.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Maobertooo said...

Keep Your Watermelon Safe!

Waiting Between the Trees

1. I thought that this chapter was rather easy to understand compared to previous chapters involving Ying-Ying. In this chapter, the narrator Ying-Ying reminisces on her marriage back in China to an unfaithful man who eventually left her. She’s reflecting on this marriage because her own daughter Lena is facing marital problems, prompting her mother Ying-Ying to try and find “spirit” for her daughter. The way in which Ying-Ying was able to foretell her marriage to the “bad man” and the facial features of her future son was rather disturbing. As Ying-Ying described how her husband cheated on her with other women, I could not help but pity her a bit since Ying-Ying’s tiger spirit should have compelled her to take immediate revenge. I felt that her reaction to her husband’s actions, by killing their unborn son, was quite inhumane and vindictive. In modern society, venting anger on one’s children is seen as crazy and totally unacceptable. Maybe this is why when Ying-Ying realized the full extent of her impulsive actions, she lost her “tiger spirit” forever.
2. The main character of this chapter is Ying-Ying, back during her childhood and early adulthood in China. In the beginning of the chapter, Ying-Ying laments that she was such an innocent girl, even though she had the ferocious temper of a tiger. Her marriage to her first husband, in her own words, made her lose her innocence and essentially a part of her began to die. However, Ying-Ying ultimately lost her internal strength not when she learned that her husband had left her for good, but when she killed her own baby out of revenge. Even after Ying-Ying married Clifford St. Clair and came to America, she was already a changed women, a woman without any “chi.” Because of this, Ying-Ying thinks that it is partly her fault that her daughter Lena’s marriage is failing because Ying-Ying does not have any spirit to impart to her American daughter.
3. The main conflict of this chapter is actually an external conflict, man vs. man, between Ying-Ying and her husband, although Ying-Ying does make some inquiries into her own character. Ying-Ying always had forebodings against the man whom she would eventually marry, describing him as rough and coarse, and often in a drunken mood. While Ying-Ying bravely stands up to her husband without cowering back, she passively allows him to steal her innocence and get her pregnant, thus weighing her spirit down. Even with the notion that she had a baby son to consider, Ying-Ying’s spiteful vengeance on her husband’s sins eventually leads her to kill the baby before it is born. This conflict is resolved with Ying-Ying’s loss of spirit and her subsequent departure to America because she wanted to escape this spirit that had caused her so much pain in her life.
4. One symbol in the chapter is the splitting of the watermelon. Ying-Ying describes that she was “innocent [and] did not know what an evil thing [her future husband] did when he cut open that watermelon” (245). Her husband was in fact, as she suspected, up to no good, quickly getting Ying-Ying pregnant after they married. Ying-Ying could tell from his lewd and lascivious remarks, and the way that the other guests reacted to his joke, that he would eventually get his hands on her, one way or another. This is partly the reason why Ying-Ying accepted her arranged marriage to him without much protest, even though she detested his uncouth ways from the bottom of her heart.

-Albert Li

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger The Thing Under Your Bed said...

Rip That Watermelon!
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I think this chapter was pretty good. It was easy to fathom since we saw the movie part of this chapter. Ying-Ying’s life was ruined when she met her first husband. Everything seemed good until he started sleeping with other women. Ying-Ying couldn’t anything thought because she was pregnant with a boy. This chapter was also pretty short. Even though Ying-Ying lived a horrible childhood, she grew up and became strong like a tiger.
4. Ying-Ying is scarred for life by her abortion. Even though she lived such a horrible past, she came back, stronger and more confident. She finally met her husband, Mr. St. Clair, and changed her life to become a better person and mother. Ying-Ying is a very protective mother and protects Lena in her marriage because she doesn’t want Lena to go through the same thing as her when she was younger.
5. The conflict in this chapter is Man vs Man. It is between Ying-Ying and her first husband back in China. Ying-Ying had to deal with him sleeping with other women and, being unfaithful to her. She dealt with this by killing their baby boy, which is something that scarred her forever. In the end, Ying-Ying got through this and became filled with new confidence in her marriage with Mr. St. Clair.
6. A technique that Amy Tan uses in this vignette is flashback. She takes us back into Ying-Ying’s childhood and shows us what she had to deal with. It helps us to better understand why Ying-Ying is the person she is and what makes her do the things that she does.
-Jerry

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger jessicaisabookworm said...

Jessica Lee
Period 4
1. The chi of the tiger
2. Waiting between the trees
3. This chapter was really strange to me. After reading this chapter I understood why Ying-ying said, "no thought to killing my other son!" in "The Voice from the Wall". She had planned to have a miscarriage with her first child, but I think Ying-ying had sensed that her second son would die as well because Lena talked about Ying-ying's strange behavior. I wonder what Ying-ying meant when she said that she and her husband could "love equally". Is their marriage equal in the same sense as Lena's marriage to Harold? After having a miscarriage with her first child she told the nurse to "wrap [the baby] like a fish and throw it in the lake", how could she be so callous towards her own child? Did she feel remorse afterwards? Suyuan and An-mei's mother were both forced to give up their children, yet Ying-ying willingly killed her child.
4. Ying-ying seemed to be so cold-hearted when she killed her unborn baby. I think that Ying-ying regrets that she followed her predictions of marrying her first husband, marrying St. Clair, and having her two sons. I think that's why she asked Lena, "Then why you don't stop it?"
5. I think that the conflict in this chapter was human vs. human, Ying-ying vs. her adulterous husband.
6. This chapter relates to the allegory because the grandmother said she taught her daughter "to shed her innocence". Ying-ying's innocence was stolen from her by her first husband. Ying-ying tries to protect Lena by penetrating her "daughter's skin".

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger WeeeeniFAM said...

Spirit of the Tiger
Chapter Waiting between the Trees

1. This chapter was full of many of Ying-Ying's antics. I really felt as if Ying-Ying was still a foolish little girl her whole life. Growing up in a wealthy family, I can see how she can be quite spoiled and vulnerable, but her actions really hurt the people around her in many ways. One instance, is how she just forced herself to THINK that she was in love with a man that she was actually repulsed by, JUST because she believed that it was destiny that they should be together. Not only did she hurt herself (which was her own fault), she also hurt her husband with her transparent presence and ultimately caused him to have an affair with an opera singer. [Even though he was a VERY bad man himself].Also, Ying-Ying was a terrible mother to Lena, since Ying-Ying, being a ghost in her daughter's life, was not able give her daughter the a strong spirit, for she herself, no longer posessed an ounce of hope.

2.A conflict in this story is between Ying-Ying and herself. Ying-Ying truly needs to be able to break free of her overpowering superstitions. It caused quite a bit of damage to the people around her, since she was not able to provide a sense of love and affection after losing her personality in the dark abyss of her soul. In the beginning, she was sheltered and raised in a wealthy family. Consequently, Ying-Ying was quite vulnerable and only had her chinese superstitions with her. She could not fight back those superstitions so she just continued to believe that it was her "destiny" to marry a man that she did not love. She forced herself to love him and was heart broken in the end as he was not able to recieve her love and give it back to her. Also, by losing herself and her sense of being a living human being, Ying-Ying scarred Lena's spirit as well, since she was never there to pass on her spirit to Lena. Even if her spirit was, in fact, already battered.

3.Ying-Ying was of course the main character in this vignette. She grew up in a wealthy family and did not have to worry about much. Upon marrying St.Clair, I do not think Ying-Ying went into the marriage with her whole heart intact. She was still broken by her last marriage, which, to me,showed that she rushed into St. Clair's arms because she was so vulnerable. She needed protection and St.Clair was conveniently there to welcome her with arms wide open. Although she was evidently a ghost of a person to everyone in her life, I think it was quite brave of her to trust another man with her soul once again. I do, however, wished that she would have lived a life with less regrets. She truly did lead a traumatizing life full of deaths, anguish, and revenge.

4. The big symbol in the story was the WATERMELON! The watermelon ultimately symbolized Ying-Ying's innocence. At first, it was intact and whole, but as soon as "Uncle" dug his knife into the watermelon and disrupted the immaculate nature of the watermelon, he simutaneously shattered Ying-Ying's innocent spirit and caused her journey to losing her mind to commence. Was it all his fault? Was it because of him, that Ying-Ying had to kill her own child, and become a ghost of a mother to her daughter?

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger (゚Д゚ ") said...

1.) cloak of shadows

2.) “Waiting Between the Trees”

3.) After reading Magpies which was an extremely large chapter, waiting between the trees seemed to be an abridged chapter, which flew by in mere seconds. The chapter starts off with Ying-ying explaining her past and going into a bit of depth about her first marriage. She was influenced by a mysterious force to fall in love with a friend of the family, and they got married. She attempted to please him in every single way and eventually, he got tired of her. Leaving her for an opera singer, she spent days lonely until she met an American whom she called Saint, and they end up falling in love and getting married; this time the marriage seems to be a bit more stable and less forced.

4.) Ying-ying is the only character that stays in the chapter, she’s a bit rash and unclear at times and this proves to be her weakness. Without thinking, she murders her own child just to get back at this man, and after realizes what a horrid mistake she’s made; the baby’s already dead. Ying-ying may have been a normal person, but all the horrible things she’s experienced in life has scared her beyond repair, so she ends up sealing herself from the troubles of the world. This is a jack of all trades, as shutting the world off may comfort her from her pains that she hides deep within, but she has no legacy, no stories to pass onto her offspring as the cost.

5.) The conflict here is quite debatable, but I see it as man vs self. This is cause Ying-ying is a feeble weak girl, who rushes towards everything she does and ends up paying for it over and over, and over. If she’d resisted this force that helped the man seduce her into marrying him, she never would have been stuck in the chaotic whirlwind. After one mistake, she continues to prove her stupidity by murdering an innocent child who knows not anything, telling herself that this will surely pain her cheating husband, but in the end she is the only one who suffers from it. If she thought about her actions a bit more clearly, she’d have no conflicts in this chapter and all would be well.

6.) Theme in this chapter was hard to spot, you might say it was… between the trees. Anyway; the theme here would seem to be to learn from one’s mistakes to prevent future mistakes.

-khanh

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Maggs said...

1. Marriage Sucks
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. I think this chapter was moderate, though I found the scenes in the movie more interesting. Ying-Ying kills her son in vengeance towards her husband. I think that was the most idiotic thing a person could do, I mean he does cherish his song, but didn’t she cherish her son too? It’s obvious that Ying-Ying didn’t think about that beforehand.
4. In this chapter Ying-Ying St. Clair who flashes back towards her past. In the flashback, she describes herself as a girl with a lot of lihai –wild and stubborn. Also, when the sisters of her father’s concubines speak of who their future husbands will be, she says that she doesn’t see anyone. This shows that she finds herself of high stature and has a high self-esteem and is confident and maybe even a bit conceited.
5. The main conflict in this chapter is external between Ying-Ying and her husband. Like most of the males in China during that time, her husband was neglecting her and going out with other women and finding new concubines, which angers her and the marriage crisis that occurs, is the conflict. Ying-Ying eventually lives at her cousin’s house until she receives notice that her husband dies. The conflict is resolved because once he dies she marries Clifford St. Clair and her sadness which was caused by the marriage conflict ended, though there was a deeper layer which was still scarred from the murder of her baby son.
6. C. I think this chapter also relates to the allegory about how the mother had lost her ability to laugh without much reason, because at the beginning of the chapter, Ying-Ying is innocent and has a lot of confidence. But as the chapter progresses, Ying-Ying’s life events causes her to become emotionally disabled, which could be compatible with the laughing scenario.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger TerrenceTran said...

“Prey In Sight”
“Waiting Between the Trees- The Joy Luck Club”
My Reaction-
When I really thought about it, I felt like I was reading something out of a drama. A young beautiful girl with her whole life ahead of her is snared up by a man who is a complete and total player. She then loses her innocence and was going to bear him a child. But then, he cheats with another lady, a younger, more beautiful woman. I don’t think I wanted to throw the book flying across the room more than when I read that line. I was kind of happy she killed his son as revenge but very sad for the newborn baby.
My View-
Ying-Ying is a very, very 3-D character. She went through so many transformations and yet she never even shows Lena her past face. Ying-Ying used to be proud, independent, and extremely cocky. Then she was caged by love- she then lost all independence and had only thought of ways to please her husband twenty four seven. After he cheats, she regains her ferocity and uses St.Clair as a stepping stone to make her way to America. Only as a tool has she ever thought of him, nothing more, and nothing less. I feel bad for St.Clair, but apparently happily ever after’s only exist in fairytales.
The Conflict-
The main conflict in this chapter has to do with Ying-Ying and herself. Man vs Man internally. She wages war with her thoughts and feelings as she goes through internal conflict many times during her first marriage, and after it also. She deals with the two sides of a tiger, which she supposedly has. Not only have one, but two persona’s is the real issue here. These split personalities are completely different and it’s no wonder why Ying-Ying turn out slightly insane.
The Theme-
I think the only theme I could derive from such a chapter was that karma will find you. Actions done by you will bear their fruit in the near or not so near future. My reference, of course, would be Ying-Ying’s pathetic excuse of a man first husband. He treats women like objects, like parts- interchangeable between each other. He, in turn, was stabbed and killed by karma.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

1. Spiritless Tiger

2. Waiting Between The Trees

3. This is one of my favorite chapters. It's interesting how Ying-Ying was part of the richest families there, but fell deeper in society as time went by. She married a man she thought she would love, and provided him with a son only to find him cheating on her!

4. The main protagonist Ying-Ying St.Clair starts off as a rich young lady. When she first gives birth to a son, she kills him because she hates her husband so much. When she lifts the baby back up, he is already dead, and she feels guilty for killing the child. She loses her spirit, and decides to marry St.Clair even though she didn't love him, or hate him just a so so feeling. She is a spiritless one now.

5. The conflict in this story is man vs man. Ying-Ying vs her lying, cheating husband. He cheats around with other woman after they were married, and even more when she gives him a son. This is somewhat resolved when she leaves him, and goes to work in a village. There she meets Clifford, and decides to marry him after the death of her first husband.

6. A symbol in the story is when her yet to be first husband chops open a watermelon in one swooping motion, and laughs. It's like when he sleeps with her and steal her innocence.

-Diana Li
Period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger DONlikestoGETDOWNONTHEDANCEFLOOR said...

UNLEASH THE TIGER WITHIN!
Waiting between the trees

3)It seems to me like Ying-Ying and her daughter all have very dark stories. First the death of her baby in the hospital, now the death of her first son. What a depressing family. It was quite ironic to find how Ying-Ying opposed the marriage yet she fell deeply in love with the man. I liked how Tan connected the Chinese Zodiac to this chapter.

4)I can see how Ying-Ying and An-Mei are very similar in the book. They both want to change themselves and their mistakes through their daughters. Like her daughter, Ying-Ying was a doormat, believing that the marriage was destined and there was no way around it, therefore she could only give up. After the mis fortunate events that occurred, it seemed like Ying-Ying's spirit had gone away. This can easily be connected to a statement she made in an earlier chapter when she said that because she had no spirit to pass down to her daughter, her daughter is like that. At the end, she tries to unleash her daughter's inner tiger by telling her the story of her dark past.

5) A conflict in this chapter is between Ying-Ying and her first husband, man vs man. Another conflict is an internal conflict between Ying-Ying's black and golden tiger sides.

6) A symbol in this chapter is the tiger because not only was she born in the year of the tiger but she added like one.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Taylor said...

1. Taking Revenge
2. Waiting between the trees
3. The mood of this chapter was very saddening. It’s as if Ying-ying’s spirit and innocence was all taken from her from this horrible man she married. I feel really bad that she is pregnant and her husband cheats on her. I can’t believe anyone could ever kill her baby. It’s sad that she must relieve this again when her next baby boy is dead. She doesn’t seem like a very good mother to Lena either. Ying-ying will never get back her “tiger spirit”.
4. Ying-ying is forever scared by her past. All her spirit is taken away. Even after the horrible man she was was is out of the picture and she finds love with Clifford St. Clair she will never get back her spirit. She feels responsible for her daughter’s failing marriage because she had no spirit to give to her daughter. Her daughter doesn’t seem to have much passion or a spirit and that’s why her marriage is failing. I really do think it’s party her fault because that’s how she raised her daughter to be.
5. I think the conflict is man vs. man. Ying-ying must deal with her horrible husband and his unfaithfulness. It is really hard for her to deal with because she is pregnant with his child, she needs to stay. To get back at him, she kills their child.
6. One important symbol is the watermelon. The watermelon represents Ying-ying’s innocence and spirit. The knife is like how her first husband took it all away from her. The watermelon will never be able to put back together again. Ying-ying also will never be normal again for the rest of her life because her husband had stabbed her spirit and innocence and now both are gone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger 巾幗梟雄茂甩程秤Benjamin秤程甩茂雄梟幗巾 said...

1. Becoming Invisible

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. I thought the chapter was a bit slow. It was hard to find what the main conflict was and it seemed like a narrative of her life. There were interesting scenes but it was a bit boring because it was hard to figure out what was actually happening in the scene. I think this chapter is mostly about having a spirit and knowing who you are.

4. Ying-Ying St. Clair seems to not show what she is able to do or what she actually knows. She does not let others know her opinion or thoughts. This is shown when she does a little of both sides when she was accepting gifts from Mr. St. Clair. She doesn’t let him know that she was raised like a princess or how she doesn’t tell him anything. Because, she doesn’t let others know about it, she seems to sink into the background and eventually fades away.

5. The main conflict in the chapter seems to be Ying-Ying trying to find herself and her spirit. The conflict is internal because it is Ying-Ying learning how to use her spirit and regaining it. This is a human vs. self because it is an internal conflict on Ying-Ying learning to use her spirit again. In the end, Ying-Ying regains her spirit and is able to use it. She is able to see again and is not like her former self where she was blind because she had no spirit.

6. The theme of the chapter seems to be that, if you have no spirit, you cannot see. If you have no spirit you are empty and unnoticed. When lifeless, nothing can be done, and no problems can be solved.

Benjamin Ly

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Toothpick said...

1. El tigre
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. This chapter was very enjoyable. It was shocking seeing how much Ying-Ying's first marriage had changed her so dramatically. Beforehand, she compared herself to a fierce tiger and after she was weak and unwilling. I don't understand why Ying-Ying would marry this man, who just disguisted her. Moreover, I don't comprehend why she would go so far as to abort her baby to get back at her husband.

5. The main conflict in this chapter is internal, huma vs self. Ying-Ying struggles with herself to overcome her past and move on by telling Lena about all of it. In addition, Ying-Ying feels somewhat responsible for the lack of tiger spirit that is lacking from Lena, who is also born into the year of the tiger.
6. One of the notable symbols in this chapter was the watermelon. As the man, who would later become her husband, cut it open, it represented the loss of her innocence and virginity.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

Waiting Between the Trees

1) Tiger’s prey.
2) Waiting Between the Trees.
3) I liked this chapter because it shows how an old woman might look weak, but is truthfully very powerful inside. I question why Ying-Ying’s husband ever left her in the first place, even though she was pretty and very faithful.
4) The character that I am focusing on is Ying-Ying. Ying-Ying is a dynamic character. She changes a lot throughout the story, starting at first as a rather shy and timid girl. She kind of feels awkward around her soon to be husband. By the middle of the chapter though, she becomes very quiet and subdued. She is shocked from the fact that her husband left her. She then changes again, to become a fierce but quiet person, with an ability to foresee the future too.
5) The conflict in this chapter is between Ying-Ying and herself. She is under a constant state of identity crisis throughout the novel because she has no spirit, and because she has no spirit, her daughter Lena doesn’t have the spirit of a tiger either. At the end of the chapter, Ying-Ying finds her spirit, and she plans on passing it onto Lena.
6) The theme of this story is that you shouldn’t judge someone from the way he or she looks. In this chapter, Ying-Ying looks like a tired, tiny old lady, but in truth she is very terrifying and powerful. She even has the will to kill a baby before it’s even born and not care about burying it. She has the power to lay low for awhile and start a new life once her husband has died. Simply put, don’t judge someone from the way he or she looks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cucco Magic? said...

1. The tiger's watermelon

2. Waiting between the trees

3.This chapter was like super short, compared to the large Magpies chapter. This chapter was more of Ying-ying's past, but after the broken watermelon. She doesn't really know who she was in the chapter, and was like blank and lifeless.

4. Ying-Ying's was truly spiritless, she married Saint with no love or hate, just a blank or lifeless feelings towards him. Ying-Ying innocence was broken by the first guy, and was symbolized by a watermelon. Ying-Ying's lifeless actions led to all or most of the things in the chapter.

5.Human vs. Self (Ying-Ying vs self) Ying-Ying's actions have become lifeless, because of her loss of innocence from her first husband. Her battle was resolved at the end when she is about to talk to her daughter.

6. d I think Imagery was well put out in this chapter. Without it the story wouldent be as lifeless as it seems to be. And the small details with Saint marring her would have been really blank and stale-ish.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Steephyx3 said...

Karma
"Waiting Between the Trees"

1. I thought this chapter was pretty interesting. It's actually like a love story. It reminded me of an innocent young girl that falls, what seemed to be at the time, in love but gets betrayed by her love and loses herself in return. Ying-Ying had a tough past, I'm not going to lie. If i were her, i dont know how i'd get past my regrets and fears and i dont blame her for being worried for her daughter's futures.

Ying-Ying is a weak person physically, but i think she really is a strong person emotionally. Yes, she is a bit traumatized because of her loss of her baby boy, but she seemed to bring her self back up & start a new life. She is, and always will be, emotionally scarred, but i think she is strong willed to go through killing her baby boy to take away the only thing from her husband. She was also very strong when it came to seeing her own husband with other girls and emotionally abused, constantly. Thats something i wouldnt live with, ever.

i think the main conflict is man vs. self. she goes on with her life knowing her past and not forgiving herself. in result, losing her sanity. as her life progressed, she only pushed foward with absolutely no spirit to give to others around her.

i think the theme is to save one another's actions so they wouldnt make that same mistake. and by helping them, you will learn to forgive yourself.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Platinum said...

Just the Right Moment

2. Waiting Between the Trees

3. This chapter wasn't as long as the one before it, Magpies, but I still felt as if I had taken the same amount of meaning from it even though it was significantly shorter. The big question I was left with was, "If Ying-Ying could know what was to come, or what was to happen, why did she still marry a bad man?" Surely, she must have seen it coming, like when she knew her pregnancy would result in a boy. How could she have seen something like that coming, but was not able to foretell something as major as her marriage? Anyways, I also felt that the animal used in this chapter, the tiger, was a great way to symbolize the two different sides of Ying Ying St. Clair. One of her sides was the fact that she was fierce and with the spirit of a tiger. But she also had another side, which consisted of her quiet, luring, and reserved side. She was like a masked vigilante on the inside, but she only displayed her quite and refined side on the exterior even though her insides were turbulent with emotions and thoughts. In addition, she was constantly trying to impress her husband. Anything that she did would be for him. She couldn't speak out against him. This is exactly what happened to Lena, Ying Ying's daughter. She and Harold had a terrible relationship because of their lack of communication and the fact that Harold was valued more, his love was given more worth than the love Lena could give. I also really felt happy that a character like Saint, who was honest and straightforward came to court Ying Ying. I felt that she really deserved this twist of fate after she had married such a bad man. Saint was trustworthy and didn't try to go for the same things that Ying Ying's first husband had gone for which included pregnancy. Saint wasn't the person who would attempt to court women for purely physical reasons. He was innocent, like a small child, hoping he could gain innocence by impressing Ying Ying with small gifts from time to time. In a sense, I felt that Saint really saved Lena with his honest and true nature.

4. Ying Ying St. Clair was the main character of this vignette and also one of the most interesting. It was said that she had the spirit of a tiger, but also the calm, seductive nature of the tiger. Apparently, tigers can make even the most timid of birds come to them by making some comforting purring noises. This is where the other side of the tiger would take over, the fierce, headstrong side and then the bird would become prey. Ying Ying had this quality, but she tucked it away inside of her. She had the power to see what was going to happen even before it occurred, even before she had gotten any type of clue. To realize this quality that she had, she had to go live with her poor country relatives. After ten years, she finally realized her true nature and came out to work in the city. She will take her pain and erase it and only then can she release the full spirit of the tiger.

5. I got the feeling that the conflict in this story was mostly external, between Ying Ying's bad husband and Ying Ying. I don't even know how they got married because they seemed to be the exact opposite of each other. One was rash and bold, while the other was shy and reserved. This type of conflict is what is known as human vs. human. Also, it was a conflict between her and her new husband, Clifford St. Clair. He was fair and true, but the reality was, he was a foreigner, a trait that could never be taken away or rebranded.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Platinum said...

6. The main message or theme of this vignette is to be yourself. Look what happened when Ying Ying tried to suppress her spirit, her true self. She ended up in this terrible marriage, causing a lot of sadness and regret. In reality, she should have ended up with Clifford St. Clair in the first place and should have not even married her first husband. She already had a premonition that he was a bad man. This is the reason that one must be him/herself. Don't try to put a mask on, because your real nature will shine through.

-Calvin Ho
Period 4

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger ooglyboogly said...

1.Tigers With No Spirit
2.Waiting Between the Trees
3.How can Ying-Ying know everything before it happens? It is like she is a physic or something. Ying-Ying has been so spoiled when she was young. She did not care what happened to her because she thinks that because she is a wealthy high status girl, nothing bad can happen to her. She thinks she is superior to everyone and at the end of the story, she still thinks she is better than everyone else. I think she is a snobby person that suffered from being all high and mighty. She totally collapses after the bad man leaves her and loses her tiger spirit. How did she grow to love him in the first place? From Lena’s point of view and understanding of her mother, I felt sorry for Ying-Ying, but when Ying-Ying narrates her own story, I felt like “pshaa…get over it.” Why does she insist on moping around when it was not her fault that her first husband left her? Did she want the first husband to stay with her? She is so pathetic and so full of herself. When someone does not want her, she just loses herself and all of her self-confidence.
4.The bad man is a self-centered, cold-hearted player. He has no honor and no sense of duty. The bad man marries a woman (Ying-Ying), makes her pregnant, leaves, and plays around with other women. He did not even tell his wife anything before he left. In the end, he gets killed by a woman that he sleeps with, a fitting end to his life.
5.The main conflict is an internal conflict, man vs. self. Ying-Ying struggles with her grief of the bad man leaving her. She mopes around at home, not caring how she looks like. Then, she goes to live in a shabby, crowded house because she did not want to feel comfortable. Afterwards, she becomes a shopgirl even though she is very wealthy. Ying-Ying loses her wild spirit and becomes like a ghost, listless and indifferent. In the end, she tries to recover her spirit so she can give it to her daughter. She finds the solution to her conflict but has not yet taken action by the end of the story.
6B. The watermelon symbolizes Ying-Ying’s virginity. The North wind symbolizes the bad man because like the wind, he is coldest type of husband, penetrates the heart, and takes the warmth (Ying-Ying’s spirit and heart) away. The flower that gets cut down by the wind from the North symbolizes Ying-Ying being cut down by the bad man.

Jodie Chan
Period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

1. “Golden and Black Sides”

2. “Waiting between the trees”

3. This vignette was rather short and depressing like the previous one. It was nice to see the events of Ying-Ying’s past that made her into the person she was now. I thought it was strange that Ying-Ying married such a cruel husband and who is so full of lust. Despite her ability to see into the future, she was unable to see what a huge a mistake a mistake she was making by marrying him. In the movie, I saw Ying-Ying getting abused by her husband, who is actually having relations with another woman. (Domestic violence much?) In retaliation, she gets an abortion as an act of revenge, which I thought was pretty stupid.

4. Ying-Ying has the ability to predict what will happen in the future. Even with this power, she can’t seem to tell she’ll wind up with a person who she’ll come to loathe and detest. Her first husband strips her of her innocence by leaving her with a baby. When Ying-Ying discovers that her husband is having an affair with another woman from her youngest aunt, she is pushed to her limits. At this point, she’s become psychotic, and will do anything to get back her husband. Blinded by rage, she decides to get an abortion, a decision that she later on deeply regrets. After losing everything she cares about, Ying-Ying loses her fighting spirit as well. She is able to gain it back when she meets Clifford, who is much more compatible with her.

5. One of the conflicts in this chapter is an internal one with Ying-Ying. As a child, Ying-Ying was described as pretty and full of spirit. After being cheated on by her first husband however, she loses that fierceness and strength. Lena also becomes like Ying-Ying was, a person with a lack of chi. Ying-Ying feels it’s her duty to tell Lena about her experiences in order to because she has inherited her traits. Ying-Ying wants to give her spirit to help Lena in her time of darkness.

6. A symbol that can be found in this chapter is the tiger’s stripes. They are representative of Ying-Ying’s personality. The gold and black stripes of the tiger show her cunningness and strength. Another symbol is the watermelon, which is symbolic of Ying-Ying’s innocence. It’s lost when her first husband cuts it in half; the knife was her husband, depriving Ying-Ying of her innocence.

Brian Yang
Period 4

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger A.o.D said...

1. Ghost
2. “Waiting Between the Trees”
3. I thought Ying-ying’s first husband was very cruel and heartless. I hate how he married Ying-ying but then cheated on her with multiple girls, ruining Ying-ying’s young life forever. When Ying-ying predicted that she would marry that man when the flower fell at her feet, she didn’t know that it was a bad sign. I guess that was the start of Ying-ying’s ability to predict bad things that would befall the family, as her daughter Lena said in a previous chapter. I liked how the man got killed by one of his “girlfriends” in the end, which served him right!
4. Ying-ying’s first husband is a despicable man. He ruined her strong, beautiful youth, causing Ying-ying to lose her innocence and kill her own child. He cheated on her with multiple girls that were not even as good as Ying-ying.
5. The main conflict in this chapter is human vs. self, Ying-ying’s internal conflict. When her first husband abandoned her, her innocence was scrapped away and she became a little crazy as her “prettiness drained from [her] cheeks” at the young age of eighteen (248). She also lost her spirit and couldn’t express her love to her husband or her daughter Lena. Ying-ying is also conflicted with herself in trying to find a way to teach Lena about her past life and give her spirit. The conflict was kind of resolved at the end of the chapter because Ying-ying decided to tell Lena by knocking the table and vase over.
6c. This chapter relates to the allegory at the beginning of the section because in the allegory, a grandmother is talking to her granddaughter about losing innocence but not hope, and laughing forever. In the same way, Ying-ying wants to teach her daughter these things. She lost but her innocence and hope and she wants Lena to know about her past to learn from her mistakes. Even though Lena is already in a bad marriage and already lost her innocence, Ying-ying wants her daughter to not lose her hope, and laugh forever.
Alice La, Period 4

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger that'swhatmel said...

1.If I can’t see you, you can’t see me
2.Ying-Ying St. Clair: Waiting Between the Trees
3.I liked how this vignette showed Ying-ying’s side to the story of why the table breaks in the chapter “The Rice Husband” and I finally realized how effective Tan’s writing sixteen different vignettes really was. I thought that the fact that Ying-Ying ended up marrying the somewhat old guy at her aunt’s wedding was kind of disturbing and unpleasant because I visualized him as an ugly drunk man that was way too old for her. After all, she called him ‘uncle’ and he was old enough to drink whiskey! Also, I thought that it was sad when Ying-Ying decided to abort her baby, but I guess is was a bit realistic because people make drastic decisions out of anger. I feel that it was a regrettable decision though because her husband didn’t even seem to care for the baby, so there was really nothing being avenged.
4.The protagonist in this vignette is Ying-Ying St. Clair. I have respect for Ying-Ying because although she has been through such a horrible past, she is positive that she wants to give Lena her strong spirit; Ying-Ying wants Lena to live a better life than she did. This shows how caring Ying-Ying is and also shows how much she loves her daughter.
5.The main conflict in this chapter is internal, man vs. self between Ying-Ying St. Clair and herself. She lost her “chi”, and that was the biggest shame for her. Also Ying-Ying has to find a way to motivate herself to move on from her first husband. Ying-Ying spent a lot of time trying new things and taking risks after her husband left because was trying to figure out a way to move on. After she became a shop girl and met Mr. St. Clair and found out her husband had died, I believe the problem was resolved because Ying-Ying finally let Clifford St. Clair marry her.
6.In this chapter, one of the main symbols is the watermelon and when it is sliced in half. I think the watermelon itself symbolizes Ying-Ying and the knife is a symbol of her first husband. The man cuts the watermelon in half symbolizing Ying-Ying’s loss of virginity. This results in her pregnancy.

-Melani Cabanayan; Period 3

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Nhat Hoang said...

1. “Lifeless Lives”

2. “Waiting Between the Trees”

3. This is another chapter about broken marriages and depressing conflicts. I don’t understand why the Chinese culture involved so much unhappiness, such as marriages for pride instead of love. It’s terrible how one incident can affect Ying-ying’s life so tremendously. I don’t think I can ever lose myself that way, rather I’d try to be strong. She says that she has no spirit, yet, she says “how can I leave this world without leaving [Rose] my spirit” (252). What is there left to give?

4. Spiritless, Ying-ying’s decisions in life are obviously not the greatest. She seems to act somewhat on impulse, not putting her heart into what she does. For example, she gets married and realizes how horrible of a man his husband is. It’s despicable how she kills her baby, trying to get revenge on her husband. She then marries again to a man she doesn’t love - a man who she knows she’ll marry because of his name. A “ghost” with no spirit, Ying-ying cares for nothing, except for her daughter.

5. The main conflict in this chapter is the internal man vs. self conflict between Ying-ying and her lifeless spirit. Once wild and stubborn, she is cheated by her first husband and loses her chi – her inner self. She goes along with everything, barely controlling her life and marries another man whom she does not love. If she always knows what will happen before it does, I don’t know why she doesn’t prevent the terrible things in her life. She will probably never regain her strength and will give her daughter whatever she has left.

6. One symbol in this chapter is the watermelon, which represents Ying-ying’s broken innocence and spirit. Her first husband “sank the knife in with a mighty push,” like he stabs and wounds Ying-ying, causing her life to be permanently damaged. She loses her chi and spirit, along losing herself and her care for anything except her daughter.

Thursday, January 28, 2010 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger SHARK WEEK said...

1. Double Tiger
2. Waiting Between the Trees
3. And with the conclusion to the St. Clair chapters, I must say that this chapter wasn't as filling as I thought it would be. Again, I really liked the lax, almost casual, nature of the narrative. I mean sure, this chapter has murder and abortion, but there wasn't any sense of suspense or anything. Really, I think it could have benefited with a bit more length. There wasn't much to read and for the most part it the text was focused and conveyed what it wanted to, but there wasn't really anything "biting". It did do a better job in the exploration of Ying-Ying's character, but it was pretty straightforward and didn't have the "artistic" quality her first chapter did. With all that said and done, I thought how this chapter connected to Lena's was nice.
4. Ying-Ying was born in the year of the tiger and her early youth had her as a very proud, vain, and wild person. Because of this, it led her into marrying a man similar in personality to her. After his cheating on her and her abortion, she lost all of strength and energy. After some time, she became the wild tiger again and turned her around. And when she married St.Clair after he husband died, she became the quiet tiger. Silent and watching, but ready to strike.
5. The conflict is man vs man and man vs self: Ying Ying trying to deal with her husband in the beginning and Ying Ying dealing with all the rollercoaster that is her emotions. Her husband ultimately dies, but that causes her to become even weaker. In the end, though, she gathers strength in order to help her daughter.
6.C. This chapter connects to the allegory in that both have an older person learning something from the younger generation; Ying-Ying learns the mistakes she's made in her daughters upbringing and of how passive she herself had truely been.

-Nolan Tran

Friday, January 29, 2010 12:26:00 AM  

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