I am saddened by the relationship between An-mei and her mother. ” I knew it was my mother even though I had not seen her in all my memory”, this shows us that, despite being mother and daughter, they did not have the opportunity to establish a close bond. An-mei had no memories of her mother, even though she “knew it was my mother”. An-meis mother is foreign and strange to her as her mother looked “strange too, like the missionary ladies at our school, who were insolent and bossy in their too-tall shoes, foreign clothes, and short hair”. I am touched by An-meis mothers perseverance and determination to go to her dying mother.
An-meis aunt “quickly looked away”, “did not call her by name” and “offer her tea”, which is the Chinese traditional way of treating visitors. Even the servant looked down on her as she “hurried away with a displeased look”. Despite the aunts protest, “Too late, too late”, it “did not stop my mother”. In spite of the humiliation and disrespect given by the aunt and servant, An-meis mother did not leave as she tolerated all this for the sake of Popo, her own mother. I feel sorry for An-mei as her mind has been greatly influenced by her grandmother.
She observed her mother and “saw that she had a long white neck”, “just like the goose that had laid me” (one of her grandmothers stories). She knew she “was the girl whose belly held a colourless winter melon”. ” Popo told me not to speak her name”, thus An-mei “stood there, mute”, not daring to address her mother. This is pitiful of An-mei as she does not deserve this treatment from her grandmother, making her confused and hesitant towards her mother. I have pity for An-mei as she “did not look for fear my head would burst and my brains would dribble out of my ears”, scared as she laid in her mothers arms.
I have sympathy for her as her innocent mind has been “poisoned by her grandmother, making her turn against her mother. I am worried for An-mei and her mother, fearful that they may never be reunited as mother and daughter. Although An-mei “knew it was my mother” although she had “not seen her in all my memory”, she finds it hard to acknowledge her mother. An-mei “watched her (mother) carefully”, trying to remember a “familiar sound(mothers voice) from a forgotten dream”, not able to recall exactly happened when she was only four.
An-meis mother tried to communicate with An-mei when she “brush her hair with long sweeping strokes” asking her “you have been a good daughter? ” and scolded An-mei good-naturedly, “An-mei, you know who I am”, yet failed. She could not control the sorrow welling inside her as she started “rubbing and searching under my chin, finding . was my smooth-neck scar” , as if “rubbing the memory back into my skin”. An-meis mother then “began to cry, wrapping her hands around her own neck” and “cried with a wailing voice that was so sad”. This is especially saddening as both mother and daughter suffered much.
However, I am hopeful too as An-mei finally “remembered the dream with my mothers voice”, signifying that there is still hope for the reunification of the two. Morever, when An-mei saw her mother, though she “tried to keep very still”, “her heart felt like crickets scratching to get out of a cage. An-mei also recognized the similar physical features, “when she did, I saw my own face looking back at me. Eyes that stayed wide open and saw too much” I am happy for her as she does not dislike or hate her mother very much. She seemed to understand her mother.