Cathy Songs poem Lost Sister explores the lives of two generations of Chinese women. One generation chooses to leave China and begin a new life in America. the other chose to remain in China and experience her culture the way it was meant to be. This is a comparison of the two generations of women and how they are linked by culture and seperated by lifestyle.
In China, women were put in subservient positions to society. They were quiet, obedient creatures who "gathered patience". Song speaks of how women learned to provide for their families, as they were "learning to stretch the family rice". Women were expected to serve a purpose and be seen and not heard.
The following generation chose to go to America and lead a very different kind of life. American culture is vastly different from that of China and women are given the opportunity to experience freedom as a a first class citizen. This collective is described as "a sister across the ocean, who relinquished her name", giving the reader the impression that this generation was rebelliously rejecting her culture, "diluting jade green with the blue of the Pacific".
However, these women were both losing and gaining by their choices. Chinese women who chose to remain in China traded freedom for their culture. They were afraid to leave the familiarity of their lives thee for an uncertain future in America Had they gone to America, they would have lost the opportunity to experience Chinese culture firsthand. They lose the freedom that the next generation would have and gained the experience of living in their native culture ane accepting it as a way of life. These women were admirable because of their strength to choose their culture and family over anything else. Their dedication is at a level close to monks and saints. They were able to find harmony in their lives because it was all they ever knew.
The women who chose to go to America led a very different...
Song, Cathy. "Lost Sister".