American Literature Family in the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

/ I stroke through air, / I fly through water, / I send my mother home."(Song, 54) Thus, it can be said that the author dismisses the figure of her mother only after it had served its purpose, namely to create the connection with the past. The conclusion that everything is "as it should be" ironically points to the reversal of notions and roles in the text.

The narrator's desire to be one and the same with her mother springs obviously from her need to define herself in a meaningful way. Her mother represents not only her genetic code but also her cultural one. The representations of the mother and the daughter thus begin to coincide, as in Song's poem the Youngest Daughter: "My skin has become as damp / and pale as rice paper / and feels the way / mother's used to before the drying sun / parched it out there in the fields."(Song, 112) the poem describes briefly the ritual of a bath that Song gives to her mother. Once more, there is an emphasis on the reversal of roles between mother and daughter: instead of a mother bathing her child, we have a child bathing her old mother: "It seems it has always / been like this: the two of us / in this sunless room, / the splashing of the bathwater."(Song, 112) the reunion of the author with her mother is thus symbolic of a cultural reunion with one's own roots and history.

Song's poetry is dominated by family figures in the attempt of creating a meaningful bond with the cultural past. As an Asian- American, the author finds her identity to be divided between the two opposite cultures. It is obvious thus that it is more than personal history that is at stake here. In Song's poems, the personal reality is inextricably tied with the historical…

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