By suggesting that the Chinese methods of parenting are better -- or that at least Chinese mothers produce more skillful and successful children -- Chua is touching upon the popular American concern. Just consider that there are a billion like Chua back in China! Chua again appeals to similar rhetoric when she tries to defend her argument. Trying to convince her readers that rote repetition is a good method of learning, she says that it is actually a "fun" learning technique. Here again Chua knows her readers. It is known that the idea of a practice involving "fun" is very important and popular in America. But here, Chua explains that the Chinese method of forcing children to learn more and rigorously through rote repetition may seem harsh and dull for Western parents, but when it is done properly, it is not only a road to success but also a fun practice!
But even in appealing to the rhetoric of ethos, Chua makes weak arguments. For example, when she talks about a response by Western and Chinese parents when their children get a B, she rhetorically adds "which would never happen." Unless intended just to make a point by resorting to a deliberate hyperbole, her claim is totally false. The argument is neither logically nor rhetorically sustainable. Likewise, in a recent interview, Chua said: "To be perfectly honest, I know that a lot of Asian parents are secretly shocked and horrified by many aspects of Western parenting," including "how much time Westerners allow their kids to waste -- hours on Facebook and computer games -- and in some ways, how poorly they prepare them for the future" (Dejesus, 2011). But these parents, and Chua in particular, would also be shocked and horrified to learn that today China "is one of the world's biggest markets for online games, with tens of millions of players, many of whom hunker down for hours in front of PCs in public Internet cafes," and that three years ago one Chinese died of exhaustion after playing a computer game for three days straight ("Chinese Man Drops After 3-Day Gaming Binge," 2007).
Another problem with Chua's article is when she discusses how she forced her daughter to play "The Little White Donkey." Chu's main concern seems to be that she wants her child to succeed, period. She does not address the ethical dimensions of treating a child in such a harsh manner. She discusses her disputes with her husband, even her own doubts, but at the very end, when she realized that her methods worked in forcing her child to play and succeed, she and her husband were happy. Here, she probably even forgot to consider the sensibilities of her American readers when she says that she "used every weapon and tactic I could think of." Using the rhetoric of "war" in discussing one's parenting methods is surely not the best way of appealing to the sensibilities of Americans, and, I believe, most parents in the world. But again at the end she makes up for that by reminding that Chinese parents' strictness is not a reflection of their evil nature or that they don't care about their children. On the contrary, Chinese parents are ready to do anything to make sure that their children succeed. After a war talk, Chua offers peace and mutual understanding when she says that all Western and Chinese "decent parents want to do what's best for their children."
Chua's article is provocative and some of her arguments are not very convincing, but her efforts are not without a merit. Her article may indeed be a wake-up call to many Western parents who are too soft and cuddling of their children, allowing them to gratuitously waste their time on many unnecessary things in their lives.
aChua, a. (2011) Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2011, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html
bChua, a. (2011) the Tiger Mother Responds to Readers. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2011, from http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/01/13/the-tiger-mother-responds-to-readers/
"Chinese Man Drops After 3-Day Gaming Binge," (2007) Associated Press. Retrieved February 5, 2011, from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297059,00.html#ixzz1D9EhR7sO
Dejesus, I. (2011) 'Battle Humn of the Tiger Mother' Book Says Chinese Mothers, Offspring are Superior. The Patriot News. Retrieved on February 5, 2011, from http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/01/battle_hymn_of_the_tiger_mothe.html
Wu, E.H., & Hertberg-Davis, H. (2009) Parenting the Chinese Way in America. Gifted and Talented International, 23(2): 141-145.