Monday, May 24, 2010

The clock and the astrology signs are reference to Mai going to the fortune teller because she is trying to figure out what happen to Baba Quan. There are many references to astrology within the book and it applies to good luck and a happy life. Time is important concept in the book because it refers to Thanh and Baba Quan not meeting at the right place at the right time. Thanh had to leave without Baba Quan and it became a haunting memory for her. The letters all over the page represent Thanh’s journal; they spell out Baba Quan and love. Two main concepts that are in Thanh’s journal, by Mai reading it she gets an idea of who her mother is. In a way Thanh becomes more human to Mai because she realizes her mother is full of wisdom. Mai and Thanh don’t have a close relationship but the journal is a way that they can cope with it and it bridges them together. The last symbol is the yin and yang sign combined with a karma symbol. Thanh believes in karma and is constantly referring to it. She tries to convince Mai in the belief of karma but Mai doesn’t understand it. Mai believes in the American concept of genetics. Thanh can see that her daughter is slipping further and further away from her Vietnamese roots and embracing the American culture. The yin and yang symbolizes not only Mai’s parents but Mai and Thanh. They are two completely different people but love is what binds them together



  1. You've got a lot of significant symbols. Astrology is probably the most interesting to me. Mai says that she can understand the temptation of believing in astrology, but she doesn't seem to believeit herself. She seems pretty skeptical of the fortune teller, but still asks her the one thing she wants to know - the taboo topic that she knows she shouldn't. This makes me wonder if she listened to the fortune teller as an act of rebellion (because of the topic) and if she only believed her because it was such a relief to think that it was Baba Quan's fault that he wasn't there. I wonder if she only believed it because it was what she wanted to hear.

  2. I love the way Thanh's journal helped Mai understand her mother better. Thanh uses the journal as a device to bridge the gap between her and Mai. She writes what she needs Mai to know. When Mai reads her mother's journal on the sly, she is more receptive to the information on the page.

    I also think your yin and yang symbol is important since each woman
    struggles to find balance in America -- Thanh struggles with the burden of the truth about Baba Quan and if/when to tell Mai, and Mai struggles with finding a balance between her new life and her old one.