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Book review for Eat A Bowl of Tea by Louis Chu - Essay Example

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Subject: Essay, History and Political Science- Review for "Eat a Bowl of Tea" by Louis Chu Date: Louis Chu weaved this story “Eat a Bowl of Tea” intelligently through the creative web and tried to find the meeting place for the traditional Chinese culture and the lifestyles of the people who chased values of the American Dream…
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Book review for Eat A Bowl of Tea by Louis Chu
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Book review for Eat A Bowl of Tea by Louis Chu

Download file to see previous pages... Louis Chu “…was born in Toishan, China, in October 1, 1915. Immigrated to the United States….a master’s degree from New York University…” (4).One of the important characters in the story was Ben Loy the son of a “bachelor” father. After WWII, he was sent to mainland China to get married to his bride Mei Oi and after the marriage he returned to America but lost his sexual powers mysteriously and turned impotent. That was an arranged marriage by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom. Ah Song, a gambler and thug, made use of this opportunity of the sexual disability of Ben Loy and seduced Mei Oi. The story depicts the lifestyles of the people in China Town and the socio-cultural issues with the Chinese Americans of the time and their struggle for assimilation with the mainstream American society. It can be categorized as the social/cultural history of the Chinese Americans. The process of building up of a multicultural and multiethnic Nation like America is complicated and is beset with many transformational problems. In between race and nation many ancillary issues like historical facts, gender and sexuality exert their presence and pressure strongly. This is validated by Louis Chu in this novel. On the other hand, the issues raked up in “Comfort Woman” by Okja Keller are more or less identical. Through the struggle of Ben Loy trying to strike the balance between China and America, the author depicts the issues with the Chinese American Society and their efforts to come out of the cocoon of the age-old Chinese traditions. Structural racism of the American system confronts him as he tries to better his economic and social prospectus within the limited opportunities and scarce resources. The scope is narrow and one is not allowed to transcend the limits set forth by the elders of the community. He is not allowed to be innovative and experiment with new business projects and to take independent decisions. At the personal level he has sexual problems, may be as a consequence of pressure of handling the business that he does under compulsive circumstances and not with pleasure. The problems of Mei Oi were different. The sudden transplantation to the modern country, from a country that still practiced the middle-age traditions and values was like an electrical shock to her and she was finding it tough to come to terms with her new surroundings. She was not provided appropriate guidance and moral support from other female members of the Chinatown. Her husband’s impotency and the resultant depression took her to the portals of adultery for sexual fulfillment. Destiny played its part and things began to shape better when the couple moved to San Francisco, the American city to which the immigrants from China arrived first to make a fresh start in their life. They were able to integrate with the society better here and with that assimilation they began to make efforts for the fructification of their dreams. The pursuit of diversity became possible and the current issues took precedence in their lives and they began to enjoy the life of transformation and new joys sprouted forth in their lives. Destiny stuck the benevolent note this time and Jeffery Chan in his introduction to the book writes “Ben Loy regains his potency by eating a bowl of tea a regimen prescribed by an herbalist” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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