“Lost Sister,” Cathy Song
In studies regarding cultures, contact zone is described as the phenomenon of convergence and clash of cultures whose power relations are asymmetrical. Such spaces can either be physical or conceptual and they result in alteration of an individual’s self-identity awareness, every so often to a certain degree that the person trapped between the cultures experiences a psychological and emotional loss to him/herself. Cathy Song was born in America to a Chinese mother and a Korean father. In this paper I will critically evaluate the psychological spaces of the contact zone which examines Cathy’s dilemma of being lost in two distinct cultures, as explored in her poem “Lost Sister.”
The poem “Lost Sister” by Cathy Song consist of two parts. In the first part, the persona visualizes the historic situations of the first daughters in the Chinese rural residence. She compares the first daughters to jade. The significance of this comparison can only be understood with regards to its vitality to the Chinese culture; where the stone is used as a symbol of perfection, nobility, immortality, and constancy.
Song’s lyric is partitioned into two sections which isolate a story into an “all over.” The main stanza can be portrayed as a prologue to her account of a Chinese lady and her sister. The presentation comprises of an expressive portrayal of her progenitors’ way of life. A way of life in which youthful Chinese child young ladies could without much of a stretch be sold into subjection or acknowledged as a courtesan. Despite the fact that Cathy tries to compose an about people and their personalities, she begins of her lyric with, “In China, even the workers named their first little girls Jade. When I read the sonnet out of the blue I in a split second started to utilize setting signs and understood that the “thought” of Jade means favorable luck and riches. These youthful Chinese ladies had no conceivable opportunity to be recognized from each other in the event that they’re altogether named after a particular stone.
These families felt that by naming their child young ladies Jade and by following convention, they world secure favorable luck and wellbeing. Wanting to secure these open doors they neglected to understand the immense harm that they passed on to their little girls. Melody additionally suggests in her first stanza, “To move unreservedly was an extravagance stolen from them during childbirth,” this implying these ladies had no voice or character. They had no open doors for any conceivable fates, while living in a nation where they had just contained to impediments and to confinements. Amid this era ladies likewise needed to maintain to foot restricting which constrained Chinese ladies to just remain in their home limits. Foot restricting comprised of them wrapping their feet to a degree were they couldn’t walk or to wander around without the reliance of a crane or another individual. This thought was simply one more factor of the Ancient Chinese’s thought that “ladies are to be at home and dealing with the kids.”
As Song tries completes the primary stanza she expresses, “yet they went far in surviving, figuring out how to extend the family rice, to calm the evil spirits.” With this line the peruser can finish up with the possibility that these ladies had a go at nothing to change their predetermination or felt pointless to the possibility that they could roll out an improvement.
This put forth me quickly contrast that announcement and the lady’s part in China. Ladies in America had a wide assortment of chances and were seen with break even with rights. This world that Song is currently depicting is the direct inverse of what her “sister” needs to survive. This stanza appears to have another move when Song suggested, “However in another wild, the conceivable outcomes, the depression, can strangulate like wilderness vines.” With this being expressed one understands the sensational change that a Chinese lady can have on the off chance that they leave their nation. I get the possibility that these ladies don’t feel arranged for this way of life and need to adjust to this way of life too. Being lady workers they likewise battled and outperformed snags to experience the “American Dream.” in the meantime these migrants felt desolate, lost, and disappointed. In spite of the fact that my musings perplexed when she specified, “wild”, her sentiments rung a bell.
While attempting to comprehend what sort of wild she talked about, I understood that she felt a comparative way that her sister felt over the sea. As Song kept on portraying the “American way of life” she thought of, “You discover you require China: your one delicate distinguishing proof, a jade connection bound to your wrist.” This announcement can be enable the peruser to grasp that life as a worker is troublesome and desolate. Thereafter Song shuts the sonnet with, “You keep in mind your mom who strolled for a considerable length of time, footless—and like her, you have left no impressions, yet simply because there is a sea in the middle of, the unremitting space of your resistance.” It is clear that Song was talking about her having no way of life and also her “sister” and her past ladies precursors. These impressions are what trouble her the most and which can be thought of recollections and a way of life which she wouldn’t like to live.
All things considered, Song has thought about the “American” way of life to her progenitors and relatives’ way of life. Doubtlessly as time passes by outfits create to various things in any case, that requires some serious energy and a few development also. The Ancient ladies Chinese way of life can be depicted as constrained and confined. Furthermore, interestingly the American way of life can be portrayed as free and unlimited at the same time, in the meantime forlorn and troublesome. Despite the fact that ladies are seen diversely the whole way across the world, it is by all accounts that in the two universes portrayed in, “Lost Sister”, by Cathy Song, are comparative however extraordinary in the meantime.
I trust that Songs message to her perusers was that regardless of where Chinese ladies lived and meandered they can’t win flexibility by consistence or resistance.
Song, Cathy. “Lost Sister.” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, (1994).
“Poetry in Motion®.” Lost Sister (Excerpt) – Poetry Society of America, www.poetrysociety.org/psa/poetry/poetry_in_motion/atlas/portland/los_sis_exc/.
“‘Lost Sister’ Poem Analysis.” English Portfolio, michelleenglishportfolio.weebly.com/lost-sister-poem-analysis.html.
Kolbe, Ray. Splendid Slippers, www.splendidslippers.com/main.html.
Sister.”, “Lost. “Lost Sister.” Poetry for Students, Encyclopedia.com, 2018, www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/lost-sister.