Moon. The story of Moon starts with the description of a girl’s affection to two blond twins who managed to humiliate her in the most violent way. This was a Chinese-American fat girl who took a revenge on those boys and provoked the car accident so that boys died.
The relationships with parents and their attitude to their daughter’s action reflect the nature of Chinese culture when her mother calls her a ‘slut’ and her father goes on “about the Sino-Japanese war” (Chin 15). Justice is the main aspect of the story when a girl grows up and can afford not feeling oppressed by blond twins that used to humiliate her by pissing on her face.
Cake. The parable about twin sisters starts with a story when a woman from the neighborhood offered girls a pie if they “come to the Christmas service with [her] and accept Jesus Christ, our lord, into [their] hearts” (Chin 27). As girls had another religion, the woman tried to convert them into Christianity.
The girls’ parents worked hard and their grandmother looked after them. So, she invented a method to make the Christian woman leave the girls alone with their native religion. Though granny died a few years later, the girls did not want to learn the lesson of their culture and religion; the only thing they knew was that they did not ever want to be as poor as before.
Literary criticism is reflected in the article written by Lucy Ellmann in The Guardian who claims that there is no single emotional center in the book however it is full of details which becomes the core positive aspect of the whole boon.
In other words, Ellmann reflects on the book from her personal perspective and manages to indicate the most prominent feature of this work presented with the help of a variety of theological, biological, and other concepts as well as historic and cultural details that enhance understanding of American and Chinese cultures.
One of the related works that shares its main theme with the Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen is the book by Pin-Chia Feng Diasporic Representations: Reading Chinese American Women’s Fiction where the author reflects her understanding of Chinese American literary works on various topics.
Relations between family members and the difference between American and Chinese cultures are vividly enlarged on in this book that also demonstrates well-known concepts typical of the Chinese culture such as memory, honor, hierarchy in the family, and combination of cultures that gives rise to a set of brand-new concepts and values applicable to both cultures.
Choices. The main characters of the parables are twin sisters who have different choices in their life with regard to their lifestyle and values. One sister was beautiful from the very beginning and helped her parents with the running of a restaurant whereas the second girl was fat but she took a revenge on the people who used to humiliate her and became a beautiful young woman as well.
Motivations. The motivations for two girls were different as the beautiful one knew about her attractiveness whereas the fat one wanted to show people that she could do better.
The period of time reflected in the parables coincides with the contemporary one when more attractive people can humiliate the fat one and the combination of Chinese and American cultures. Multicultural issues as well as combination of different values typical for various cultures is the main historical environment for creation of the text when political and business issues are closely related to culture and its perception. The world is in the condition of continuous conflicts and wars when a lot of misunderstanding rises due to miscomprehension of values typical for different cultures.
I believe that the text of the parables does not reflect all the conflicts that may occur in the everyday life of Chinese people who live on the territory of the United States. However, it is possible to learn more about the relationships of members in Chinese families and customs that take place in their daily lives. In addition, every person who knows what the Chinese culture looks like would understand that every Asian has some difficulties related to his/her identity and background.
What emotions do readers feel when reading about humiliation?
The widest range of emotions is experienced in the process of reading and each story provokes different feelings. When the author writes about humiliation, the readers want to offer the girl some alternative options on how to act with those trashy twins.
How is it possible to use concepts from different cultures to reflect the same ideas? Did the author manage to do this naturally?
The author uses allusions on different American and Chinese concepts and individuals which contributes greatly to the understanding of both cultures.
Chin, Marilyn. Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen: A Novel. New York: W. W. Norton, 2009.
Ellmann, Lucy. “Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen: A Manifesto in 41 Tales by Marilyn Chin.” The Guardian 15 May 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
Feng, Pin-Chia. Diasporic Representations: Reading Chinese American Women’s Fiction. Piscataway, NJ: Translation Publishers, 2011. Print.