eat a bowl of tea analysis
In Sunwei, the "Golden Mountain" discussed represents America. In an effort to escape harassment, many Chinese moved as far away from mining and railway work as they could. Further alienation of the Chinese came about as a result of the white trade unions, which used anti-Chinese attitudes to unify workers. "Eating" this tea represents Ben Loy breaking the rules and regulations of Chinese customs[citation needed] – rather than drink the tea, he "eats" it. 8 people found this helpful. The doctor responds, "Eat a bowl of tea and we'll get you on the way to recovery" (244). Some were even accused of acting as “communist” agents. 16 Oct. 2020 . When the Korean War of the 1950s found the U.S. and China fighting on opposite sides, Chinese Americans came under suspicion. He directly translates idioms heard from the Sze Yup dialect: Such spicy language not only adds humor to the satire, but alludes also to the proud, stubborn, feisty dignity of Chinatown’s male inhabitants. Those who refused to follow the CCBA’s decisions were on occasion physically forced to go out of business or leave the community. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. After the Nanking Treaty of 1842, which ceded Hong Kong to the British and opened up five additional Chinese seaports to trade, international labor brokers were allowed to recruit more freely for American mining and railway companies. A novel set in New York City’s Chinatown in 1948; published in 1961. Her task is to cook his rice, darn his socks, and comfort and nurse him in sickness. The story then jumps backwards several months to the "Money Come" gambling house and the men who spend their days there: Wah Gay, Lee Gong, Chong Loo and Ah Song. However, she feels lonely in the city and spends her days sobbing over her deteriorating marriage, not understanding the causes of Ben Loy's impotence. Working people no longer had any organizations looking out for them. Now, after years of working hard in the restaurant and laundry businesses, separated from their wives back home in China, these two survivors go their separate ways. Eat a Bowl of Tea: A Novel of New York’s Chinatown. Excellent introduction by a distinguished Chinese American scholar and writer. It was the first federal law to exclude a whole group of immigrants by nationality. Chinese who were not citizens, therefore, had no legal protection. Whether it is the beneficial effect of the tea or a change in Ben Loy himself, Ben Loy regains his manhood at the conclusion of the novel. But Ben Loy’s impotence and Mei Oi’s adultery mean that he will lose “face”—the very core of his respectability and honor. Despite the presence of these pleasure-seekers, the majority of Chinese kept to themselves—yet the stereotype of a dangerous fringe society of Chinese would remain associated with Chinatown. His hand must have come down at least half a dozen times" (146). After the war, many elderly men were confined to the cities of San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York City, as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and Immigration Act of 1924 had prevented them from returning to their wives and family in China and also from bringing these family members to the United States. Through the maneuverings of Ting and his reliance on the allegiances of the family association and the local tong, Ben Loy’s father avoids a possible jail sentence for having attacked Ah Song, and the community expels Ah Song from its midst altogether. Ah Song, a gambler at Wang Wah Gay’s mahjong club, takes advantage of the situation. With this sudden remembrance, the narration describes Ben Loy's rendezvous with a prostitute through third person direct discourse. Mei Oi is crushed and feels personally rejected. Other groups, called tongs, were originally fraternal organizations centered primarily on illegal businesses and vices. He finds Mei Oi at home alone, a lovely young wife feeling very unloved, and seduces her. Chan, Jeffrey. Weak kidney, says the other. In 1904 the Exclusion Act was extended indefinitely, and in 1924 foreign-born wives and children of U.S. citizens of Chinese ancestry were also excluded from immigrating. English was rarely spoken and not required to run these businesses. In July, an unexpected visitor appears at their apartment: Ah Song, a frequent Money Come guest who flirts shamelessly with Mei Oi while Ben Loy is at work, claiming to be deeply in love with her and divulging Ben Loy's secret shameful past. Eventually Soon Lee Gong, Wah Gay, and finally Ben Loy learn of the affair. Chu, Louis. Release Calendar DVD & Blu-ray Releases Top Rated Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Showtimes & Tickets In Theaters Coming … Tibet has been an independent country throughout the historical period and since time immemorial according to Tibetans' own myth-based sense of…, Chinese Immigrants. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. A sentiment Chinese respect with gratitude is, “We are let alone in America.”. [Ben Loy beats Mei Oi] "He...picked up his leather slipper from the floor. New York City’s Chinese quarter, which is the novel’s primary setting. During its early years the inhabitants were not exclusively Chinese, and the neighborhood had its share of gambling houses, saloons, opium dens, prostitutes, panhandlers, thieves, and assorted underworld figures. Not only has he failed to run his family with a firm hand, as his father has always taught him, but all of the beauty, sympathy, goodness, and understanding he saw in his wife’s face has turned into a mockery of his weakness. In 1950 he started a record shop in Chinatown to help support his wife and four children. After this scene, the story returns to normal, chronological order. © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. In 1892 the Geary Act restricted Chinese immigration for ten more years. Hsiao, Ruth Y. Additionally, it represents Ben Loy's decision to release himself from the pressure and control of his father and independently create a life for himself and his family. Mei Oi insists that Ben Loy consult a doctor about his impotency – he tries both an American doctor and a Chinese herb specialist, but to no avail. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Even the affections of Chin Yuen, Ben Loy's closest companion, cannot distract Mei Oi from the pain she feels away from Ah Song, and she eventually convinces Ben Loy to move back to New York. Where would they go? By 1940, 84 percent of the Chinese in New York were employed in restaurant or laundry work. Ben Loy is now a married man. [Ben Loy's depression] "His head spun with pains. Eat a Bowl of Tea was published in 1961 and seems to have been misunderstood—or at best underappreciated for its rich depiction of a segment of Chinese American life. He still can’t make love to Mei Oi. This rejection deeply hurts, frustrates and confuses Mei Oi, and she concludes that Ben Loy no longer loves her. "Husbands are different...They can go out and sleep with another woman and we woman folks can't do anything about it" (168). Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Many men who were not already married went to Hong Kong and Canton to look for wives. Literature and Its Times. She’s hoping to do a little of their usual business, but things have changed. Yet her desperate need for human contact gives rise to internal conflict and an uncustomary decision. It is not surprising, considering the mindset of many Americans in the conservatism of the late 1950s and early 1960s as reflected in an article in New York Times Magazine. With beautiful Mei Oi now in his life, Ben Loy has resolved to put his shameful past behind him. It is now considered a primary work in Asian American literature, and Louis Chu has been praised repeatedly for creating an honest portrayal of Chinese American culture.

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