Symbolism In “A Pair Of Tickets”

1779 words - 8 pages

Symbolism in “A Pair of Tickets”

The same way scratches on paper create language and just one look from an admirer creates a feeling of love in ones heart; symbolism can evoke emotion and meaning that generates magic in a story. I believe symbolism is a prevalent and unwavering theme weaved throughout Amy Tan’s short story “A Pair of Tickets.” Many things, such as the names of the characters, and the photographs they take in the story embody symbolism and turn this story into a remarkable account of family and how it is one of life’s unbreakable bonds. The importance of symbolism in this short story makes it come alive to the reader.
To summarize of Amy Tans “A Pair of Tickets” we ...view middle of the document...

She ran for three days, hoping to escape the invasion before she could not go on any further. She stopped on the side of a road and begged for someone to take her daughters to safety, but no one would take them. With no other choice, she laid her babies down, put all her money and jewelry inside the babies’ clothes, along with a family picture, and headed off to find food. She soon pasted out and woke up in a truck filled with other sick people. American missionaries had picked her up. While she was recovering in the hospital she met Jing-Mei’s father. They got married soon after and moved to America, although trying several times to go back and find her abandoned children. The babies were picked up and taken good care of from then on. After many years, and Suyuans death, someone spotted the children in a department store and tried to get in touch with Jing-mei’s family. Jing-mei’s father told her auntie Lindo to write to the children of their mother’s death, but instead she wrote them a letter and pretended to be Suyuan. The whole point of the trip for Jing-mei was to tell her two sisters of their mother’s death and to reconnect with them for the first time since their mother had left them. At the very end of the story, all three sisters meet for the first time, and this is when Jing-mei truly feels Chinese. Throughout this short story, symbolism shows up numerous times, which ties all of the characters and events together. Symbolism means to use symbols to represent ideas or qualities in a story. Without symbolism, this story would not have had the impact it did.
One huge representation of symbolism in this story was the use the character names. Amy tan did a great job of using almost every characters name as a meaning for something in the story. For instance, the Jing in Jing-mei’s name meant not just good, its something pure, essential, the best quality. The Mei means younger sister. To Jing-mei this means a lot, because she takes it as her mother wanting her to be the essence of her older sisters. Hearing this meaning affects her greatly. Her mother’s name, Suyuan, means two different things. It means ‘Forever Never Forgotten’ or it can mean ‘Long-Held Grudge.’ This puts a whole new outlook on her mother and her characteristics. One meaning is beautiful and because she has passed away, ‘Forever Never Forgotten’ means a lot to the family who will truly never forget her or what she had to go through. But it also shows that she had other sides as well. Her father joked that her mother also had a temper. “Your mother get angry with me, I tell her her name should be Grudge.” The symbolism of names is also reflected in the two abandoned sisters names. Their names are Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa. Chwun Yu means ‘Spring Rain’ and Chwun Hwa means ‘Spring Flower.’ The symbolism here is clever because spring flowers follow spring rain and the two children were twins. They had been through so much together and their names imply that they will forever be...

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