Essay: Agonies of becoming an American
When Kingston harasses a quiet Chinese girl, she believes that she is punished when she is hospitalized with a strange disease for one and half years. This ideology is Chinese and does not exist in Americans. Once Kingston gets a list of things that disturb her mind and decides to be telling her one in a day. When her mother cannot take any more and tells her to keep quiet, she becomes abusive.
Her mother hits back by calling her a “Ho Chi Kuei”. (Kingston, 204) Though she does not know what that means she guesses that it means “Good Foundation Ghost” meaning she is lucky to have been born in America. Kingston does not succeed in her quest to become a true American. Most of the things she does, she compares them to what might have happened if she were a true Chinese. She misses her heritage and wishes that she could be as woman warrior for she was never afraid of anything. When she goes down with that strange illness and accepts it as a form of punishment, it shows that she still harbors some of those Chinese customs. (Kingston, 204)