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Quotes

Quote #1

"Auntie, Uncle," I say, repeatedly, nodding to each person there. I have always called these old family friends Auntie and Uncle. And then I walk over and stand next to my father. (I.1.38)

Calling them "Auntie" and "Uncle" signifies their positions as more than simply friends, but something close to family.

Quote #2

And then we get to the room in the back, which was once shared by the three Hsu girls. We were all childhood friends. And now they’ve all grown and married and I’m here to play in their room again. Except for the smell of camphor, it feels the same – as if Rose, Ruth, and Janice might soon walk in with their hair rolled up in big orange-juice cans and plop down on their identical narrow beds. (I.1.72)

Jing-mei’s memories and early life are inextricably bound to the Hsu family.

Quote #3

Auntie Lin and my mother were both best friends and arch enemies who spent a lifetime comparing their children. I was one month older than Waverly Jong, Auntie Lin’s prized daughter. From the time we were babies, our mothers compared the creases in our belly buttons, how shapely our earlobes were, how fast we healed…and later, how smart Waverly was at playing chess, how many trophies she had won last month, how many newspapers had printed her name, how many cities she had visited.

I know my mother resented listening to Auntie Lin talk about Waverly when she had nothing to come back with. (I.1.110)

This is not hunky-dory friendship, but rather a fiercely competitive friendship.

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