During today’s class, I wanted to bring up the economic side to the story between Brave Orchid and Moon Orchid. It seems that Kingston is showing that idle people do not fare well in America (a little American propaganda I see). On page 127, Brave Orchid complains about how lazy and how almost pompous her sister is acting for “if [Brave Orchid] were in her sister’s place, Brave Orchid would have been on the phone immediately, demanding one of those Chinatown jobs… Immigrants nowadays were bandits, beating up store owners and stealing from them rather than working. It must’ve been the Communists who taught them those habits.” There is a binary dichotomy between America and the other that favors America in work effort. Moon Orchid does not begin working and becomes a burden to Brave Orchid and her family. I felt that it was a huge struggle, by the tone of the book, when Brave Orchid had to take off from work to help her sister. Luckily, the husband said the load was usually light giving her freedom. Moon Orchid does not take on a job and remains idle in the middle of the American organized chaos and she goes mad. Is it because of the loss of a husband? Is it the fast pace of America? I don’t know, but it seems like a bit of both. What do you all think of this passage?
Cautionary Tale: Don’t Be Idle, Stay Working