Brave Orchid insists that Moon Orchid should act as her husband’s “Big Wife” and claim what is rightfully hers, including the children he has with his second wife. What does this tell us about Brave Orchid’s views of marriage and traditional gender roles? 

In this chapter, Maxine’s father makes an appearance, but he rarely speaks and is given no name. What does this suggest about Maxine’s relationship with her father, or her father’s relationship with Brave Orchid?

When Moon Orchid and Brave Orchid finally confront Moon Orchid’s husband, he makes it clear that he wants nothing more to do with Moon Orchid because he has made a new life in the United States. Upon realizing that Moon Orchid’s husband has taken up American customs, the narrator says that Moon Orchid and Brave Orchid have “become ghosts” (153). What does this mean? How does this realization impact them? 

Rebecca K’s Reading Questions for September 18
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2 thoughts on “Rebecca K’s Reading Questions for September 18

  • September 19, 2019 at 6:04 am

    I also took notice of Brave Orchid’s advice to Moon Orchid regarding her husband. I think that it shows that Brave Orchid felt that by taking Moon Orchid as his first wife, her husband had made a lasting commitment to her and it was wrong of him to marry a second wife. I also found myself extremely frustrated knowing that her husband did not make an effort to bring Moon Orchid over from China to be with him, and that he didn’t even have anything to do with her eventual journey to America. How did you guys feel about this and about his reaction to seeing Moon Orchid? Did you think Brave Orchid’s advice to her sister was good? Did you think the idea of trying to claim the second wife’s children was right or okay? What kind of cultural and situational facets of Moon Orchid’s story do we have to consider when answering these kinds of questions??

  • September 24, 2019 at 7:48 am

    I wanted to respond to the last question because I really liked that line because after reading the book I feel like it really hit me what saying that meant to Brave Orchid. I think it means they are disappearing in the background of life and somehow by having Moon Orchid’s husband become Americanized then they have too. It also addens me that so much of Moon Orchid’s and Brave Orchid’s lives depend upon a man and his actions and I think we really see this exemplified here as well.

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