Presentation Materials

Fiona Han and also Terence Michale

Stroy: Water Names by Chang



1. Background

          Lan Samantha Chang (張嵐), born 1965, is one American writer that novels and also short stories. Samantha Chang was born in Wisconsin. Her household immigrated indigenous China come United claims after world war II Japanese invasion of China.With this type of culture-mixed background, she concentrates on expressing the acknowledge void of history between generations, i m sorry imperils household relationships and also the Chinese American immigrant experience.

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          She published her novella called Hunger in 2000, which incorporate “Water Names”, the story we are going to current today. She said, “Immigrants shed their past much faster than anyone else, and also that loss sharpens and heightens the stress in family members that space trying to develop a future. It’s complicated to aramuseum.orgild a future just - everybody demands to have a past.” native which, we can conclude that even though Chang stayed in United States, the idea of China and also traditional Chinese society are still imprinted on she mind. The desire that tracing her history- her relationships through China - is also fulfilled in her writing.


2. Summary

            In “Water Names,” Lan Samantha Chang – a 20th century American novelist and also short story writer – depicts a quick story-telling to work of a grandmother to her 3 granddaughters. The story the starts the end to portray the happy nature that the 3 girls – Ingrid, Lily and also “I” – climate shifts come what is their consistent routine “to store up Chinese” (176) through an old time fable telling by your grandmother Waipuo. Proud of she Chinese ancestry, Waipuo, that is reminded of she ancestors living follow me Yangtze River, goes on telling them a story passed down by her grandmother about a fisherman named Wen Zhiqing and his daughter, who loved the river. Wen Zhiqing who fishes v trained cormorants, oftentimes fish till late night because that his daughter’s love for the river. His daughter – deluded by tales she heard the the ghost the a drowned male – pertained to a conclusion the there’s a kingdom aramuseum.orgilt down the river and the “man” is asking her hand in marriage when her father discovered a pearl ring in the stomach of a substantial fish they caught on one night. A year passed, Wen Zhiqing’s daughter severed by she delusion lugged her away with the flood in search for the “man” and never come back. Chang pipeline the readers in puzzle simply as the Waipou left the 3 girls in concern with no conclusion come the story in ~ the end.

3. A brief discussion/close analysis (explication) that a selected passage.  


           After nearby reading and some degree of discussion, we pertained to a conclusion the Chang is trying come emphasize the definition of cultural history among the Chinese through Waipuo, who tells stories to interact the city born Chinese kids. We believe, this one paragraph explains that concisely the underlying gist of this story. The i does not only describe the spiritual features of your Chinese family tree - “great men and women” - aramuseum.orgt likewise their social believe that ties as much as the Yangtze River. Chang, with Waipuo, tries to instill how the education of one"s history could store the ar close together specifically in a neighborhood where we live in brick houses and do our very own thing in the city. She desires to education the girl stick with each other no matter what.  

4. Group Discussion

         Through our discussion, we an initial conclude the grandmother is learned together in someone that is culturally rich due to the fact that she tells lots of facts about the river. We have the right to feel her national pride of the Chinese culture as well based upon Chang’s description.

         The story is complete of Chinese and Asian “marks”. Specifics the way that Waipuo was telling the story vividly conveys exactly how Chinese people educate their kids: they always indirectly make open up suggestions rather of straight spoon feeding, simply as the writer said “ habit of producing a question and leaving there is no answering it”.

         As us taking a depth look, we discovered the story confusing since the argument of the entirety story appears so vague and broad. So, we exchanged our ideas and discussed why was Waipuo telling that story to she granddaughters. We related the story come the an interpretation of the Yangtze river to China. Chinese people consider the Yangtze River along with the Yellow River as their mother, that breed Chinese history, economic climate and culture from generation to generation. It plays a critical role in Chinese people’s mind and also symbolizes the old Chinese civilization and also wisdom. However, immigrants prefer those three sisters in the story absence this type of nation sense, which provides Waipuo’s story essential in order to instill a ide of their previous in their mind.

        even though the story is only three pages long, the contents it consists of both explicitly and also implicitly are an ext than us expected. Chang did an excellent job on picturing the photo of a grandma telling a story to she grandkids. This picture gives reader resonance and a sense of intimacy regarded their very own childhood memories. By placing Waipuo informing a story in a story Chang desires to tell,  it is basic to placed the reader in those small girls pair of shoes listening come the story and also wondering what is going to happen next, which provides the story more engaging. Furthermore, Chang offers Waipuo informing grandchildren a story to educate them, in the meanwhile, teaching reader the exact same story the Yangtze River along with its historical an interpretation for China is respectable. What’s more, Chang uses the story to express an idea of the definition of people’s background to aramuseum.orgild a brighter future. Additionally, in the progress, readers deserve to understand the cognitive distinction of history between various generations as well as relevant impacts between family relationship for immigrants.

Discussion concerns  

1. Carry out you think execute those 3 sisters get the point of grandma’s story? define your answer.

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2. Do you think in the paper definition of  “Water Names”, is the story around Wen Zhiqing’s daughter genuine or a made-up by granny in order to educate her granddaughters? defend your opinion.

3. Just how do you understand the title “Water Names”? Is the a noun or a phrase? If it’s a noun, what walk “Water Names” express to? Why does Chang placed “name” in many form? If it’s a phrase, how do you think to complete it?