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A Pair of Tickets Summary

In: Novels

Submitted By Bozanmilan
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Summary and Analysis Jing-Mei Woo: A Pair of Tickets

Jing-mei is on a train to China, traveling with her seventy-two-year-old father, Canning Woo. As the train enters Shenzhen, China, Jing-mei begins to "feel Chinese." Their first stop will be Guangzhou. Like her father, Jing-mei is weeping for joy. After her mother's death, a letter arrived from China from her mother's twin daughters from her first marriage. These were the two children whom she was forced to abandon on the side of the road in 1944.

Jing-mei's father asked Auntie Lindo to write back to the girls and tell them that their mother was dead. Instead, Auntie Lindo took the letter to the Joy Luck Club. Together, the women answered the letter, signing Suyuan Woo's name to it. Jing-mei agrees that she should be the one to tell her half-sisters about their mother's death. But after dreaming about the scene many times, she begs Auntie Lindo to write a letter to the sisters explaining that their mother is dead. Auntie Lindo does so.

The train pulls into the station, and the visitors are met by Canning's great-aunt. The reunion is emotional. Other relatives join them. Jing-mei wins her young cousin Lili over with instant photographs from her Polaroid camera. They soon arrive at a magnificent hotel, much grander than Jing-mei had expected. Jing-mei is anxious to have her first real Chinese feast; however, the native-born Chinese family decides that they want to eat American — hamburgers, French fries, and apple pie à la mode in the hotel room.

Late that night, Canning explains that his wife's name, "Suyuan," has two different meanings, depending on how it is written. Written one way, it means "Long-Cherished Wish"; written another way, it means "Long-Held Grudge." He further explains that Jing-mei's name means that she is, first, a pure essence, and second, that she is a younger sister. Her name makes

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