Chang-Rae Lee’s story, Coming Home Again, is a powerful story about the author’s relationship with his mother. The story is told from the author’s point of view. Lee begins the story in the present when his mother is terminally ill from stomach cancer and then quickly flashes back to the time before he left to attend Exeter boarding school far away from home. Growing up as a young child, he shares a very close relationship with his mother. His mother teaches him everything from cooking to playing basketball.
Cooking, in particular, symbolizes the close relationship between the author and his mother because it is one activity Chang-Ray grew to enjoy over the years of watching and learning from his mother. Their common love for cooking is instrumental in keeping their relationship close, despite the times they felt emotionally distant from each other. The loneliness Chang-Rae feels at boarding school, away from his mother, strengthens the bond between him and his mother.
He realizes that living apart from his mother and her delicious meals is much more difficult than he thought, and so his returning home signifies his enduring love for her and longing to spend all of his time with her. This essay will examine how cooking and distance are instrumental in keeping Chang-Rae Lee and his mother close together. Topic Sentence #1: Cooking The aroma and mouth watering taste of his mother’s meals inspired Chang-Rae Lee to learn how to cook at a very young age. -As a young child Chang-Rae Lee would watch his mother cook traditional Korean meals, and learn how to cook American meals.
At times, he would enter the kitchen, and insist on helping her cook the dinner meals, when she did not need help. His desire to learn to cook the way his mother cooks enables the mother and son to form a close relationship. -Food is instrumental in keeping the mother and son close together, even when Chang-Rae Lee is far away at school. Her cooking is a constant reminder of her love for him. It is also her way of showing him how much she misses him and how much she wishes he was back at home. -By the time he graduates from high school, his mother is dying from stomach cancer.
It is now up to him to take care of her. He cooks her the same meals she cooked for the family and struggles to make the food as good as she did. His cooking is a token of appreciation for everything his mother did for him. Topic Sentence #2: Distance When Chang-Rae Lee leaves home for the first time to attend a boarding school far away, he does not realize how much he will miss his mother until he is at school. -Before he leaves for school, Chang-Lee, like every teenage boy, seeks to establish a life outside his family, and one that does not include his family.
He gets extremely frustrated when his mother constantly wants him to do favours for him and even argues with her. -The large distance between Chang-Rae and his mother actually creates a stronger bond between the mother and son. Chang-Lee finds himself missing his mother and her cooking and always relishes his time with her and his father when they make trips to visit him at his school. When he returns home after graduating from high school, he enjoys spending time with his mother, especially since he knows he does not have her for too much longer.