Amy Chua Analysis

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 24 December 2016

Amy Chua Analysis

Reader: Parents from the Western World, who are also readers of The Wall Street Journal. Language: Well written text, with an extensive vocabulary. It is written to some extent with formal jargon. Circumstances: The writer’s home. She lives with her daughters and husband. There is a flashback into Chua’s childhood as well. Intention: She is trying to clarify the differences between Chinese parents and Western parents, along with making us understand the Chinese parents’ mindset and approach.

2) “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” is an article written by Amy Chua. Chua is a professor at Yale, she is the mother of two daughters and she is married to a “western” man. They live in the USA, but what makes her different is her upbringing. She is from a Chinese family. Throughout her upbringing she has been raised by Chinese methods. Currently being an adult and a parent herself, she has written an article in which she supports and simultaneously explains the significance of Chinese parents. Throughout the text she uses the three modes of appeal. She starts out by using ethos: “Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School, USA.” and “Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.” By pointing out her job, education and being a Chinese parent herself in the introduction, she lets the readers know that she is a reliable source. Then (line 41-43) she uses pathos, and tries to make Western parents feel ashamed of their parenting habits. In addition to that, with displaying “…western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.” she thinks that it is easier for Western parents to let their kids play sports, instead of spending time with them. Chua uses logos, but pathos as well in (line 50-53).

Any person can relate to her statement, and bit by bit persuades the reader to understand her parenting approach. In the following passage (line 54-59) she creates and strengthens her ethos by using a harsh metaphor, and in that way exposes the reader to the way she was raised. In the passage (line 65-69) she creates pathos by using contrasts as a topological feature; Chua makes the reader aware of how honest and real Chinese parents are to their kids in contrast to Western parents. “In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children’s psyches. Chinese parents aren’t. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.” Chua proves this statement with the following passages (line 78-92), where she creates logos by using comparisons as a topological feature, and antithesis as a linguistic feature. Later in the text (line 99-105) she uses pathos, but the whole passage backfires on Chua, because of Chinese parents’ very overwhelming and disturbing view on parenting.

Afterwards (line 125-137) she creates pathos by being mean towards her daughter, and her behavior makes Chua distant from the reader. Subsequent (line 156-165) she straightens up the situation by creating pathos again. “After the rain, the rainbow appears”, this time she describes her daughter’s success and happiness as a result of the hard working days. At last in the final passage (line 176-181) she concludes her article by creating pathos. By doing that she makes the reader feel, as the writer has achieved her goal of making Western readers understand Chinese parenting. But also lets the reader know, even though Chinese and Western are very different types of parents, there are in spite of everything some resemblances.

From line 75-77 Chua uses antithesis to explain what some of the differences are between the Chinese and Western parents and how their mindsets are the total opposite. In line 90 she uses the phrase “… hair – tearing explosion.” By using a metaphor, she makes it clear to the reader, how horrible the parents’ reaction is going to be. In line 121, once again she uses a metaphor “… drilling each of her hands.” Her intention with this is to exaggerate how long and hard they worked on her daughter’s piano skills. In line 91 she says: “… maybe hundreds of practice tests”. In this example the hyperbole is used in order to demonstrate the reader how much time the Chinese mother will dedicate to her daughter’s grade.

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  • Subject:

  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 24 December 2016

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