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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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After a long time, Weili feels that now they are staying in a place that can be called a house. Weili now busies herself with making preparations for her baby. She can feel the baby and expects to deliver any day. One day she accidentally drops her scissors, which falls on its pointed ends. In China, this is considered as bad luck. Her premonition comes true and Weili’s baby girl is born still. Weili’s love for the baby compels her to give her a name before burying her. She names her daughter, ‘Sorrowfree’ after the beautiful Sorrowfree Lake, which she had seen a few days back. After this tragedy, Weili cannot stand the sight of scissors. Sewing, which had been her favorite past time, now becomes a source intense agony. It takes her many months to recover from the shock. The only reason she started sewing again was because she had no other pleasurable thing to do. One day she decides to buy a new pair of scissors from the market place. As she is buying the scissors, she overturns the table laden with scissors. Recalling her earlier mishap linked with scissors, she retraces her steps from the market without the scissors. On reaching home, she learns that Wen Fu has been admitted to the hospital following an accident in which he has narrowly escaped death. The accident took place as he was recklessly driving an illegally borrowed jeep. Weili also learns that the young woman who was with him in the jeep had died on the spot. Weili now understands that, Wen Fu was seeing other women.

In the hospital, Weili takes it upon herself to look after Wen Fu as a dutiful wife. Instead of being thankful to his wife, Wen Fu is more aggressive now. The doctors and nurses treating him are too afraid to go near him. Though he is blind in one eye and unable to move his passionate advances to Weili does not stop. Weili is not able to understand the way to deal with his temperaments. Coupled with this problem, Weili learns that Jiaguo may be charging Wen Fu for illegally borrowing the jeep and being the cause of somebody’s death. Hulan however manages to convince Jiaguo not to press charges against Wen Fu. When Weili learns it, she feels anger instead of relief, as she has to continue to bear Wen Fu’s tantrums. In fact, Weili was looking forward to his imprisonment and her consequent safety from his aggression.


Two years since then, Weili becomes a mother of a baby girl. After all the unpleasant happenings, the innocent face of her baby comes as a joyful moment to Weili. Weili names her Yiku and takes great care to make the baby feel cozy and warm. She uses her dowry money to cover all the hospital expenses. Wen Fu is least bothered about the baby and comes to visit them in the hospital after two days. Even then he embarrasses Weili by becoming violent when he is refused the food that he orders. He does not care about the baby and the only thing he does, is make her cry. Weili wonders about what sort of a father he is.

After her delivery when Weili reaches home, she learns of Wen Fu’s alleged rape of the servant girl. The young girl is so naïve that she takes the blame on herself rather than complain abut Wen Fu to Weili. But Weili knows Wen Fu too well. The servant girl asks her permission to leave the house. Taking pity on her, Weili offers her some money and relives her of her responsibilities as a servant. Later Weili learns that the girl had become pregnant with Wen Fu’s baby and had died trying to abort the baby. Even when Weili confronts him with the news, Wen Fu is unmoved and does not feel any guilt. This enrages Weili and continues to argue with her husband. Wen Fu follows Weili to the other room where the baby has started crying. When Weili refused to be effected by Wan Fu’s yelling saying that the only person who was scared of him was the baby, he gets very angry and hits the baby. Wen Fu hits Yiku several times as she continues to cry. From that day onwards, Yiku is a different child and exhibits strange behaviors.

One day, Yiku falls ill of acute diarrhea. Seeing her pale face Weili is worried and approaches the doctor, who is playing mah jong with Wen Fu. The doctor is willing to come but Wen Fu manages to convince him that Weili is silly and that she is just overestimating the problem. The doctor believes Wen Fu and continues to play. Weili returns to the house and finds that Yiku’s condition has worsened. Weili now takes Yiku with her to the doctor and the doctor and Wen Fu realize that the baby’s condition is indeed very bad. Now, Wen Fu blames Weili for not caring enough for Yiku and not informing them earlier. The doctor however takes Weili’s side. Yiku is rushed to the hospital but the doctor is unable to save her and Yiku dies the next morning.

Weili has to bear this tragedy all by herself. Before Yiku’s death, Weili keenly observes her dear one. Though physically weak, her eyes seem to speak to her mother-"This is my quick life, no worse, no better than a long one. I accept this not blame.’ Her eyes convey to her last message that, she has forgiven her mother who cares for her but at this point is totally helpless. In turn Weili talks to her dead baby that her death is the best way to escape from the horror of living.

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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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