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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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Chapter 18

Summary

It is the Christmas time of 1941. There is cause for celebration in Kunming. The Flying Tigers i.e. the American army saves the Chinese from Japanese air raid. A party is thrown to commemorate the success of the Chinese. Many Chinese citizens are invited on the occasion and they all come dressed in bright colors.

Here Weili meets a popular Chinese-American man called Jimmy Louie. Both the Chinese and the Americans like him and the girls encircle him to get his attention. Jimmy Louie is an American born language interpreter, who is presently working with the United States Information Services. The Americans have helped the Chinese and the Chinese pilots take Jimmy Louie’s help to convey their gratitude to the Flying Tigers. On the popular Chinese demand, he gives new American names to the Chinese girls that sound good and are also easy to pronounce. He also gives new names to Weili and Hulan and their husbands. He then asks Wen Fu’s permission to dance with Weili but before Wen Fu could say anything, Jimmy Louie takes Weili’s hand to dance with her. For the first time, Weili feels comfortable with a man, who is in fact, a stranger. As she is a married woman, Weili excuses herself from the dance and seeks out Wen Fu, Jiaguo, and Hulan.

When they return home Weili realizes that Wen Fu is angry with Weili for dancing with Jimmy Louie. He threatens her to divorce her and forces her to sign the divorce papers. What he does not understand is that she is secretly very happy for getting this opportunity to escape. When she signs, Wen Fu is even angrier angry and humiliates her further by accusing her as a ‘whore.’ Ha makes Weili ask for forgiveness although it was not her fault and she suffers all the torments for the sake of Danru. Then at gunpoint, Wen Fu rapes the totally helpless Weili.


After all these tortures, Weili finally decides to escape from Wen Fu. The next morning she packs her bag, and with the divorce paper and her son Danru, leaves the house. Weili seeks the help of Hulan and Auntie Du to act as witnesses in her divorce. Both Hulan and Auntie Du misunderstand her and try to convince her to stay with her husband. They refuse to sign the divorce papers as witnesses but Weili has made her decision to escape. Hulan helps Weili find a house to stay for the night. But Hulan in the meanwhile informs Wen Fu about her whereabouts. Hulan feels that on learning Weili’s misery, Wen Fu would feel guilty and their married life would continue peacefully.

Hulan however does not know what is to follow. Everyday Wen Fu subjects Weili to abuses and rapes. But now she is careful, not to give birth to any children. Therefore she aborts the fetuses every time she gets pregnant. She even considers ending such a miserable life.

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