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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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The reader perceives a drastic transformation in Weiliís personality. From an innocent girl who had tried to please her husband at all cost she changes into a mature lady who decides to leave her cruel her husband forever. In China, in those days, a woman divorcing her husband was seen as a disgrace. Weiliís mother was seen in a derogatory way when she had left her husband. Weili knows the consequences of this decision but still has the courage to leave Wen Fu. "Fragile looking, yet strong and brave, the kind of person nothing could stop." This remark made by Jimmy Louie, clearly typify Weiliís personality. Jimmy therefore always thinks of Weili as a strong woman, who can take right decisions at the right time.

For Weili, her sudden meeting with Jimmy after such a long gap, is totally the work of fate. But Jimmy feels that it is destiny and not fate, which decides the lives of people. He says, "Fate is somebody else deciding your life for you" whereas "destiny is something which cannot be prevented." Peanutís character is largely responsible for Weiliís transformation. Though the urge to walk out of her difficult marriage had always been there in her mind, the idea gets further impetus when she sees Peanutís example. Weili feels that if an ostentatious girl like Peanut could change so much and come out of her difficult marriage, she too can make an attempt to change for a better life. The decision to tear herself apart from the patriarchal system is not easy for Weili. At the same time Weili is concerned about her aged father, and feels that, it would amount to a betrayal if she leaves him with a man like Wen Fu.


The power of her deep love for Jimmy is clearly reflected in such a phase of crisis when she is unable to decide between the two choices: "Let me live" or "Let my father die." Her love for Jimmy and her strong desire for freedom, compel her to take a decision to leave Wen Fu. To unburden herself Weili confesses to her father, the reason for her decision to leave her husband. Weili is totally astonished by his reaction. Though he does not say anything to her, Jiang Sao-yenís eyes communicate his feelings, "You foolish, foolish girl, finally youíve made the right decision." He even lends her three golden ingots, which he had kept hidden from everyone. Weili tries to understand his charitable act. She thinks that maybe he hopes that if she leaves Wen Fu too might leave them alone or may be he really loves her.

The change that has come about in both Weiliís fatherís household at Shanghai and her uncleís house at Tsungming Island, is really ironic. Her father, the strong - willed patriarch, was now reduced to a decrepit handicapped man. At Tsungming Island too, the conditions are desperate. Her uncle has become old and senile. Weili notices a great change in her aunts, who had always neglected her as a child. They are now more affectionate towards her. Weili is generous enough to spend her dowry money to buy expensive items for them.

One notices a change in the relationship of the two cousins, Weili and Peanut. For years they had no contact with each other. Weiliís memories about Peanut, is of a pampered girl with great dreams about her husband should be. Such a picture is in sharp contrast to the Peanut who is now a communist. Her marriage did not work out and she had to take refuge among the communists after running away from her house. The bitter lesson that she has learnt from her life has turned her into a rebel. Weili imbibes this spirit from Peanut, and realizes that she too can escape from the clutches of her cruel husband, Wen Fu.

Weiliís decision to leave her husband reflects great courage. She now realizes that, too date, she has depended on others like, Hulan, Auntie Du, Jiang Sao-yen and hoped that they would help her to escape from a traumatic marriage. But nothing has worked out. Now Weili understands that if she has to escape she has to take the entire responsibility on herself. She could now rely on no one except herself. With this newly found determination, Weili walks out of her bitter life with Wen Fu.

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