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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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Notes

A whole lot of events, both sweet and bitter, happen in Weiliís life. Her decision to leave Wen Fu does not ensure unending happiness, as misfortunes continue to occur in her life. Weiliís survivalist tendency shines through her misfortunes. Single handedly, she faces all the unforeseen circumstances.

Weili finds Jimmy refreshingly different from Wen Fu. Her days with Jimmy are free from all the tensions that has faced till now. Weili feels on top of the world and Danru too is very happy, as Jimmy takes good care of him. Weili had never known the difference between rape and pleasurable sex. With Jimmy as her partner, sex is no longer a torture. In fact, she enjoys it with Jimmy, who helps to remove all fears from her mind.

Wen Fuís dark shadow still continues to follow Weili. He takes revenge on her by manipulating the circumstances in such a way that Weili lands up in jail. Weili emerges as a strong woman when she bravely faces the unjust trial. A cultured sophisticated lady like Weili finds it very difficult to live in an unkempt prison cell. She decides to do her best, to make the jail a better place to live. The other women have got used to living in such disgusting conditions. But when Weili volunteers to clean the place, they all co-operate with her. She even teaches some of them to read and write. Auntie Du supports her in every way possible.

The news of Minís death comes as a great shock to her. She had always thought of Min as a braver and a stronger woman than she was. Now, even that courageous woman had been compelled to commit suicide. She on the other hand is still alive. At this point of time, Weili realizes that she has the potential to struggle and survive. Weili feels that she should bravely face all the troubles so that she can be united with him. Her deep love for him comforts her from the difficulties in the prison. But at the same time she hopes that Jimmy will not break down under so much pressure. She fondly thinks about him, "He was a good man, considerate and kind, but he was not strong. He had never been through any kind of bad hardship before.)"


Auntie Duís forceful character emerges in these chapters. Auntie Duís selflessness and good nature are reflected here when she helps Weili in every way possible. On her release from prison, Weili is extremely grateful to Hulan and her husband, Kwang An, as she feels that they have helped in her early release. She gives Hulan her precious imperial jade earrings as a token of her gratitude. It is much later that Weili realizes that it Auntie Du was the one instrumental in her freedom. Kuang An had sincerely tried but had not succeeded. But Auntie Du cleverly succeeded in convincing the Chinese authorities that Weili had some strong connections with the communists and this had led to her release from prison. Although Auntie Du is the one who does the work, Hulan gets all the credit. Weili now clearly perceives the noble heart of Auntie Du and feels greatly indebted to her.

There is clear intermingling of happiness and sorrow in Weiliís life. After a dreadful life with Wen Fu, Weili had just started enjoying her life with Jimmy. But Wen Fu never stops harassing her. Her fear of him compels her to send Danru to Harbin away from her, leading to his death. The death of her only son Danru completely shatters her. As she is trying to come to terms with the loss of her beloved son, Weili finds herself in prison for no fault of her own. Her inner strength helps her to fight against all odds and just before the communists take over China, Weili manages to reach the US and is united with Jimmy. Her daughter, Pearl, is born here.

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