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MonkeyNotes-The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
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Chapters 25 & 26

Summary

The narrator in the Chapter 25 is Pearl, Winnie’s daughter. The last bit of Weili’s words unnerves her - that she might be the daughter of Wen Fu, her mother’s arrogant ex-husband. Winnie is extremely hesitant to talk about Pearl’s paternity.

Pearl asks her the reason for keeping it a secret from her for so long. Winnie reveals her hidden fear that, Pearl would misunderstand her and label her as ‘a bad mother.’ Now that Winnie had confessed every detail of her past life, Pearl confides to her mother about her medical condition, multiple sclerosis. Winnie is totally upset on hearing about her daughter’s illness. She even attributes Pearl’s illness to Wen Fu.

Later the two families of the Kwongs and the Louies assemble for the reception party of Bao-Bao. One also learns that all this while, Helen had pretended that she is suffering from brain tumor. This pretence was a trick to bring Winnie and her daughter Pearl closer. At the reception Helen tells Pearl and Winnie that the three of them would go to China where Pearl could be treated with Chinese herbs for her illness.

In the last chapter, once again, the narrator is Winnie. For the first time Winnie observes that Helen is not contradicting her. Helen now reveals to her that she knew right from the beginning that Wen Fu is an evil fellow. Both she and Auntie Du knew that Wen Fu maybe the father of Pearl but they hadn’t said anything to Weili.


Together Hulan and Weili go shopping for an alternative figurine for the altar, as they do not want to keep the idol of the Kitchen God. In the shop Winnie likes a porcelain statue of a woman, which does not have a name. She decides to take it for Pearl. Later when Pearl visits her, Winnie suggests some remedies, Chinese herbs, to cure her illness. She offers her daughter the beautiful porcelain statue. In fact, Winnie has burnt the statue of the Kitchen God and does not want to hear its name mentioned again. Winnie names the graceful porcelain statue as ‘Lady Sorrowfree’ and sincerely hopes that she will ward off all sorrows from Pearl’s life.

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