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Characters Traits

Prefers the simple life

A filial and loving son

Split between
traditional and modern
values and beliefs

Examples of Textual evidence

Dislikes his wifes gatherings with her friends where they
eat cakes made with expensive foreign fruit (p.20)
Bought binoculars for his mother to see better (p.20)
Makes sure that his mothers burial is done the right way
Decides to take care of the family altar as his mother would
want him to (p.35)
Proud of the modern life he has built but tries to keep
tradition alive in his home. (p.35)
His children have Chinese names (p.20)
He addresses his mother as Ah-Ma (p.20)
He has difficulty communicating with his mother about
their past life. (p.23)
Wants to continue the custom of ancestral worship but feels
embarrassed about talking to his dead mother (p.36)

Mr T.W. Lis mother
Yings grandmother, Popo (Cantonese for grandmother)
Mother of nine children, grandmother of thirty-four and great-grandmother of
Small, thin, with grey hair and bent
Characters Traits
Prefers simple life

Treasures family


Kind and

Examples of Textual evidence

Rears chicken in the garden (p.20)
Tells her son that she has everything she needs and does not
need the things he can buy (pp, 20, 22)
Remembers the time when she was poor but happy, when she
was close to her son (p.28)
Refuses to go for an eye operation to remove her cataracts
Insisted on using real candles for years. (p.26)
Takes care of the family altar (p.25)
Makes sure that the ancestral worship customs are followed
properly (p.25)
Understands her son who is trying to distance himself from
his past and keep quiet. (p.23)