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2007-11-21

Analysis of Amy’s relationship to her family (chapter one and two)

Emiko Sumoto (named “Amy” by her friends) is the main character of Gloria Miklowitz’ book “The
War between the Classes”.
She has got a quite interesting relationship to her parents. What that is like exactly is what I want to
find out.

That Emiko is not always delighted about her parents becomes clear in the very beginning already.
She seems to be a bit cross about being always called “Emiko”, not “Amy” by her parents (p. 7, l. 10).
That sentence is also structured as an ellipsis which shows the reader that Amy is completely sure
about what she says and did not have to think about that.

On the other hand she calls her parents “Mama” and “Papa” (p. 7, l. 30). That she does not call her
parents “Mother” and “Father” puts forward an argument against an entire dislike of Amy to her par-
ents.

Although Mrs. Sumoto loves her daughter and wants the best for her (p. 8, ll. 30 f.), Amy feels to be
treated like a child by both of her parents sometimes (p. 16, l. 7). The reader doese not learn a lot
about Mr. Sumoto, Amy’s dad, yet. One of the rare things one can read is his strictness (p. 8, ll. 23 f.).

Nevertheless Emiko seems to be trying to be a good daughter, to please her parents (p. 16, l. 5). This
makes it clear to the reader that her character is not that tightened yet. Additionally she probably does
not want to hurt her parents again as her major brothe Hideo did by marrying an American girl.
Emiko still needs her parents more that she wants to fess it up. Otherwise the reader would get the
only impression from what Amy thinks about herself because the book is written with Emiko as the
first-person narrator.

Furthermore Emiko feels being treated unfairly by her parents (p. 17, l. 8). So she also wants her
rights when she is seeing the right moment for requiring them. So Amy also seems to be a very sensi-
tive person.

As her father (and her mother, too, as it can be read p. 8, ll. 18 f.) is very strict, Emiko has go to omit
some things she would like to do. To get those things nonetheless she is dependent on her mother who
is less strict then her father. But “Mama” does not help her in every situation (p. 17, ll. 13-15).

To say it finally, Amy does not appear as a very rebelling person. There are indeed some small at-
tempts of revolt (p. 16, ll. 6 ff.). But they are mostly inside her head, not openly (“quiet person”, p. 7,
l. 24), she hardly ever speaks up against anyone (p. 17, l. 8; p. 16, l. 30).

All in all one can say that Amy is a very quiet person (s. p. 7, ll. 24 f.) who keeps many thoughts for
herself.
I believe that she loves both of her parents, also her strict father.
She is probably quite coined by their parents’ very strict educational method.
When she feels being treated unfairly, Amy does not say it directly. She seems to be a person who
waits first if it gets worse. And from my point of view it has got to be quite bad for her until she re-
bells. But that might be because of the chary Asian tenor she has been imparted for her childhood.

But the reader gets most of those impressions from things she articulates. It is made more difficult for
him to get an own impression about her – after all she appears as the first-person narrator.

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