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hungerfinally! - 8 May 2007 English 3377 Final Paper Dr Sun...

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8 May 2007. English 3377 Final Paper Dr. Sun Hee Teresa Lee Home Away from Home, Away from Home? Lan Samantha Chang’s title story of Hunger presents the reader with the concept of the “true home.” The “true home” is the world that the characters comfortably inhabit within themselves that they truly identify with apart from the world around them. The domestic sphere serves as an independent, isolated world where Tian and Min can live their own lives undisturbed. Min and Tian essentially create an entirely new world for their family within their home. Tian and Min feel strong ties to their native home in China while their daughters, Ruth and Anna step outside of the domestic influence of the house and into the world outside. The home is a realm that Tian and Min can control; it is their own separate world that represents their family. It is a transient existence as the home eventually will pass and so will the people’s lives within it. The purpose of the domestic sphere within Tian and Min’s family is to provide a safe, sheltered world to raise their own family. Tian and Min both emigrated from their home in China. This emigration represents the departure from the first world they are accustomed to and entering an entirely new and unknown world into America. Emigration from one country to another leaves an individual with a torn sense of identity and without a specific home or center of domestication. Tian and Min encountered their second world in America. This world forced them to deviate from their learned and understood customs from China and assimilate with an entirely new culture. In this transition, Tian and Min created the third world in their own
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domestic space that belonged solely to them for the purposes of creating an entirely independent space. Their independent space can be controlled apart from the other two worlds they know. When Tian and Min moved into their home they felt, “It seemed that nothing in the world could disturb us on this neglected street, in these softly falling houses”(p.15). The house seems as a shelter and a place of isolation from the rest of the world that would protect the family and ensure a space where the family could grow and mature in its own sovereign state apart from the rest of the world. “And it seemed to me that all the safety in the world had been tucked into this space, that my children would look out at the world and know that all was well”(p.15). In this respect, Min tried to create a space that the children could feel safe within while they experienced the world around them. Because the family is not accustomed to the cultural norms
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hungerfinally! - 8 May 2007 English 3377 Final Paper Dr Sun...

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