Guide Amy Tan: A Critical Companion

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About this product. Stock photo. Pre-owned: lowest price The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. Former Library book.

Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Shipped to over one million happy customers. See details. See all 3 pre-owned listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Huntley , Hardcover. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information Amy Tan has established a reputation as a major novelist of not only the Asian American experience but the universal experience of family relationships.

Both in this particular story as well as in the book, mothers and daughters are caught up in an all consuming nessecity to resurrect their pasts through actions taken in their remaining years in America.

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But, unfortunately, they find it difficult to articulate their honest intentions, emotions, and experiences to one another. When her eyes trace the contours of the piano that her mother had bought her, she notices for the first time something that never caught her attention before. This insight resonates with a central the theme of the story, namely the generational tension between mothers and daughters. In this struggle, she is essentially asking herself fundamental questions of identity. Sure, I could have said it, but they seem to pay better attention when the author says it for me.


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It is a connection between the book and them that they seem to value, and it begins the reading on a positive note. Olmos goes on to give biographical information on Anaya's life, which mimics closely the boy Antonio's life in Ultima , offering yet another connection that can tie the student into the story.

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We learn that Anaya's struggles as a teen of ethnic background in high school are exactly what our unit is all about. And information about the Chicano culture, the least represented of the diverse backgrounds in our area, helps clear up students' misconceptions about the culture. A Critical Companion then goes into a more in-depth study of each novel produced by Anaya. The section for Ultima is rich with material a classroom teacher can use. Plot Development, Characterization, and Themes. Although each topic was informative to me, I will briefly discuss symbolism, a concept I have not found easy to teach to my middle school students.

Amy Tan : a critical companion / E.D. Huntley. - Version details - Trove

Unlike the high school classic Moby Dick , where symbolism is obvious you can't turn your head on the Pequod without bumping into a symbol , symbolism in Ultima is one of the more confusing aspects of the book for my students. Because symbolism is so important to understanding the conflict within Antonio as he struggles for his identity, I have struggled to make it clear. A Critical Companion addresses my problem: Olmos identifies the major symbolism present in the novel and ties it straight to the evolvement of Antonio's character.

Feedback from students regarding their reading of Ultima has been positive.


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  • When students complete their evaluation at the end of the unit, they appeared to have generally enjoyed the story. One student said he chose the book because " it was about a Chicano family and it told about how Hispanics live in New Mexico. When I looked through the book and saw that some of the dialogue was in Spanish, it pulled me into reading the book. People are usually made fun of because of their skin color, hair style, and accent. People are judged today more on their ethnic background than on their personal self. Another student who read Ultima wrote, "This book was hard to follow because of the fighting between the two families and the debate about Catholicism.

    To tell you the truth I loved this novel. I was sort of in a zone. I couldn't stop reading. Also that most ethnic backgrounds have a lot in common with everybody else. People from different cultures can be very similar to me. I learned that I enjoy reading and learning about other cultures.

    I think I've re-found my love of reading. A high level of interest from the students is important in a unit such as this, and the selection of novels used must be just as important. As the middle school curriculum changes to meet the needs of our millennium teenagers, sources for the classroom will need to keep pace. The benefit of resources like Olmos' A Critical Companion enable the classroom teacher to keep the expectations high, use literature that may fall outside the structure of the typical national curriculum, and build strong literary concepts in our students.

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    Read Amy Tan: A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers) PDF

    If only someone had time to produce one of these for all the novels we use! Cannon, A. The Shadow Brothers. New York: Laurel Leaf, Crew, Linda. Children of the River. Namioka, Lensey. April and the dragon lady. Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Dangerous skies.