Voice From The Wall Essay, Research Paper

Title: The Voice From the Wall By: Amy Tan

– the voice that the storyteller hears is all in her imaginativeness, she hears the voice of her neighbours killing each other

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– Amy Ruth Tan, a Chinese American novelist was born in Oakland, California, in 1952. Both her parents immigrated to the United States from China

– Amy Tan focused her Hagiographas on the lives of the Chinese American adult females. Tan s novel and short narratives introduce characters who are as she one time was and about their Chinese background

– Throughout her childhood, Tan s female parent told her narratives about their Chinese heritage. Tan, uses this technique in this narrative to heighten the importance of storytelling

When I was small, my female parent told me my great-grandfather had sentenced a mendicant to decease in the worst possible manner

– Tan s authorship is most of her life down on paper. The scene in the short narrative is held in Oakland and subsequently the household upgrades to San Francisco were said by Lena ( chief character )

They might be able to go forth all their old frights behind.

– Even in Tan s life, she was born in Oakland and subsequently forced to Europe with her female parent felt to be.

The immorality of their deceased house in Oakland, California.

– Tan follows the same thought in the short narrative.

Even as a immature miss, I could feel the mute panics that surrounded our

House, the 1s that stressed my female parent until she hid in a secret dark corner

of her head.

– Another illustration of how Tan uses her life in this short narrative is by showing her Chinese background in both the female parent and the girl in the narrative. Tan writes about how the female parent immigrated from China, and where the girl received her Chinese parts.

– I saw these things with my Chinese eyes, the portion of me I got from my

female parent.

Point of position

– This short narrative is a memoir of a miss detecting her household life seeing merely the bad non the hope

– This can be seen by the manner the storyteller, Lena describes certain state of affairss in which she has to understand her female parent s life.

Example As I remember it, the dark side of my female parent sprang from the cellar in our old house in Oakland. ( Pg.307 )

– Lena attempts to understand why her female parent seems to demo no emotion, but she can non understand

– It is merely until her household moves into a little flat that she can eventually trust for the best for her female parent as she observes the life of another household in the following flat.

Sometimes I heard this loud household across the hallway that separated our two flat doors. ( Pg. 314 )

– While seeking to grok her female parent by watching and waiting, we can slowly see the point of the narrative is non Lena herself, but her female parent.

And in my memory I can still experience the hope that round in me that dark, I clung to this hope, twenty-four hours after twenty-four hours, dark after dark, twelvemonth after twelvemonth. ( Pg.318 )

Fictional character Analysis

Lena St.Clair ( narrator/main character )

– Born in Oakland

– moved to San Francisco

– half Chinese half Irish/English

Most people did non cognize I was Chinese possibly because my last name was St. Clair. When people foremost saw me, they thought I looked like my male parent, English-Irish, large boned and delicate at the same clip. But if they looked truly near, if they knew they were at that place, they could see the Chinese parts. Alternatively of holding cheeks like my male parent s crisp edged points, mine were smooth as beach pebbles. I did non hold his xanthous hair or white tegument, yet my colouring looked excessively pale, like something that was one time darker but faded into the Sun. ( Pg.307-308 )

– observant of her milieus

– vivid imaginativeness

Betty St. Clair

– female parent of Lena St. Clair

– Chinese immigrant to America

– has lost two babes due to deliver defects

– tells her girl terrorization narratives

– psychologically disturbed, status worsens as clip goes on

– is married to an over bearing hubby

My male parent proudly named her Betty St. Clair, traversing out her given name of Gu Ying-ying. And so he put down the incorrect birth twelvemonth. 1916 alternatively of 1914.

– despite life in America and the attempts of her hubby Betty does non talk English

Teresa Sarci

– Lena s following door neighbour in San Francisco

– about twelve old ages old

– Moody

– is the voice from the wall

Mrs. Sarci

– Theresa s female parent

– Italian with a little speech pattern you stupida misss

– strict parental figure

– is the other voice from the wall

Puting / Mood

– Oakland and san Francisco California, infirmary, school pace, and Lena s flat ( sleeping room )

– narratives are told that take topographic point in China

– the narrative is set in the late mid-thirtiess or mid-fortiess

Subject: Bildung


– a narrative about a kid developing their head and character as they go into maturity

– At the beginning of the narrative the kid Lena lives in the ideas and the narratives of her parents. As the narrative progresess he begins to see her life in her eyes ands sees that her parents are non what she thought

– she begins to see the hapless mental province of her female parent when she becomes pregnant

You can t understand these things, she said, why not/ Because I haven t set them into your head yet.

– her graphic imaginativeness turns her female parents narratives into a world for her

I used to play out the mendicant s last minutes over and over once more in my caput. In my head, I saw the executioner strip off the adult male s shirt and take him into the unfastened pace. This treasonist, read the executioner, is sentenced to decease the decease of a 1000 cuts. Then the miss pulled out a crisp blade and told her female parent, so you must decease the decease of a 1000 blades.


The narrative, The voice From the Wall, by Amy Tan, is about a small 10 twelvemonth old miss Lena St. Clair and her household. The narrative starts out with Lena explicating an old household fable, about her great-grandfather and how he sentenced a mendicant to decease. Lena has a powerful imaginativeness. This is shown at the beginning of the narrative, where she imagines how the mendicant died. When Lena asks her female parent about the decease she said that he died because he was ill. Lena s female parent is incapable of accepting the truths about life and ever Tells Lena lies. This is shown on page 307 I could feel mute panics that surrounded our house, the 1s that chased my female parent until she hid in a secret corner of her head. As the narrative continues we her more about Lena, and that her male parent is English / Irish and her female parent is Chinese. Her female parent can non talk much English and her male parent ever puts words in her oral cavity. So my male parent would set words in her oral cavity. ( Pg. 309 ) Lena is a funny kid who likes to inquire inquiries. Her female parent, believing she was protecting her, avoided stating her the truth. I knew my female parent made up anything to warm me, to assist me avoid some unknown danger. ( Pg. 309 ) One twenty-four hours Mr. St. Clair the male parent comes place and announces to the household that they are traveling to San Francisco because he got a publicity. The household moves into a three-story house. This was an Italian vicinity and one twenty-four hours when Mrs. St. Clair and Lena were traveling shopping a adult male called Mrs. St. Clair Lena s amah. Lena resembled her male parent and this remark made Mrs. St. Clair really upset. Because she did non talk of her job this shows that the female parent is introverted and she withheld her feelings and emotions. The male parent besides avoided the state of affairs by ever stating that everything was O.K. when it truly was non. One twenty-four hours Lena came place and found a cot in her room and found out that her female parent was pregnant. One dark Lena kept hearing voices and noises coming from the wall. Th vitamin E noises were as if person was acquiring physically abused. Lena thought that it was the following door neighbour s. Lena s female parent loses the babe and Tells gross outing narratives about how he died and references something about killing her other boy. This suggests that the female parent might hold had another babe and kept it a secret. After losing the babe Mrs. St. Clair is even worse. She is ever in deep idea or gazing into outer infinite, or possibly even a deep slumber. The male parent does non worry about it and suggests that she is merely resting. Near the terminal of the narrative Lena is seeing things in her head. She sees a miss in hurting and her ill female parent. The miss takes a blade and cuts up her female parent. The female parent does non shed blood and says that she has experienced the worst thing of all time. The girl takes the worse thing of all time. The girl, takes her manus, says to come on the other side of the wall and she will be proven incorrect.


The words of the narrative come from a first individual narrator position of a 10 twelvemonth old, but they are really powerful. There is much force in the narrative with the violent death of the mendicant at the beginning, the whipping of the miss following door in Lena s head, to the violent death of the female parent by the miss by the terminal. Wordss like, mute panics, the dark side, which was worse our side or theirs Tells about Lena s imagining and oppugning the after life and the enigmas of life. The narrative uses such images, which make us visualize the decease scenes and sympathise with Lena on her perplexing and sorrowful life experiences as a kid.


The narrative trades with existent issues of life such as traveling, maltreatment, losing a kid, depression, and mundane life state of affairss. The genre of the narrative is idealism, but with a spot of pragmatism in at that place. The idealism shown in the emotions and actions of the household when the male parent avoids the female parent s wellness state of affairs, he right there is avoiding pragmatism. He excessively falls apart but in a different manner, when the male parent changes the female parent s name and birth day of the month he is being idealical. The male parent wants the household to maintain an ideal household state of affairs but that is impossible for the St. Clair household. The pragmatism is shown in Lena s imaginativeness. She can accept the rough events and actions of life and is non afraid to believe about such things.


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