Pair Of Tickets In “A Pair of Tickets” by Amy Tan the main character struggles because she is dealing with feelings of resentment for her mother, because her mother never told her of her older half sisters. She is bothered because she gets a feeling of family that as an American she has never known. This along with the fact that she was never told about her sisters by her now deceased mother makes her feel as if she had never really known her. She is also depressed by the way the rest of her family acts as if they remember her mother so well when she feels so distant to her. Throughout the entire story the theme of family is present.
The main character feels distance from her family because they were all raised in the traditional Chinese ways while she was raised in a much more western environment. She is just beginning to feel Chinese herself. Tan says that”once you are born Chinese, you cannot help but feel and think Chinese” (160). I think that to her Chinese is the family that she never knew she had. This makes her feel resentment towards her departed mother.
She feels that in order to make things right between her and her mother she need to go and do what her mother wanted to do and meet her long lost sisters. Even though she has never met these sisters it is obvious that she cares for them. If she did not care for them why would she have had her aunt write them a letter explaining there mothers death. They are bound by this new Chinese idea of family that the main character is now feeling because of her mothers death. The fact that her mother never told her about her older twin sisters also bothers her.
She wonders to herself if she was a disappointment to her mother. She feels as if she had never really known her mother now. She also feels silly for many of the things that she said because she now knows how they must have made her mother feel. A good example of this is the time that her mother had suggested that they go back to China on a visit. Jing-Mei didnt want to go because of selfish reasons.
If she had known that her mother had wanted to go back not just for fun but to ease her soul by looking for her long lost daughters her reaction probably would have been a different one. Her mother had kept a secret from Jing-Mae that had caused her much pain and Jing-Mae is struggling with why. The fact that she has sister has entirely changed her view of her mother and that is hard for anyone to cope with. She thinks that to know her mother now she needs to go meet this Skeleton from her mothers closet. Jing-Mae is just like anyone else that has to deal with the shock of finding out something unusual about someone that they thought they knew well. The skeletons from her mothers closet scare her but she feels that she need to face them in order to get back in touch with her departed mother. Dealing with these feelings is also helping her to get in touch with her Chinese ancestry. She doesnt feel like she held family as highly as her mother had wanted her to and by getting in touch with them now she is learning about herself and her mother at the same time.