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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The Kitchen God’s Wife is a Chinese story told in the backdrop of China. Though China is the major setting, it is interspersed with American background in the beginning as well as in the end. This shift in the setting is significant to sustain the interest of the reader. Amy Tan has diligently chosen the settings. Her aim is to cater to the interests of both the Western and the Asian readers. The Chinese culture is unfamiliar to most Americans. So she begins the story and ends it in America, but the bulk of it constitutes Chinese characters and Chinese culture.
The story begins in the city of Shanghai. Weili stays here, in her father Jiang Sao’s yen mansion, till six years of age. The trips undertaken jointly by Winnie and her mother are extremely exciting for Winnie. Weili loves her mother deeply and those days are the most memorable moments in her life.
These are the places in China, where the major action occurs. In order to point out the vast differences existing between the two countries and make the story more effective, she intersperses it with American settings at the beginning and in the end.