Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SG ~ second set of questions

1.  What was it like for immigrant Chinese people at Angel Island (see actual photo above of women waiting for their hearings)?

2.  What were some of the hardships Pearl and May went through -- before, during, and after their stay on Angel Island?

3.  What were paper sons?  How did paper sons drive the storyline?

4.  What did you think of China City, the tourist attraction that was intended to look and feel like an "authentic" Chinese city?

5.  Why do you think nobody insisted that May take care of her own husband?

This is the Garnier Building, seen from the Los Angeles Street side, where Pearl and May lived when they first moved to Los Angeles.  The cars indicate the photo was probably taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s.  Today the Garnier Building is home to the Chinese American Museum.


Bonnie Jacobs said...

I have posted another set of questions about Shanghai Girls.

Shirley said...

1. The interrogation that the Chinese immigrants faced and the difficulty in being allowed to stay was much different than that the European immigrants faced on Ellis Island.

2. Pearl and May faced daily interrogation as well as physical hardships while on Angel Island. After Pearl realized why May was prolonging their stay, they dealt with the coverup, pregnancy, and delivery. They also dealt with the shock of learning that the promised wealth of the family of their husbands was a lie.

3. Paper sons are sons on paper only. Chinese wanting to go to America bought the paper indicating that they were a deceased American born son. All of Louie's sons except Vern were paper sons.

4. The fakeness of China City fit well with the other lies of the story. Having Mexicans as rickshaw pullers contributed to the falseness as well as a reminder of how ignorant the public was.

5. Caring can't be forced. May wouldn't care for Vern. Pearl would and did. May brought a source of income to the family and the family was willing to accept her refusal to care for Vern in return.