Good Literature Review About “Title”
Chua’s article, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior,” claims that Chinese parents are superior. The angle she used to emphasis the argument of Chinese parents as superior to Western parents is attempted through humor, irony, and in a self-reprimanding manner. She is fairly successful at the attempt in certain ways.
The use of irony as a method of humor is placed throughout the article, in an attempt to be funny. Western audiences did not seem to understand or appreciate any humor in the article, instead referring to her as a monster (Kate Zernike, 3). This prompted Chua to respond to the comments by assuring her audience that the article was intended to be humorous, (New York Times, Retreat of the Tiger Mother, 2011). A dis-connection with the audience would be the reason associated with the negative criticism and lack of amusement in the article. One example in Chua’s misjudgment in her perception of humor was when, “One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early” (Amy Chua, 8). The idea that ruining a party would be funny does not make sense to the audience, which is evidence of her inability to properly incorporate humor. An example in effective use of humor by Chua was shown in the description of how Chinese parents would scold their children for getting a B, while Western parents praise theirs for the same grade. This example would certainly put a smile on the faces of the audience.
Chua uses the title of her article to immediately inform the reader of the ironic nature of material that they are about to read. There are many instances of irony in the piece of work. It is indeed ironic that those considered superior lack respect for their children and subject them to all forms of abuse in the name of academic success. Although the title may not have been sarcastic to her Western audience, some readers still found irony in the title, as well as the entire article. Chua says that Chinese children are not allowed to do particular things, such as play and watch TV. Ironically, she goes further to portray that such children were superior despite having grown up with parents who were not focused being sensitive to their children’s feelings. The choice of Chinese women denying their children with any form of socialization or interaction with friends could be a risk in developing their social skills. It is also ironic that those who regard bringing up well-rounded children, Western mothers, are considered inferior to those who insist on academic excellence as the only admirable feature of parental superiority. An example of irony is shown by Chua in how a Chinese mother can literally use the word “garbage” to her child without affecting the kid, but the Western father who tells his daughter she is “beautiful and competent” is the one who feels like “garbage” when her dad tells her this. Again, irony is used to show the effectiveness and superiority of the Chinese parenting.
It may be possible that Chua is ashamed of the manner in which she raised her own children as the motivation for the article, although the evidence of regret is not seen in the article. The verbal abuse she hauled at her daughter, for example, appears deplorable to those who heard it and caused them to break into tears, (Amy Chua, 8). Chua sarcastically questions the behavior of other mothers, “When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized” (Chua, 8) In another instance, Chua criticizes Chinese parents for exhibiting a know-it-all attitude, which overrides all of their children's own desires and preferences (Amy Chua, 4) Her own confession in an interview that the article was self-reprimanding reveals that she had learned her mistakes and had opted to reprimand herself in writing. In an interview with the Times, she revealed that the article was meant to be self-scolding (New York Times, Retreat of the Tiger Mother, 2011). “In retrospect, these coaching suggestions seem a bit extreme,” she writes (New York Times, Retreat of the Tiger Mother, 2011).
Amy Chua wrote a somewhat controversial article on the superiority of Chinese parents hoping that the use of humor through irony and self-deprecation would entertain the readers. Unfortunately, the response from many Westerners was negative and created problems for Chua that required her to publicly address in an attempt to fix the mess that seems to have been made by her article.
Amy, Chua. Why Chinese Mother are Superior. New York Times Updated Jan. 8, 2011
New York Times. Tiger Mothers Never Retreat: They Lure You In. 17th January, 2011. Retrieved from http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2011/01/tiger-mothers-never-retreat-they-lure.html
Kate Zernike. Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother’ Published: January 14, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/fashion/16Cultural.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Jemima, Lewis. Hay Festival: Amy Chua interview. Published in The Telegraph on 23rd, May 2011. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/8523264/Hay-Festival-2011-Amy-Chua-interview.html
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