Cathy Songs poem Lost Sister explores the lives of two generations of Chinese women. One
generation chooses to leave China and begin a new life in America. the other chose to
remain in China and experience her culture the way it was meant to be. This is a
comparison of the two generations of women and how they are linked by culture and
seperated by lifestyle.
In China, women were put in subservient positions to society. They were quiet, obedient
creatures who gathered patience. Song speaks of how women learned to provide for their
families, as they were learning to stretch the family rice. Women were expected to serve a
purpose and be seen and not heard.
The following generation chose to go to America and lead a very different kind of life.
American culture is vastly different from that of China and women are given the
opportunity to experience freedom as a a first class citizen. This collective is described
as a sister across the ocean, who relinquished her name, giving the reader the impression
that this generation was rebelliously rejecting her culture, diluting jade green with the
blue of the Pacific.
However, these women were both losing and gaining by their choices. Chinese women who