Literary Analysis Mrs Spring Fragrance by Sui Sin
In the age of technology and globalization, cultural identity crisis has been a major concern. Immigration comes along with the dilemma of one trying to position themselves in the new cultural systems. Sui Sin Far in her text ″Mrs. Spring Fragrance” extensively explores this subject. Although she presents this in a lighthearted tone, she manages to deliver the intended message. This story emerges to be an outstanding work and appeals not only to the Chinese citizens but also the American natives. She convincingly describes the process of cultural transformation when one is caught up in two cultural identities. Ideally, cultural identity dilemma is not just a fictional issue but rather a real-life situation. Many people who leave their mother countries face such problems in the foreign lands. This paper seeks to carry out a literary analysis of the text and examine the cultural disparities in the text. The main characters, Spring Fragrances’ find it uneasy to incorporate the custom of their adopted country (America) to their mother country (Chinese culture). The story’s conflict arises from the misunderstandings between people and their cultures. In such cases, we often tend to question whether similar cultures can coexist in a similar environment. In this a context, the main issue is an identity crisis within the main characters.
Mr. Spring Fragrance is worried about his wife who is insistent in learning the Western poetry (Gale). Mr. Fragrance thinks that by this his wife is becoming more American than Chinese. He thinks that she does not need to learn any more American words. ‘Five years later her husband, speaking of her, said: “There are no more American words for her learning (97).”’ This remark underlines the speed at which the wife has assimilated Americanism. Mr. Fragrance, unlike his wife, can hardly interpret simple American quotations. He once overhears a conversation between his wife and Laura and could hardly comprehend it. He thus seeks assistance from a Washington University student. Mrs. Fragrance has advised Laura that,
“Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all? (98)”