Flying Lessons & Other Stories - The Difficult Path Summary & Analysis

Oh, Ellen
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Summary

“The Difficult Path,” written by Grace Lin, centers on a young girl, Lingsi, who acts as a servant to the wealthy Li family in Imperial China. The story opens with the protagonist and narrator overhearing a conversation between Mrs. Li and Aunty Wang about her past. According to Mrs. Li, when Lingsi was purchased as a servant, her mother forced Mrs. Li to promise that when Lingsi was six, she would be taught to read. Mrs. Li reveals she “just said yes so I could take the baby and go” (24).

On the Lingsi’s sixth birthday, a new tutor arrives for the Li’s oafish son, FuDing. The Li family is concerned with the fact that they cannot get their ancestral incense to light. The tutor suggests that perhaps the Li’s ancestors are angry because “someone has stolen something or has...

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This section contains 1,182 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Flying Lessons & Other Stories Study Guide
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