The Valley of Amazement Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Valley of Amazement.
This section contains 497 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Valley of Amazement Summary & Study Guide Description

The Valley of Amazement Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan.

Fate, identity, love, and belonging are themes that wind through the lives of three generations of women in The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. The novel details the turbulent lives that the three women have led and the circumstances that have caused them to be separated from each other. The women find their way back to one another. Their healing begins as they see and understand their own lives through the eyes of one another. The Valley of Amazement is a beautiful story of separation, hope, and love between a mother and daughter.

Although she believes she is a full-blooded American, Violet Miniturn’s life is turned upside down when she learns she is actually half-Chinese. Her father, whom Violet never knew, visits her mother’s courtesan house in Shanghai to tell her she is now free to meet her son Teddy. Violet is hurt when her mother makes plans to uproot their lives in Shanghai and move back to San Francisco where she can have a life with her son. Violet’s anger turns to betrayal when Fairweather, a friend of her mother’s, sells Violet to a courtesan house to pay his debt to the Chinese Green Gang.

During her life as a courtesan, Violet becomes reacquainted with Loyalty Fang. As a boy, Loyalty had visited the courtesan house in which Violet lived with her mother. He was badly scratched by Violet’s cat. Loyalty buys Violet’s virginity, and Violet fantasizes he’ll marry her. Loyalty tells her he won’t propose, Violet is too suspicious and nagging, but he does promise to be her lifelong friend. Through Loyalty, Violet meets Edward. The two have a daughter named Flora. Edward cannot legally marry Violet because he is already married to a woman who tricked him into believing she was pregnant with his baby. Shortly after Flora’s birth, Edward’s wife is able to legally take Flora away from Violet because the birth certificate lists her, Minerva Ivory, as Flora’s mother. It is at this point that Violet makes a promise to herself that she will find Flora and get her back.

Through her experience of losing Flora, Violet gains understanding of her mother’s actions leading up to their separation. She contacts her mother, who had been told Violet was dead, and enlists her help in finding Flora. Violet gets her opportunity to introduce herself to her daughter when Flora finds the gifts her Uncle Loyalty, who is now Violet’s husband, has been sending her through the years. It is through a reunion in Shanghai that Flora begins to remember her years with her mother before Minerva took her away. At the end of the novel, Violet is finally able to say goodbye to the possibilities of what her life might have been if she had not been kidnapped. She embraces the good that has come in her life even from the cruel twist of fate.

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This section contains 497 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Valley of Amazement Study Guide
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