A Beautiful Return

610 Words3 Pages
Beautiful Return In the essay entitled “Homeward Bound,” Janet Wu writes of her long lost grandmother. Her grandmother was unknown to her and her family until a letter was received with the news of her father’s family’s survival during the Japanese invasion and the Communist revolution. To her father’s surprise, his brother and mother were alive living in China. Wu and her grandmother lived diverse lives and were worlds apart including the tradition of feet binding and the language differences. The first difference between Wu and her grandmother is the feet binding. Many years ago, China practiced feet binding and because of the growth in the immobile population, the tradition was forbidden because they could no longer afford to be carried. Wu’s grandmother’s feet have been bound since birth; therefore, they were abnormally small compared to what they were supposed to be. Due to this cruel binding, her grandmother moves with a delayed frail limp that reveals not only her age, but her traumatized past. Because of her past, Wu’s grandmother will forever have a recollection of her childhood pains. Wu states, “The bindings that long ago made her cry,” when she recalled a moment with her grandmother (572). On the other hand Wu speaks about her view of feet binding. Being raised in an American culture, Wu was unfamiliar with the act of “binding” and in looking at her grandmother, she comes to realize the remarkable differences between their worlds. The most noticeable difference her feet. Compared to her grandmother, Wu’s size five feet were excessively large. Wu thinks about how over the years she obtained calluses from physical activity throughout her life; whereas, her grandmother was never able to run or jump throughout her entire life due to the binding of feet. “Thinking of her tiny doll-like feet,” Wu ponders on the differences of their two worlds

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