Summary Of The Story: . Great-Grandfather killed a begger.Basement and Mother tells horrible story.Lena starts seeing horrible things.ChinatownThe family moved to San Francisco to an Italian neighbor hood.Mother begins to move around everything.Lena begins to hear another girl being beat up th
1. The Voice From The Wall Amy Tann By:
2. Summary Of The Story: Great-Grandfather killed a begger.
Basement and Mother tells horrible story.
Lena starts seeing horrible things.
The family moved to San Francisco to an Italian neighbor hood.
Mother begins to move around everything.
Lena begins to hear another girl being beat up through the wall.
Mother (Betty) in the hospital.
Teresa came to Lena’s room.
3. Characters Lena- the narrator seems to be the middle person because she has to be the interpreter for her dad and her mom. she also seems to be nosey because she listens every night once her bed is moved to the wall. curious- she wants to find out more about Teresa.
The mother- scared of life, since she arrived in Oakland she thought that everything was bad and things were out to get her. she is Very Protective of her daughter wherever they go. For example when they are shopping she lets go of Lena's hand to get her wallet but then snatches it back really quickly afraid of what could happen. She seems to be suffering from OCD. With all the rearranging in the house which she seems to do everyday.
The father- uninformed and also out of the loop. He cant really communicate with his wife and looks towards Lena to interpret. He also tries to baby his wife claiming that she is tired and that's why she is acting the way she does after the baby dies. He is also worrisome, he comes home asking how Lena is but looks passed her and then at his wife to see how she is.
Teresa- she is the person who makes Lena understand that there are people whose lives are worse than hers. She also is mischievous because she knows that her mother will be worried about her. She plays the trick on her and climbs down the fire escape outside Lena's window.
4. What is the significance of the title? **It directly relates to the story.
**The protagonist, Lena, hears her neighbors through her bedroom wall at night.
5. How is the story told? First Person
Who is the narrator? Lena
What perspective is used? Observer Narration
What is the tone of the language? Scared but curious.
Is the narrator reliable? Yes and No
6. In the beginning-the author focuses on Lena’s mother and her life coming to America, the author shows how weak and fragile her mom is by using the man in the basement to inform Lena of the horrible things in life. Lena’s mom is very afraid of the world.
Towards the end-the author focuses on Lena finally understanding that there are those that are worse off then they are. Look closely at the opening and ending. On what does the author and narrator focus?
7. What is the major theme of the story? Explicate.
That no matter what you think is bad, someone has it worst then you do.
Are there any minor themes?
8. How does the character transform in the story? Her transformation from finding content with her
family only b/c she thought the family next door was worse off than her own, to realizing that the family next-door was not as horrid as her imagination led her to believe, maybe even better off than her family.
transformation of imagining the worst possible
things, to now hoping for her family, mainly her mother, to become well.
Mother's transformation into a ghost.
9. Are there any allusions in the story that could add meaning to your interpretation? the man in the basement represents life
and the horrible things in it.
the baby crib represents…….
The wall-by going through the wall, it opens your eyes to those around you.
10. What are the symbols or other figurative elements in the story? *2nd paragraph, 1st page: "this same man looking like a smashed vase hastily put back together.”-symbolizes how situations can make people shatter.
*Ghosts: she describes her mother as becoming a ghost- symbolizes death without dying; possibly the worst possible thing.
*Mothers sense of imbalance: symbolizes the imbalance of the
family's structure; mother and father communicating through
their 10yr old daughter.
*The crib: symbolizes hope of new begging's that will now never come.
*Mother's death of baby: symbolizes her mothers further transformation into a ghost.
*The Wall: symbolized a barrier of knowledge, allowing imagination to take over and produce thoughts of the worst possible things that could happen.
11. What seems to be the author's primary goal/purpose in writing this short story? That bad stuff can happen.
Maybe what you think is so bad is really not.
12. What is your reaction to this story? How does your reaction influence your reading? My reaction to this story was that it was very confusing and somewhat hard to follow. I felt bad for Lena for having a mother who convinced her that life was like big bad wolf who was out to get her.
I think the author was trying to say that no matter how hard you think life is, its not as bad as you think and when you think it cant get any worse, it really cant and things will start to look up even when you think that they wont. I really feel that the author really gets the point across
13. The End