Why We Should Never Give up Essay Example

Sometimes going against someone’s wishes to do what is best for yourself may be the toughest decision, but in the end, it will be the most beneficial for the future. When Frances Ching must choose between making her mom happy and doing what’s best for herself, she has to come to the hard realization that her mom is only thinking about herself. At the end of Bitter Melon by Cara Chow, Frances finally works up the courage to leave her home and go to college at Scripps. In the beginning, she would have never dreamed of doing something like this, going against her mom and running away from her home to pursue what she wants. Frances’s development throughout the story is remarkable, going from never thinking to question her mom to questioning everything her mom does and even leaving her for college. As Frances is leaving her mom, she has a harder time leaving her than she expected, noting that, “Without looking at her, without saying good-bye, I walk out, tearing myself away from her, away from this apartment, until the part of me that she is holding on to snaps off,” beginning her new journey on her own (Chow 304). Saying that she has to tear herself away from her mom, away from her old life, shows how much control her mom had her under. Her mom had Frances’s whole life planned out for her, private school, best grades in the school, UC Berkeley, becoming a doctor, taking care of her mom, but as she began to slowly fall off of this path, her mom began to lose the control she had enforced on her daughter for her whole life.

Frances is similar to a volcano in that all of her life, the stress put on her by her mom and school has slowly been boiling up inside of her until eventually, she cannot take it. She begins to slowly go against her mom, whether it’s going to a dance or skipping a Princeton Review session, until she gains the courage to stand up to her mom and rebuke against her. Frances weakens her mom by not talking to her or making her look bad in public, but her mom is unable to change her ways to let Frances have the best life. When she walks into her speech class her first day of school, Frances begins to learn what her mom has been doing to her, manipulating her to only believe her mom. In one of the most critical moments of her story, Frances says that “She’s trying to convince me that I’m imagining things. But this time, I won’t be fooled” (Chow 291). Frances completely realizes what her mom has been doing, and tells herself with confidence that she is stronger than her mother. All of the stress from her mom has finally been lifted with this realization, and the stress of school goes away with it.

While her mom may believe that homework is good for Frances and is only benefiting her, without actually experiencing it, it is impossible for her to realize that Frances is getting more negative benefits from homework as compared to positives. Frances stays up late working on all of her homework, only to have to repeat it everyday. The uniqueness of her situation, however, is that her mom does most, if not all, of the chores around the house to give Frances time to work on her schoolwork. This is not the case for the everyday teen, with most students having to balance schoolwork with chores, sports, social activities, and sometimes a job. With her mom preventing her from doing these other activities, she is creating other ways that homework is detrimental to Frances’s preparation for the future. Her mom is denying her the right to learn some of the common things that everyday people do. While Frances can understand why her mom puts so much stress on the importance of schoolwork, she is unable to understand why she cannot have a normal teenager’s life, going to dances and being involved in clubs. When she is put in speech instead of calculus, it also occurs to Frances that this class might not be as stressful as calculus. Chow can also be seen as being against excessive homework, putting part of herself into Frances and writing from some of her personal experiences. Frances’s development through the story to lead to possibly the biggest moment of her life was worth fighting for and all of the hardships she went through.


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