Summary


Objective Summary:
The story is about a child's expectance of a family
life filled with love and comforts, which is contrast
with his real working class family life.
Subjective Evaluation:
Soto, back to his age of nine, dreamed to live in a
family life that was uncomplicated in its routine. In
reality, Soto lived in a working class family; he
tried to change his family to imitate the perfect
families he absorbed from television. I think many
people have done what Soto did to fulfill the dream of
a perfect family they wanted. I am not excluded from
this either.
I have an experience of attempting to change my
family life. It was one year later after my family
first came to the US in 1995. I learned many new
things in this country that I never knew in China, and
I appreciated some living styles in American culture.
As I tended to like the styles of American life, I
expected my family like them, too. The thing I wanted
my family to change was the cooking style. I hated to
cook Chinese dinner because it took so long to
prepare. There are four kinds of food which are
considered essential parts of Chinese dinner: rice,
soup, vegetable, and meat; they are usually cooked
separately. I was not the one who was good at
cooking in my family, but I did have to cook when I
came home earlier than my parents and two sisters
still at work. One day, when we were sitting together
at the dinning table for dinner, I suggested to my
family that we could have sandwiches and precooked
food from the supermarket as our dinner since many
American families do. My parents looked at me in
bewilderment. Son, you must be kidding, right?
Those sandwiches and precooked food do not give you
enough nutrition for growing up, my dad said. And
precooked food is not good for your health, my mother
kept on. My elder sisters showed no interest in my
idea. I grew frustrated from their reaction, but I
did not give up. Evening after evening, I kept
bringing up the idea at the dinning table. My mother
finally permitted me to make one American dinner for
the family. That day, I went to the supermarket to
buy bread, ham, and chicken soup right after school.
I planned on making ham sandwiches and chicken soup
for the dinner. The dinner was ready and served at
our usual dinnertime. My mother tasted a spoon of the
chicken soup and said, It tastes like brine, nothing
but salty. Why don't they put some shark fins in it?
She refused to have another spoon. My sisters only
had a small bite of their sandwiches and then put them
down; my father barely finished one. Even I could not
have another one after finishing two. That night, my
parents and sisters had instant noodle for dinner.
Such a result was out of my expectation, but I had to
accept it. From then on, the subject of changing
cooking style is never brought up to the family
conversation.
I think Soto had the same feeling as I did when he
found out that there was no way to change his family
to be the perfect family he expected. When he
realized that, he went out to look for work; being
different from him, I tried to bring up another
subject to the family conversation.