I struggled with understanding the theme of Obasan after I read it in the summer. I asked my group members "Why is there such a intense contrast between the attitudes of Obasan and Aunt Emily? What is the meaning of attitude?". After talking with Melissa and Christina, they provided excellent explanation to my questions. Christina explained that Obasan is the model of the traditional Japanese woman while Aunt Emily challenges all Japanese social norms. My brain clicked and everything made sense to me. I connected the role of Obasan with the reoccurring theme of the chicken with the tongue cut out. The Japanese were merely chickens living among wolves with no voice. Furthermore, the fact that the Japanese grit their teeth and accept their lifestyle, it makes them far more manipulatable.
This week I learned that I should question everything. I should embark on an lifestyle that fits for me. If I have a developed opinion on something I will be stubborn. However, I am always open to other viewpoints and free speech because I have to defend the speech I hate the most. If I don't, I may be preaching one day what is right but it would not be protected.