The next morning, Winnie takes the divorce paper and Danru and asks Auntie Du and Helen to sign as witnesses, making it official. They will not, but they promise to help her escape. They take her to a boarding room where she stays until Wen Fu comes looking for her. Helen, not realizing Wen Fu's danger, had helped him find her.


These chapters represent both the lowest point for Winnie and the glimmers of a new beginning starting to show through. The war has reached a peak and the bombs begin to fall nearby and close to home. Wen Fu becomes more and more violent: he threatens Winnie with a gun, rapes her, abuses her, and threatens her. Winnie feels as if there is no way out, whenever she tries to escape he finds a way to pull her back in. She feels that those who have gotten away, like Min, are lucky. Even her dead babies are lucky, and she finds ways to have abortions so as to not bring any more children into the world in which she lives. The Winnie of earlier chapters would not have had an abortion, and she would not have known even how to go about one. Winnie has moments where she even wants to end her life.

Tan chooses to bring both the peak of the war and the peak of Wen Fu's violence into play at the same time. She does this so that there is a kind of "pathetic fallacy" occurring. Pathetic Fallacy is a literary device in which exterior elements such as weather become a mirror for internal elements such as feelings and thoughts. In these chapters Wen Fu's violence is mirrored by the bombs that fall on the city and by the Japanese planes that are a constant threat. There are also symbols, however, that there is a new beginning on the rise. For example, Helen's glasses are a symbol. It is Winnie who leads Helen to be able to "see." Winnie also, for the first time, is realizing the reality of her situation and is trying to find a way out. Also, the fact that she receives a "new name" is important because this re-naming, this conversion from Weili to Winnie, is the glimpse of the new beginning that she will eventually be able to have with Jimmy Louie. Giving someone a name is a kind of baptism and a kind of rebirth. Winnie will enter a life with Jimmy in which she will try to forget her past and begin anew. We already know that she will eventually marry Jimmy Louie, and so we know how to read the devices and symbols that Tan gives us throughout these chapters.

Relationships are another important subject of these chapters. It becomes evident, as it has been evident throughout, that Winnie does not agree with the way that Helen views the world. Under this idea, the glasses, of course, take on new symbolism, illustrating that they do not have the same way of "seeing" and that Winnie thinks Helen's way is wrong and "blurry." It is apparent that no one really knows how dangerous Wen Fu is to Winnie since it is Helen, the person who had helped her escape, that brings Wen Fu to Winnie. Helen is not a bad person, and she probably thought she was doing the right thing and giving Wen Fu a chance to apologize and be kinder. Auntie Du is also a good woman, and yet she does not sign the divorce papers because she does not truly understand Winnie's predicament either.

Furthermore, there are other relationships that are explored in the novel such as that between Winnie as a wife and Min as her husband's concubine. This is a particularly touching relationship in which Winnie acts as an older sister. It is a special relationship through which good moments are shared and serves to reinforce our faith in people and our faith in Winnie's capacity for love and goodness.