As the title of Amy Chua’s book, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother implies, the book is meant to draw attention to the tension between Western and Chinese methods of parenting, which are discussed throughout the book. Throughout her book, the author makes it clear that she has set high standards for herself and her two children, Sophia and Lulu, and that she has adhered to those standards while raising them. In addition to not obtaining a C or lower in school, these young people must also refrain from participating in school performances or going on sleepovers. The kids are also told not to take part in school productions or sleepovers.
Even though the high criteria may look onerous, Amy Chui says they are popular among Chinese parents. That means following Chinese rules, which are extremely strict for a woman of her generation in the U.S. Her husband, Jed, was raised in a liberal Jewish home where his parents emphasized personal freedom and responsibility while teaching him to cherish his views. In this paper, I will compare the relationship between Chinese and Western parenting styles in relation to the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The couple pledges to raise their children following Chinese culture by teaching them responsibility, discipline, and mutual respect to prepare for their future.
With the same drive and focus that she used to get into Harvard Law School, she aspires to encourage success in her children. In contrast to most non-Chinese parents, Amy Chua feels that placing a high value on academic accomplishment harms children’s growth (Monica, 2016). Because of this, she was able to graduate with honors from Harvard. As a result of her experiences with her children, she wrote a book about them.
According to Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Chinese parents are better at parenting than their Western counterparts. Chua begins with statistical data to make a clear distinction between Chinese and Western parents. According to Chua, “there are several studies out there that reveal substantial and quantitative disparities between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting” (p. 5).
More research has shown significant and quantitative disparities between Chinese and Western parents when it comes to parenting, according to Ms. Cheng (Chua p. 5). After that, she backs up her claim with examples like these: “70-plus percent of Western women say parents should develop a child’s appreciation of learning by not placing too much pressure on academic performance. Just 0% of Chinese moms, on the other hand, felt the same way” (Chua p. 5). She can convince the reader of the validity of her claims by using statistics.
When it comes to statistical evidence, the consensus is that it is trustworthy, and the reader has no reason to doubt the author’s assertions. When describing why Chinese parents do better than Western parents, the author draws a contrast between Chinese and Western parents early on in the book (Lui, 2020). For the reader to have a more excellent knowledge of Chinese culture, they should know how Chinese parents differ from Western parents. Therefore, the reader is better prepared for her argument as a result of the reader’s increased receptivity to her persuasive strategies.
Lulu, Amy Chua’s younger daughter, irritates mom despite abiding by the strict rules Amy Chua imposes on her household. Because of her rebellious nature and unwavering determination, Lulu puts her mother’s confidence in her to the ultimate test. When she and her mother get into an argument, she screams at her mother, “I’m going to murder you! There is no such person like me – I’m not Chinese at all! I’m not interested in being half-Chinese. What is it about that thought that you can’t seem to get rid of? I have a strong dislike for the violin. My existence is something I loathe. Your entire family is abhorrent to me, including you” (Chua, p. 205). Aside from Amy Chua, Amy Chua’s older daughter Sophia is an inspiring example of the virtuous cycle in action. Lulu will only succeed in violin lessons if she tears up and fights with her teacher. On the other hand, Amy Chua is not afraid to show herself in a less-than-flattering light, and her openness helps her shed light on the sacrifices parents make to raise their children.
Chua also uses a counterargument to clear up any lingering questions the reader may have regarding her claim. Through her children’s speeches at their grandmother’s funeral, Chua discovers that, despite Western parents’ more significant emphasis on happiness, her children are no happier than Western parents. Although their parents were brutally demanding and oppressively rigorous, many Asian children I have met describe themselves as committed to and highly appreciative of their parents — seemingly free of bitterness or resentment — she adds (Chua 36). Some readers believe that children raised by Chinese parents have a higher chance of being unhappy than children raised by Western parents.
Before the reader can finish the book and reject Chua’s perspective, she reacts to this claim and debunks it. To top it all off, her counterargument is based on the same set of values that hers is. The reader is more likely to agree with her when she considers others who believe that Western children are happier than Chinese youngsters. Thus, whatever doubts the reader had regarding the validity of her ethos are allayed while simultaneously reinforcing it.
Amy Chua also uses the book to draw attention to the differences between Chinese and Western parents’ parenting approaches. She asserts that most Western parents are overly worried about their children’s self-esteem issues. On the other hand, Chinese parents believe that they know best for their children, even if it means denying their natural likes and inclinations. Lulu enrolls in piano lessons and excels, but Amy Chua is disappointed since Sophia is also enrolled in the same class. Because she does not want the kids to compete, she orders each girl enrolls in a different instrument class to prevent competition.
As a result, Chinese parents make decisions for their children instead of encouraging them to make their own choices. They choose options that they believe are in their best interests. When it comes to parenting their children, Jed has no chance to comply with Amy Chua’s wishes. He first opposes Amy Chua’s use of harsh and severe approaches in raising their children, but he soon comes to terms with her after seeing how successful her methods of raising their children have been.
Whenever Chua sees her children becoming sluggish, she gives them a gift to cheer them up. As their battle over Lulu’s violin lessons heats up, her relationship with her younger daughter gets deeper. This is when Amy Chua begins to have doubts about the soundness of her strategy and its ability to deliver on its promises. As a result of her efforts, Lulu receives the violin and feels justified in her approach. Amy Chua thinks that this is enough proof for her to be confident in the parenting of her disobedient daughter. As much as Lulu and her mother disagreed at one time, it was because Amy Chua wanted her to be the best at a specific item, so she offered them both a puppy in exchange for her being the best. Aside from that, she threatens to withdraw the favors they have granted if they fail. For example, after Sofia could not learn a piece, she threatened to burn all of Sofia’s stuffed animals if the next time wasn’t perfect.
The author presents herself as a typical Chinese mother who believes that she is the only one who knows what is best for her children and does not control what they do or how they act. The book also illustrates the differences between Chinese and Western approaches to child-rearing, showing how western parents are frequently more concerned with their children’s low self-esteem issues than Chinese parents are. Using statistics, personal experience, and a counterargument, Amy Chua hopes to persuade other parents that Chinese parenting is better than Western parenting. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a memoir in which Chua talks about how she learned to be a good parent from her parents and how it has helped her children succeed.
Chua, A. (2011). Battle hymn of the tiger mother. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Lui, P. P. (2020). Tiger Mother. The Wiley encyclopedia of personality and individual differences: clinical, applied, and cross‐cultural research, (pp. 335-339). Web.
Monica, M. (2016). Book review of Battle hymn of the tiger mother written by Amy Chua (Doctoral dissertation, Diponegoro University). Web.