from the story of the joy luck club
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A Chinese immigrant, when she lived in China, had bought a swan from a vendor who told her it was a duck who "stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose." The woman dreamed of having a daughter who, like the swan, "became more than what was hoped for." But when she arrived in America, the officials took the swan away from her. All she could save of it was a feather. She had a daughter, just as she hoped, who spoke only American English and lived a comfortable life. She wanted to give her daughter the swan feather, but only when she could explain its meaning "in perfect American English." I think this has to do with her daughter understanding her roots. The daughter must understand the toil and hardship that went into making her comfortable life possible for her.