Battle Hymn of the Tiger Son

I’ve been waiting to get this book by Amy Chua for about 5 months now, with the hold line in our public library system (King County Library, I love you!) reaching 700 people. Finally, it’s mine, and I tear through the book.

This controversial book about the way Amy raises her children was quite brilliantly written. Unlike how other people have marked it as a guide to how she is pointing out the flaws in American society, she is instead exposing herself through wit and truth to how she was able to raise her children. It is an enduring story about love, perhaps not in the way that we tend to think of it. Tough love is her approach, and she wields her power quite fiercely. However, the most touching portion of the book is the third part, where her younger daughter becomes surly and the arguments begin. It is through the trials and most harrowing of times where we see Amy at her most exposed, worrying for her daughter, trying to figure out the best way.

Let me review about my life. I’m still a young student, beginning Sophomore year of high school in a couple of days. As you may have guessed, I am very much Asian, in both ethnicity and in lifestyle. Like this “Tiger mother”, I do believe that you have to put everything you can into what you do. But, there’s a difference here! I’m the one in charge of my life. I’m the one pursuing a better grade! This isn’t because I’ve been brainwashed, no. It is because I genuinely care about what I do in the future. The understanding that my decisions create my world have truly changed me.

While the book has hit home on many portions, such as the intense criticism from parents, it does reaffirm something that I know is true for all mothers: they do what they can because they love their children. What is the opposite of love? It isn’t hate; hate is still emotionally charged. To love someone, you care intensely about them. Apathy, the suppression of emotions, is truly the opposite. Amy Chua obviously very much loves her children to care so much about them. We may not recognize it right now, but this is the intense commitment that all mothers aspire to be.

I will always remember my mother’s love for me, be it the stereotypical type of kindness and gentleness or the harsh tough love when it comes to studies.

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