An analysis of the short story “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen shows that the narrative has a chronological structure, mixed with the narrator’s flashbacks.
The main character is the narrator, a 68-year-old Chinese woman who lives with her family in the US. The narrator’s way of thinking clashes with her daughter’s, which leads to a conflict between them.
The physical setting of the story is the US. The events take place in an unnamed city, but the focus is mainly on the park where the narrator takes her granddaughter, Sophie. The story’s social setting focuses on how immigrants adapt to American society. This idea is illustrated by the narrator, who is judgmental of the American way of thinking and behaving. The social setting also focuses on issues such as mixed marriages and gender roles.
The events in the story are told by a first-person narrator, who is also the main character. The narrator’s account is biased because of her Chinese education and because of her prejudices against her son-in-law’s family.
The language used in the short story is informal. The narrator speaks in broken English, which reflects her background and which makes the story more realistic.
A full analysis of the short story can be found in the following pages.