Structure

The short story “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen has a chronological structure. The events follow the narrator across an unspecified period of time. 

At the beginning of the story, a flashback presents the narrator’s life before her husband’s death: 

My husband always used to say he is afraid of me, and in our restaurant, busboys and cooks all afraid of me too. Even the gang members come for protection money, they try to talk to my husband. When I am there, they stay away. If they come by mistake, they pretend they are come to eat. (p. 3, ll. 4-8)

The flashback highlights the narrator’s fierce behavior and hints at the future conflict between her and her daughter. 

A foreshadowing element is introduced when the narrator thinks at the difference between the Chinese an...

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