Mrs. Spring Fragrance Summary and Study Guide

Sui Sin Far

Mrs. Spring Fragrance

  • 62-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features an extended summary and 5 sections of expert analysis
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Mrs. Spring Fragrance Summary and Study Guide

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 62-page guide for “Mrs. Spring Fragrance” by Sui Sin Far includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like Dual Identity Among Immigrants and Dominant Cultures Dictate the Standard of Beauty.

Plot Summary

Edith Maude Eaton, who wrote under the pen name Sui Sin Far, wrote Mrs. Spring Fragrance in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. A Chicago press published the collection in 1912. Eaton, who is of Chinese-English heritage, was born in England and grew up in Canada. When she migrated to the western United States as an adult, Eaton penned her first published collection of short stories, Mrs. Spring Fragrance, which details the Asian-American experience.

During the time Eaton wrote the stories that make up Mrs. Spring Fragrance, racist US policies were targeting Chinese immigrants. The federal government passed the Page Act in 1875, which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited all Chinese laborers from immigrating. In 1892, passage of the Geary Act made it a requirement for Chinese immigrants to carry identification cards to prove they were in the country legally, or they could face deportation. Chinese immigrants rallied against what they called the “Dog Tag Law” in a large-scale act of civil disobedience. They filed over 7,000 lawsuits challenging the Chinese Exclusion Act, which the government eventually repealed in 1943.

Most of Eaton’s stories in this debut collection take place in the American Northwest, with a few taking place in Canada. Eaton centers most of her stories around marriage and family dynamics. From the 1840s throughout the years she wrote the stories, the women’s suffrage movement was gaining strength in the United States. The changing roles of women in American society had a direct impact on the marriages and family structures outlined in this collection. Not only are many of the characters navigating a culture new to them, but that culture itself is undergoing massive changes as the movement toward social reform and women’s rights moves forward. It was only eight years after the publishing of Mrs. Spring Fragrance that women got the right to vote.

Although Eatonuses the same name for characters in multiple stories, the character narratives are not continuous and the stories themselves are self-contained.

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