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The Soong Sisters Essay

2062 words - 8 pages

History is not created through chance, but instead it is made through the work of inspiring individuals. An example of this would be how the Soong Sisters affected both China and other countries with their intelligent and powerful attitudes toward the world. Although they were known as sisters, these three women worked independently for many of their most powerful years, and eventually separated because of their husbands. Soong Ching-Ling and Soong Mei-Ling were more influential and significant working alone than together because of their personalities, their husbands, and their different influences upon different audiences.
The Soong sisters were very close to each other at the start of their lives, but always had distinctions between each other. In childhood, “…lively little Mei-ling wishe[d] she had been born a boy so she could ‘do things’. Sweet, shy Ching-ling astonishe[d] them all by the ardor of her determination to serve the revolution which [was] prophesied by her father and his friend, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Clever, capable Ai-ling [was] looking forward to college”(Spencer 92).

Each sister was known for something different, and this led to their individual independence later in life. These characteristics are important because they described Ai-ling as being smart, Ching-ling as being pretty and quiet, and Mei-ling as being charming. These all showed the start of the variations that began to set them apart. Mei-ling was the youngest sister and Ching-ling the second oldest. This caused divergences to take place in both their education and how they were raised. Ching-ling was educated at the same university as her older sister, Wesleyan College in Georgia. Although Mei-ling also got accepted, she transferred to be closer to her brother who was studying at Harvard (Hahn). Moving to another school caused Mei-ling to receive a slightly different education than her sisters. Consequently, this broadened her view of America and allowed her to understand beyond Asian countries. Ching-ling did not experience as much of America as Mei-ling did, causing her to be a very country-oriented woman. Ching-ling was most supportive of her birthplace. Although her father encouraged her to go international and experience America, Ching-ling quickly returned home after graduation. As the second-oldest sister, Ching-ling had different opinions about countries compared to Mei-ling. Ching-ling had a more specific view of the range of countries and was mainly pro-Chinese, while Mei-ling had a broader view and believed that anyone who deserved help should receive it.
Soong Ching-Ling and Soong Mei-Ling developed different interests. After the revolution and war between Sun Yat-sen and Yuan Shi-kai, the two sisters took contradicting paths and did not speak to each other for long periods of time. The sisters separated when Mei-ling moved to Taiwan with her sister Ai-ling, while Ching-Ling stayed and supported the People’s Republic of China. This was one main...

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