* Lindo Jong tricking her superstitious mother-in-law into believing that her arranged marriage with her son was angering their ancestors, thus allowing her to leave it without dishonoring the promise she made to her parents.
** She also improved a pregnant servant woman's life who now had honor for her child AND a serious jump up in status.
* An-Mei's mother timing her suicide to fall two days before Chinese New Years', knowing that Wu Tsing would not want to deal with her vengeful spirit (folklore states that a dead person's spirit returns the third day after he or she dies to settle scores), especially not on such a holy day, and would treat her children well.
** Can we just acknowledge that this is the kind of book where someone COMMITTING SUICIDE is a crowning moment of awesome?
** In the film adaptation, An-Mei declares that now she has power over the household. At the funeral, she grabs the hand of her younger (half)brother, whom Second Wife stole away from An-Mei's mother, and shouts at Wu Tsing and Second Wife.
* The ending of the Magpipes story. An-Mei is told a tale about a turtle who must swallows its tears because the magpipes simply will feed on the tears and laugh at its misery. However, in the wake of An-Mei's mother suicide, An-Mei thinks of the ending where the grief of the impoverish and unfortunate becomes so great that they defeat the Magpipes.
* Rose standing her ground against her emotionally abusive ex-to-be, affirming that he cannot just cast her aside and just take his possessions just to settle in with his new bride.