Four Disconnections

Caroline Baker

Favorite Parable

My favorite parable in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club is "Queen Mother of the Western Skies". I enjoy this parable because it gives me a sense of happiness and hope for this grandma and her grandchild. The other parables talk about mothers and their daughters not understanding each other but this one speaks of hope for the future. Essentially, this parable gives me the notion that there will be a positive connection later on for the two characters unlike the other parables.

Mother Daughter Pair I Would Read

The mother daughter pair I would like to read in Joy Luck Club is the Jong family. This family interests me because it is talked about in the family I read, the Woo family. Jing-Mei Woo and Wavery Jong have had a rivalry ever since they were young. Their mothers always tried to portray them as the better child. I would like to read how Waverly's mother pushed her to become her best and compare it to how Jing-Mei's mother pushed her.


Throughout The Joy Luck Club the four mother daughter pairs have a lack of understanding for one another. Each daughter has their own idea how they want to live their lives, contrary to their mother's. The daughters have grown up in a different setting, America, vs. their parents living their younger years in China. The Joy Luck Club mother's are worried that their daughters will "see that joy and luck do not mean the same thing to their daughters, that to (those) closed American-born minds 'joy luck' is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation" (Tan 41). This quote reaches out to me because it shows how much the mothers care about preserving and passing down their beliefs and traditions. Even thought I think that the mothers could have carried out their worries for their daughters in a different way, I do admire that they care about their daughters enough and their culture to try to preserve them both.

Theme Paragraph

In the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, she presents the idea that your voice may be difficult to express when other's cultural expectations of yourself are vastly different. Throughout the book, Jing-Mei (June) and her mother, Suyuan, disagreed on what June should do with her life. Before her mother dies, June and her mother were "again having this argument about (she) being a failure, a 'college drop-off,' about (her) going back to finish"(Tan 37). June's mother wanted her to finish school but June wanted to be a writer. When June was younger, her mother forced her into piano lessons, trying to make her a prodigy. For a while, June put up with the endless lessons every week with Mr. Chong, her piano teacher, but after her recital, she had enough of being someone she wasn't. After embarrassing her mother and not perfecting her piano piece, she accused her mother of "'want(ing) (her) to be someone that (she) is not'", and accusing her that "'(she'll) never be the kind of daughter (her mother) want(s) (her) to be'"(Tan 142)! In this last quote, June finally expresses her voice to her mom how they do not have the same expectations and aspirations for herself.