A Generation's Prospective

Case Bierschenk

"Feathers from a Thousand Li Away"

I enjoyed the parable "Feathers from a Thousand LI Away" the most. In the story a "bird was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose" (Tan 17). The duck grew up into something it was not expected to be. The duck shows transformation like Ying-ying's transformation when she lost herself in "The Moon Lady". I enjoyed this parable the most because it helps outline one of the main themes in the book.

Suyuan & Jing-Mei Woo

If I were to read another mother-daughter pair in The Joy Luck Club it would be the stories of Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo. This is because the stories of the Woos show a connection to the other mother-daughter pairs. The Woos explain how they met these other families that were also from China. Jing-Mei's mom, Suyuan, "could sense that the women of these families also had unspeakable tragedies they had left behind in China and hopes they couldn't begin to express with their fragile english" (Tan 20).


The most powerful quote in The Joy Luck Club to me was when Ying-ying learned the truth about the Moon Lady. "So I walked closer yet, until I could see the face of the Moon Lady: shrunken cheeks, a broad oily nose, large glaring teeth, and red-stained eyes. A face so tired that she wearily pulled off her hair, her long gown fell from her shoulders. And as the secret wish fell from my lips, the Moon Lady looked at me and became a man" (Tan 82). This quote shows that everything is not as it appears to be, and the quote supports the theme of transformation in the book.

Thematic Paragraph

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that transformation is present in many of the characters as they become more or less than what they were expected to be. In the chapter The Rice Husband, Lena, Ying-ying's daughter, begins to eat less and starve herself. She eventually "'Become[s] so thin now you cannot see her,' says [Ying-ying]. 'She like a ghost, disappear'" (Tan 163). Lena's transformation is present as she becomes less and less of herself. Lena transforms into less of herself.