A Trail From The Past

Elizabeth Ann

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Parable

My favorite parable is “The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates”. The parable is about a little girl who's mom told her to not ride her bike around their corner or else she would fall. The little girl asked her mother how she knew this and she replied, “ ‘It is in a book, The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates, all of the bad things that could happen to you outside the protection of this house,’ ” (Tan 87). The little girl did not listen and went around the corner anyway. She fell off her bike before she reached the corner. This is my favorite parable because of the contrasting ideas “a mother knows best” and a child wanting to be their own person and make their own decisions. The parable shows while a girl is still young her mother does need to be there to guide her daughter thought out the start of her life. We see this through the the novel we see grandmothers, mothers, and daughters debate over what's best for the youngest girl in the family.
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Mother-Daughter Story

I would like to read Lindo and Waverly Jong’s stories. During our group discussions of the book I was intrigued by Waverly’s story of her love for chess. Also, I know very little about the mother Lindo. I would hope that by reading her story I would come to understand why she treated Waverly the way that she did. Finally I would like to read it because Waverly’s story took place while she was a kid, while my story Rose was already an adult. I think it would be interesting to hear a story that covers many years rather than a few months.

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Quote

My favorite quote is said by An-mei Hus, “ ‘You must think for yourself, what you must do. If someone tells you, then you are not trying,’ ” (Tan 140). I love this quote because it is something that isn’t specific to the book, it is a good quote for life in general. If you always follow others you won’t be able to make a decision when it really matters. Also if you do what others tell you to do then you will never be truly happy. I also love it because your friend and family are going to have different opinions on how and what you should do with your life, but you only have life one to live. They have lived or are living their own life already, they don’t get two lives. You don’t get two lives either. We have one shot and you should do everything according to how you want your life should go.

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Theme

In Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club, she presents the idea that an individual's own voice and actions are essential in becoming their own person, demonstrated by the character An-mei Hsu. An-mei lived with her grandmother until the day her mother came home. Her mother asked An-mei to join her in Tientsin, but this request was meet with much controversy. An-mei’s family had disowned her mother many years ago and a talk about her was banned from the house, so when she asked An-mei to join her they told her mother her, “ ‘ [her] evil influence has already spread to [her] daughter,’ ” (Tan 218). They also told An-mei that, “ ‘a girl is no better than what she follows,’ ” (Tan 218). In the end An-mei chooses what she wants to do and ignores what her family says. Later in the novel An-mei’s mother dies and she says how, “ ‘ on that day, I showed Second Wife the fake pearl necklace she gave me and crushed it under my foot. And on that day, Second Wife’s hair began to turn white. And on that day, I learned to shout,’ ” (Tan ). In both situations, An-mei had to stand by what she believed in and that helped her become the strong willed, decisive mother she was. If she had listened to every one else, she would have never turned out the same.