My Mothers Place

Ben Richardson

Wrting prompt-Parable

My favorite parable is from "Feathers from a thousand Li away". I believe the parable's theme is hope; more so, the hope that immigrants have coming to America. In the parable, the mother carries a swan overseas with her. When the swan is taken away from the mother, she keeps a single feather hoping that one day she can give her daughter the feather and tell her about all the struggles the family endured trying to make a better life for themselves. However, the cultural divide between the mother and daughter is wide and that the mother now has a daughter that "speaks only English" and "swallows more Coca Cola than sorrow" (Tan 17).

Writing Prompt-Mother/Daughter Selection

If I were to read a different mother-daughter pair story, I would read about the Jong family. Lindo Jong's early struggle in China due to her arranged marriage would be interesting because in the Woo's, we did not get to see much of China except briefly at the beginning and the end. Waverly Jong is also a rival of Jing-Mei as they are completely opposite, Waverly has pleased her family by being a prodigy in chess and getting a good job while Jing-Mei always seemed to disappoint her mother. Seeing the story about someone who most that read the Woo's story would consider a rude character would be interesting.

Writing Prompt-Quotation

"This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions." And she waited, year after year, for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English" (Tan 17). This quote was significant to me because it shows the disconnect between immigrants from other countries and their children who have been raised in the new country. This quote casts a light on how assimilation causes such a language barrier within families of immigrants.

Thematic Paragraph

In the"Joy Luck Club" Amy Tan presents the idea that family is the most important thing in life even though they can be difficult to deal with. Throughout the story, with all of the families, the connection between mother and daughter is the main plot point. The mothers struggle to communicate with and teach their daughters about their life lessons. When the mothers convene to tell Jing Mei about the journey she must take to China to meet her sisters, the women are "frightened" because they see their own daughter in her, just as "ignorant" and "impatient" (Tan 40). This quote shows the fear that the mothers all feel for their own children, who are becoming more connected to America and more disconnected to their family. This quote connects to the theme of family by showing the mothers fear that their children are losing sight of what's important: family.
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