Finding the Balance

Anna Spicer

Queen Mother of the Western Skies

This is my favorite parable because it teaches me that you must "'lose your innocence but not your laugh forever'" (Tan 213). The parable depicts a grandmother who is caught between raising the baby to recognize the evil in others in order to be better protected, or to live life full of joy, but more susceptible to being hurt. Eventually, she realizes that we must be both. We have to sacrifice some of our innocence to make it through life in this world, while also teaching others to love life by seeing our joy. We have to find the balance between innocence and corruption, good and evil. This parable teaches us how to do so.

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In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that unconditional love is the in which parents and children learn to love each other even though they let each other down time and time again.


I would choose to read the St. Clair mother/daughter selection because I think it would be interesting to read Ying-Ying's story. She ends up in a terrible marriage, and in order to make it through to he day when her husband dies and she meets a new man, she must be incredibly strong throughout her trials. When that fire inside her burns out, I think it would be interesting to read about what happens, and how it affects those around her. I also would like to see the contrast in relationships between my story, where Lindo and Waverly Jong are both so stubborn and cunning that it affects their relationship, to a story where the mother is only a ghost of her former self, and where they both allow themselves to be pushed around.

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"I was strong. I was pure. I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind... And then I draped the large embroidered red scarf over my face and covered these thoughts up. But underneath the scarf I still knew who I was. I made a promise to myself: I would always remember my parents’ wishes, but I would never forget myself" (Tan 68). I love this quote because even though Lindo Yong was only a young girl, she "would never forget" who she was, which "... was strong. I was pure..." (Tan 68). No matter what she was forced to go through, and no matter how difficult it was, she remained true to who she was. This quote is such a good depiction of both Lindo and Waverly. Both headstrong, both cunning. However, it also shows how they had thoughts that "no one could see" because they "covered these thoughts up" (Tan 68). By never saying what they really think to each other, it makes communication difficult, often leading to many arguments.
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