Lost and Found

By: Grant Kipp

Favorite Parable

My favorite parable in The Joy Luck Club was "The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates". The reason why I liked this parable the best was because it conveys the idea that people know what is best for you, and in this story, it is the little girl's mother. The mother told her daughter not to ride her bike because she would fall but the daughter disobeyed and ironically, "...fell before she even reached the corner," (Tan 87). This idea that mother knows what is best for their daughter is very prevalent throughout this book and that's also another reason for this being my favorite parable.

Other Mother-Daughter Pair

I read Lena and Ying-Ying St. Clair and the other mother-daughter pair I would like to read would have to be Waverly and Lindo Jong. Based on what I've learned from my group, this pair seems very interesting because of Lindo's past and how she uses her experiences to try to help her daughter, Waverly. Lindo had no choice in her life until she decided to change her fate by blowing out the candle to cancel her marriage. Her will to begin a new life and perseverance seems very interesting to me.

Favorite Quote

My favorite quote from The Joy Luck Club is the chapter "The Moon Lady" by Ying-Ying St. Clair. At the end of her story about her experience with The Moon Lady, she says, "I remember all these things. And tonight, on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, I also remember what I asked the Moon Lady so long ago. I wished to be found," (Tan 83). This is my favorite quote because it really gives one insight to what Ying-Ying is on the inside and her true desires. Also, she is having a hard time relating with her daughter, Lena, and wishes to find a true relationship before it's too late. She doesn't want her daughter to end up lost like her so she knows she must make a connection with Lena.

Thematic Paragraph

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that identity is influenced by one's heritage and no matter how hard someone tries, their true identity will never change. All of the mothers in this book were born in China and tried to force Chinese heritage upon their daughters. They wanted their "...children to have the best possible combination: American circumstances and Chinese character," (Tan 254). They don't realize they can't change who their daughters are because their daughters were born and raised in different circumstances than they were. No matter how much the daughters appreciate their mother's Chinese culture and heritage, they will always be American on the inside. Most of the interactions in this book is the mother and daughters trying to relate to each other, despite their different upbringings.