Long-Cherished Wish

Grayson Gale

Writing Prompt #1

My favorite prompt was Feathers from a Thousand Li Away. The grandmother in the story had this idea of a perfect American life where she would raise the perfect American daughter. So when she left China and came to America with her high hopes and dreams, she brought with her a wish, a reminder, that it is possible to beat the odds and become more than what was hoped for. Unfortunately her beautiful swan was taken from her, and she was left with a single feather, a single piece of hope. This inspired her to one day, "be able to tell her daughter this [story] in perfect American English". (Tan 17)
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Writing Prompt #2

If I were to read another mother-daughter pair in this book, I would read the Jong's because Waverly Jong constantly competed with Jing-Mei Woo. It would be interesting to see her background as well. While Jing-Mei was pressured into greatness from a young age as well, she drifted between too many places and never settled into something she was really good at. Waverly on the other hand practically had her whole life planned out from a very young age. Her future husband was picked when she was only two years old, she is a chess prodigy, and very sure of herself. The contrast between the two girls would be interesting to read about.
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Writing Prompt #3

"And I am sitting at my mother's place at the mah jong table, on the East, where things begin". (Tan 41)

This quote is significant to me because it shows how even though people, memories, and traditions pass away, there is always a new beginning somewhere. It means we make mistakes, but we can still start over somewhere no matter what the circumstance. For example, in the Joy Luck Club, even though Jing-Mei's mother died before she fulfilled her wish, Jing-Mei is now ready to take on her place, and begin a new chapter in their lives, tying them together finally.

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Thematic Paragraph

The theme of the Joy Luck Club is language and communication. Jing-Mei often felt like she didn't know her mother, and this was largely because her mother didn't really tell her about her life before America. Whenever Jing-Mei tried to talk to her mother in English, her mother would always respond in Chinese, which Jing-Mei didn't know that well. Her mother always wanted her to be a prodigy, to be something that Jing-Mei never wanted to be. She didn't understand that her daughters wishes weren't the same as her own. She believed "you could be anything you wanted to be in America" and she wanted to live her own dreams through her daughter, even if it wasn't her daughter's dream. (Tan 132)