Four Corners

By: Gavin Escano

Feathers from a Thousand Li Away

I enjoyed the parable Feathers from a Thousand Li Away because it had both an intriguing story to tell, and also many different themes present in the entire novel were present in this one parable. It told the story of a woman purchasing an odd swan, that was once a duck and in an attempt to be a goose, stretched it's neck out and looked like a swan. The woman took the swan with her on her journey to America, she had hoped to gift the swan to her daughter, " a creature that became more than what was hoped for." When the woman reached America her swan was confiscated and for years she kept the single feather she had to remember the swan by. She planned on gifting the feather instead, but as her daughter was growing up in America, she became 'Americanized' and the mother and daughter slowly drifted apart. The feather symbolizes the mother's diminishing hope for what the opportunity of growing up in America could've been like for her daughter.

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The Red Candle

If I had the option to read another mother-daughter dynamic, my choice would have to be the story of Lindo and Waverly Jong. Hearing countless summaries on Lindo Jong's story leads me to believe The Red Candle is the most interesting chapter in the novel. How Lindo overcame plenty of adversity to escape her marriage and ultimately come to America is intriguing. She remarried in America and had Waverly. The story of how Lindo could do nothing but brag about Waverly's skills at chess and how Waverly finally had enough was a interesting story between them. Arguably, the relationship between them was much like their own chess game.
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Generation Gap

"What will I say? What can I tell them about my mother? I don’t know anything...." Though it seems insignificant, this quote by Jing-Mei Woo shows one of the biggest conflicts in all of the mother-daughter dynamics in the Joy Luck Club, Generation Gap. When tasked to give her mother's other daughters some information about the mother they never knew, Jing-Mei didn't know how to explain her mother. The difference in background and the lack of understanding between her and her mother links back to generation gap and is present throughout the story.

Thematic Statement

In the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan uses sacrifice to show how just how far mothers will go to ensure opportunity for generations to follow. In the novel, the author used sacrifice in several ways, one being Lindo Jong escaping her first marriage to make it in America. The mothers in this novel may not be able to connect with their daughters closely because of the difference in backgrounds and upbringing, but they certainly sacrificed a lot in order to give their daughters opportunities they never had.