Overcoming Great Obstacles

Madison Peppard

Other Story

If I could read another story in this book, I would choose to read the Hsu family. I would like to read this story because it seems as though this family has had to overcome many trying obstacles in their life that are very unique and quite different from those of the Jong family. I think that it is very fascinating and inspiring how much all of these families are willing to sacrifice for each other, and I have heard that the Hsu family is an excellent example of this. I think it would be interesting to hear the Hsu family story so that I could grasp a better understanding of the struggles and achievements of each of these families.

My Favorite Parable

My favorite parable from the story was "The Twenty Six Malignant Gates", because it illustrates a struggle that many children face in their lives. It shows how many young adults come to a point in their lives when they begin to believe that they know what is best for themselves, and start to question their parents authority. This is shown in the parade when the young girl states "'You can't tell me because you don't know! You don't know anything"' (Tan 87). I feel as though we all come to this point in our lives and often struggle to determine whether we should listen to our heart, or what our parents believe is right for us. Although the outcome of our decisions is often times failure, as in this parable; it is these experiences that help us to grow and find ourselves, and that is why I find this particular parable so meaningful.

Thematic Paragraph

In the novel "The Joy Luck Club", the author Amy Tan presents the idea that one must often scarifies personal desires in order to persevere through hard times and maintain family relationships. This is very evident throughout the Jong story. One of the main characters; Waverly, has to make many personal sacrifices in order to overcome various obstacles she is faced with in life. An excellent example of this is when Waverly is forced into an arranged marriage, and due to a massive flood that "destroyed all the wheat (her) family had planted for the year", and made her house "unlivable" is forced to live with her future husband (Tan 53). Although this was clearly not an ideal situation for Waverly, she had to sacrifice what she wanted to do in order to help her family. The idea of personal sacrifice is presented when Waverly states that Tyan-yu was "such a bad husband"(Tan 51). Waverly clearly did not want to marry an unpleasant husband, but yet again had to sacrifice her personal desires in order to uphold her promise to her parents. In summation, in life one must often sacrifice personal desires in order to maintain strong family relationships.

Favorite Quote

One quote in the novel that I found particularly memorable was when Waverly was preparing for her wedding and stated "I was strong. I was pure. I had genuine thoughts inside me that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind" (Tan 58). I found this quote very memorable because it symbolized a great turning point in the novel. It was at this point that Waverly began to find self worth, and discover her true identity. At this point, she began to appreciate herself and her thoughts and started living her life the way she wanted to while still keeping the promise to her parents. I believe this quote truly shows a great transformation within Waverly from the beginning of the novel and this is why I find it quite memorable.