Strong Connections

by Jake Mercier

FAVORITE PARABLE

My favorite parable was "The Twenty-six Malignant Gates" because I connected with the way her mother tried to protect her. Since my dad is a doctor, I always hear that "bad things [can] happen to you outside the protection of the house" (Tan 44). I used to think that I always knew best and that I was invincible, but as I learn and grow, I can see how right my dad was about being careful about your surroundings. During younger years, it is harder to see the big picture and not look through your own narrow point of view. His way of explaining the outcomes of what he sees happening at the hospital reminds me how lucky I am to be alive and healthy.
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JUNE AND SUYUAN WOO

I would like to read more about the family relationship and dynamic between Jing-Mei (June) Woo and her mother, Suyuan. Although ignoring her mother's connection with her Chinese heritage at first, she finally grew to know and love it after her mom passed away. She didn't realize the commonality her and her mother shared, and that interests me. Since she didn't take the chance to see how they were similar, and only focused on how they were different, they couldn't develop a strong relationship. While she felt like her mother didn't understand her, it may have been that she didn't understand her mother.
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FAITH TAKES OVER

I connected with the quote "...when you lose something you love, faith takes over" because it related to me and my relationship with my mother (Tan 70). I lost my mom five years ago, and I could directly sympathize with the fact that faith does take over. Faith took over because I had nowhere else to look. The situation forced me to just accept the future and have faith that everything would turn out okay.
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THEMATIC PARAGRAPH

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that strong connections are necessary to improve one's relationship with their family, especially between mothers and daughters. In "Magpies", An-Mei felt a strong connection with her mother when she visited and decided to follow her to her house with Wu Tsing. An-Mei leaves everything she knows on a whim in order to develop her relationship with her mother, despite what she was told about her. By coming along with her mom, she learned to "swallow [her] own tears" because instead of getting rid of sadness, crying only "feed[s] someone else's joy" (Tan 122). She learned how strong her mother was and about the values that she represented, as well as how far her mother would go in order for An-Mei to have a better life than hers. The strong initial connection she shared with her mother developed into a bond that proved invaluable for An-Mei because of the important lessons she learned.