Land of Opportunity

Marshall Ballard

My Favorite Parable

The parable that caught my eye and became my favorite was "Feathers from a Thousand Li Away." It teaches the important lesson of hope. The mother in the parable plans on giving her daughter a swan, " 'a creature that became more than what was hoped for' " (Tan 17). Although the cultural divide is wide between the mother and daughter, there is still hope that the two can come together and bridge the distance that has grown between them.
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Reader's Choice

If I were to read another mother and daughter pair in the novel, it would be Hsu. An-Mei's son, Bing, dies at a very young age from drowning and she along with her daughter have to struggle with that. I am interested in seeing how they deal with that tragedy that must have shook up their world. No parent should have to see their children die before they do so I'm curious to see how it affected them.
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A Moving Quote

"I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind" (Tan 58). This quote moved me because it is entirely true. People can take away your freedoms but they cannot take away your thoughts and your opinions from you. Your thoughts will always be free and powerful even though they are not tangible. They are strong like the wind in this way.
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Thematic Paragraph

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that identity can change throughout a person's life depending on their circumstances. Many of the characters change on the surface but still have an unchanging identity. However, some aspects of identity change over time. For example, the identities of the mothers change when they leave China. In China, identity is highly based on your family's social status or who you marry. But in America, identity can change with fads and trends. Both mothers and daughters have to struggle with what it means to be Chinese versus being American and which is better. Lindo Jong asks herself "what is true about a person" and would she "change in the same way the river changes color but still be the same person" (Tan 58). The idea is that the river changes color but still remains the same river. It is at this point in the book that Lindo discovers that she has a genuine inner voice, which at times she may suppress, but it is always a part of her and will remain a part of her identity.