Two Cultures

Sofia Lara

“Feathers From a Thousand Li Away”

A woman and her swan came to America searching for better life for her future daughter, in order for the daughter to be respected and live without the hardships the mother had experienced. In America, the swan was taken from her, causing her to forget " why she had come and what she had left behind"(Tan 17). This is my favorite parable because it exemplifies the generational gap between the mother and the daughter and the broken communication between them. This parable also shows how the mother had the goal of achieving the America dream, and although she attained it, it was far from what she had expected.

Suyuan and Jing-mei "June" Woo

If I were to read about another mother and daughter pair, it would be the Woo family's story. This pair interests me due to the fractured relationship between the mother and daughter when Jing-mei was younger. I would like to see how this conflict will affect Jing-mei's choices in the future. I am also intrigued to find out what happens to the two daughters that Suyuan gave up in China. I believe this story will give the "Joy Luck Club" good closure.


"Maybe it was seeing you as a baby, how you looked so much like me, and this made me dissatisfied with my life. I wanted everything for you to be better. I wanted you to have the best circumstances, the best character. I didn't want you to regret anything. And that's why I named you Waverly. It was the name of the street we lived on. And I wanted you to think, This is where I belong" (Tan 265).

This is my favorite quote because it represent the love a mother can have for her daughter. This quote also summarizes all the sacrifices this mother has done for her daughter. This quote moved me because my family moved from Mexico to the United States for the same reasons that caused Lindo Jong to leave China. Just like the Lindo, my parents knew the United States had better opportunities and wanted us to feel like we belong here.

Thematic Paragraph

In "Joy Luck Club," Amy Tan presents the idea that a cultural balance is necessary to successfully assimilate, even if it means giving up traditions. Lindo Jong moved to America because she wanted her family to have a combination of American circumstances and Chinese character. When she finally had her family, they got the American circumstances she wished for, but an American character she did not expect. Even though Lindo tried to teach Waverly about her heritage and culture, she had already become too Americanized and distanced herself from it. As Waverly grew up, she started to become more invested in her Chinese heritage, because it now seemed fashionable, but after all those years she realized that on the outside she looks Chinese, but "inside-she is all American made" (Tan 254). Wacerly did not understand "that she did not look Chinese" until she wanted to go to China for her second honeymoon and her mother warned her that she was not going to blend in (Tan 253). Waverley also thought it was stylish how her mother and her have a double face (a Chinese one and an American one) but Lindo does not like how "if you show one, you must always sacrifice the other"(Tan 266). Even though the mothers in the book tried to teach their daughters the Chinese traditions, it was too late after the daughters had perfectly assimilated into the American culture.