A Real Life Mahjong

By: Peyton Soetenga

"The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates"

My favorite parable from The Joy Luck Club is "The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates" because it demonstrates the importance of listening to your elders. The little girl in the parable acts as if she knows better than her mother, and decides to get back on her bike and she "fell before she even reached the corner" (Tan 87). Children need to respect their elders because elders have experienced multiple situations in life and they know what is best for their children.

Suyuan Woo and Jing-mei "June" Woo

If I had the choice to read another mother daughter story I would choose Suyuan Woo and Jing-mei "June" Woos' because their story stood out to me the most. The bond between the mother and daughter interests me because after Suyuan Woo dies her daughter, Jing-mei, tries to replace her corner in The Joy Luck Club. Another reason is that before Suyuan died, the two didn't get along and were always anger at each other.

Favorite Quote

"But I'll never forget. On the day of the Festival of Pure Brightness, I take off all my bracelets. I remember the day when I finally knew a genuine thought and could follow where it went. That was the day I was a young girl with my face under a red marriage scarf. I promised not to forget myself" (Tan 66). This quote is significant because Lindo is saying she will never forget who she has always been, and who she will always be despite the marriage she has gone through. When she is able to take off the red scarf, her body begins to feel the lightness again. I was moved by this quote because despite the harsh times she has gone through, in the end she is able to overcome those times and be herself again.

Cultural Idenity

In "The Joy Luck Club", Amy Tan presents the idea that cultural idenity can never be forgotten, but certainly can change a person. Lindo Jong has always been able to switch between her true self and her American self, but begins to ponder wether her true self is her American self. Lindo Jong wanted her children "to have the best combination between American circumstances and Chinese culture," without ever losing sight of who they originally were (Tan 122). there family has become accustomed to the new American ways and has significantly changed them in different ways. Waverly wanted to visit China for her second honeymoon, but feels as if she does not belong anymore. When Lindo told her daughter,"even if you put on their clothes, even if you take off your makeup and hide your fancy jewelry, they know... they know you do not belong" Waverly was not pleased with what her mother had just said (Tan 253). Linda goes on to express that the only thing remaining Chinese are her skin and hair, but inside now "she is all American made" (Tan 254). This certainly shows how someones cultural identity can never be forgotten but can be changed.
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