Extinguishing the Red Candle
By: Nathan Smith 2nd Period
The Twenty Six Malignant Gates
In the parable, The Twenty Six Malignant Gates, the message is very clear and to the point. This parable identifies a quiet but noticeable motif portrayed by the chapters following it in the book. In the Red candle for example, it is the necessity of trust, especially through family members such as parents. The Red candle is a great chapter to act as a mirror to the idea of having to "listen to (your parent)"(Tan 87), since like in the parable Waverly Jong eventually stopped doing what her parents wanted. This got her nowhere and lost her multiple chess tournaments because of it.
Alternate Mother Daughter Pair
Jing Mei Woo is an interesting character along with her mother Suyuan as a pair because they tie all the other pairs together. This alternate pairing would have been interesting to read because of the insight about Jing Mei's mother that her daughter brings to the club. I also think that the theoretical bridge between Jing Mei through her mother with the rest of the club since she has that link no-one else in the club does.
Most Impactful Quote
"I had on a beautiful red dress, but what I saw was even more valuable. I was strong. I was pure. 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 was the most impactful quote because it demonstrated how Lindo Jong could see herself as a strong independent person. Reading this, I was caught off guard because Lindo had never talked with such stout ad self assurance before this, and I was surprised that she had changed so much after living with her 'husband'. It stood out against the other frames of this chapter because of the juxtaposition at hand between her character and the character she sees in the mirror.
In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that Identity is the source of determination for many of the characters, both mother and daughter. Most of the time the identity of the daughters is forced upon by the mothers. This is the case with all the pairs, however Jing Mei was the most dramatic towards not letting her mother dominate her true self. When she was nine she " pictured (a) prodigy part of (her) as many different images, trying each one on for size (Tan 133)." She did not let her mother decide for her and made it clear to the reader that she thought about what she wanted to be and who she wanted to be viewed as. Identity was important to her specifically as a way to look to the future without the need of her mom.