The Distance Between Us
Listen to Your Mother
I Just Want What's Best for You
In the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that miscommunications can be overcome, despite the pain that ensues. This idea is exemplified in the Jong chapters, as Waverly fears that her mother will not like Rich, her fiancé. Due to her mother's tendency to pick apart her life, Waverly worries that she will do the same to Rich and cause her to not love him anymore. "I'd never known love so pure, and I was afraid that it would become sullied by my mother... my mother was doing it again, making me see black where I once saw white" (Tan 176, 181). When Waverly finally musters up the courage to tell her mom that she is marrying Rich, she realizes that her mom has just wanted the best for her all along. Even though there was unnecessary stress and conflict between the mother-daughter pair, their miscommunications were eventually overcome.
Ying-Ying St. Clair loves her daughter, although she is unable to fully express this due to her withdrawing into herself. She ponders, saying "how can I leave the world without leaving her my spirit? So this is what I will do. I will gather together my past and look... the pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand... and give her my spirit, because this is the way a mother loves her daughter" (Tan 252). This quote is poignant to me because of my own relationship with my mother. I don't know everything about her, but I do know that she loves me deeply. The things that cause her pain are not things she lets divide us. My mom cares about me so much that she will put my needs before her own. Because of that, this quote sticks out to me.