Not so Much Joy or Luck

Haley Abio

Favorite Parable

The parable I appreciated most in Joy Luck Club is “Feathers From a thousand Li Away” because it contains optimism. In this parable a woman journeys to America and dreams of raising a daughter in this new country. She has many hopes for this daughter and believes that “ In America… nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husband’s belch…. And over there she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow” (Tan 17). Not only is she optimistic for what the future will bring for her and her daughter, but she also does not allow her swan being taken away to be a negative sign of her new life.

Like Mother Like Daughter

If I were to take on reading another mother and daughter pair in the novel it would have to be An-Mei Hsu and Rose Hsu Jordan. The Hsu family is interesting because they seem to have the most complex family dynamic. Not only is An-Mei background story very unique, but her current life consists of tragedy and having seven children. This definitely insures a read full of activity. An-Mei’s youngest daughter Rose Hsu Jordan is very timid and is in a marriage where her husband makes all the decisions. She realizes that it isn’t right and she learns to assert herself. This makes me desire to read this mother daughter pair even more because it includes a girl making a change in her lifestyle for the better and a boat load of girl power!

Get in The feels

A quotation in the book that really got to me was a very important moment in Lindo Jong’s life where she began to recognize her inner unseen strength. I believe she became a woman when she looked into the mirror and said, “. . . 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. . . . And then I draped the large embroidered red scarf over my face and covered these thoughts up. But underneath the scarf I still knew who I was. I made a promise to myself: I would always remember my parents’ wishes, but I would never forget myself” (Tan 58). This self decision gave Lindo the strength to endure the hardships that society and her parents force upon her. In this moment Lindo decides that along with respecting her elders, she will also stand up for herself and listen to her own heart.

Name That Theme

In the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that changes in identity are evident between the mothers and the daughters mostly on the surface rather than inside of them. Some aspects of identity change over time. For instance the identities of the mothers changed when they left China. In China, one's’ identity was based on their social standing, which number of concubine you are or whom you marry. While in America identity can be altered with trends or whether you are American or Chinese-American. All the mothers and daughters have to deal with the understanding of what it means to be Chinese American versus just American and which one is better or worse. Often, they ask themselves, “What is true about a person? Would I change in the same way the river changes color but still be the same person?"(Tan 65). The river fluctuates color but is still the river. Many of the characters change on the surface but still have a central, unchanging core. Most of the characters agree that being Chinese is in their DNA and is a part of their character that they cannot get rid of.