Sacrifice To The Elder

Preston Petty 7th

Writing Prompt #1

After reading through all of the novels and short stories in The Joy Luck Club, I decided that my favorite and most interesting parable is "Scar". It is my favorite parable because An Mei gets to meet her mother, and shortly after they reunite her mother quickly demonstrates courage and sacrifice when she cuts a chunk out of her arm to try and save her mother. "And then I saw her pull up her sleeve and pull out a sharp knife. She put this knife on the softest part of her arm. I tried to close my eyes, but could not" (Tan 48).

Writing Prompt #2

If I were to choose another mother daughter pair to read I would like to read the Jong family. Lindo has a pretty interesting background, including teaching invisible strength and is extremely talented in chess. Throughout then book Lindo gets worried about her daughter loosing her Chinese identity and that herself will become too assimilated.

Writing Prompt #3

“Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever” (Tan 213). This quote is fairly short but very meaningful. It makes you think for awhile on what losing innocence but not hope means and how to laugh forever and be happy means. The grandmother longs for the days when she was “once so free and innocent.”

Thematic Paragraph

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that sacrifice and suffering expresses how a mother and daughter are so close. The story of An-Mei's mother is the strongest example of this expression. She sacrifices flesh from her arm to honor her own mother. "This is how a daughter honors her mother. It is shou so deep it is in your bones. The pain of the flesh is nothing. The pain you must forget" (Tan 48).It is as though the pain is nothing compared to her obligation to her mother. An-Mei Hsu's mother also sacrifices her body to Wu Tsing so that she can have at better reputation than just a beggar. She does this so that An-mei can look up to her. Her suicide, while seemingly selfish, is the ultimate sacrifice she can make for An-mei. By killing herself, she is showing An-mei that being a disgraced to the family is no way to live. In dying, she gives An-mei the strength to take her own path in life. Lindo sacrifices her pride and happiness to keep her parents' promise to Wu Tsing. Suyuan must sacrifice her daughters, abandoning them in order for them to have a chance at life. All of the mothers make a great sacrifice in leaving China in hopes of finding a better life for their daughters. Like the duck, they must stick their necks out in order to become swans. Once they have settled in America, both mothers and daughters are faced with another form of sacrifice. All the women have sacrificed the chance to be with the culture in order to struggle and revel in the space between cultures. This is the ultimate sacrifice they make for one another.