Runaways

Matt Hopkins

Parable

My favorite parable is "Feathers from a Thousand Li Away". I believe that it illustrates the experience each mother had as they came to America and found themselves in some undesirable situations. The most distinct of these is the Americanization of their daughters, represented in the parable by a girl who "grew up speaking English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow"(Tan 17). It shows that even though their children have a better life in America, the mothers feel as though they have lost touch with their heritage.

Second Family

If I were to read a different family pair, I would choose Hsu. Her story seems to be the most interesting, and the sacrifices the mother makes seem to be the most extreme. I know very little about the story outside of the a few key points, and I am very curious to see what happens to this family.

Quote

The quote that had the biggest impact one me is "I was strong. I was pure...I was like the wind"(Tan 58). This quote describes a major turning point in the character of Lindo Jong. It is what she realizes as she is forced to marry Tyan-yu, and is what allows her to remain resilient under the circumstances she found herself in. It remains as a reminder of what a determined person is capable of, even in the worst circumstances.

Theme

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that one's family relationships are essential to happiness, even though they can be riddled with conflict. The relationship between Lindo and Waverly demonstrates this very well. Waverly finds many reasons to dislike her mother, from bragging over her talents at chess to driving her apart from her first husband. However, when Lindo calls Waverly a name from her child, she becomes "speechless" and "felt numb [and] strangely weak"(Tan 101). She is overcome with emotion as her mother does this, and it allows them to finally reconcile. Even though she often resents her mother, she still can find true happiness in her mother's affection.