Teaching A New Dog Old Tricks

Ryan Perry

The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates

The parable in the chapter The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates is my favorite, because it shows the truth that adults are more wise than young children. In the parable a mother will not let her daughter ride her bike because, she "[will not] see you and you will fall down and cry" (Tan 87). The daughter then argues that she knows better and rides her bike down the street. The mother watches her fall before she even gets to the corner.

The Jong Family

I would like to read the mother daughter pairing of Lindo and Waverly Jong. I read the Woo pairing and was interested in the conflict between June and Waverly. I think it would be interesting to see the other perspective of their rivalry. Waverly's ability to play chess at a high level also interests me.

My Own Path

In Two Kinds, June's mother signs her up for piano lessons with Mr. Chong for 2 hours a day. She is made very unhappy by this.

"'Why don’t you like me the way I am! I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could, I wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars'" (Tan 136).

I really liked this quote because June is trying to make an effort to go against what her mother wants for her. Many parents force their kids to do things that they don't necessarily want to do and the kids are too scared to tell them no.


In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan presents the idea that cultural misunderstanding is common in family relationships because of difference of beliefs between generations. This is shown many times throughout the book but most notably when June first joins the club. The parents fear for their children because of their ignorance to culture. They think they will be "ignorant" and "unmindful" of the ideals "and hopes they brought to America" (Tan 40). This quote shows that the daughters aren't as concerned with culture as their mothers. This is because the daughters didn't live through the same hardship as their mothers.