Translating the Past
Twenty-Six Malignant Gates
The daughter’s parents warn her to "not ride her bicycle around the corner... because [of] all the bad things that can happen to you outside the protection of this house" (Tan 87). The daughter protests, but the mother claims that she doesn't not understand. She rode her bike and "she fell before she even reached the corner" (Tan 87). This parable has become my favorite in the book because it shows that children often rebel by doing the opposite of what they're told to do by their parents, even though the parents are usually right.
Why Not Hsu?
The child falling off the bike represents failure and a lack of reasoning. The child purposefully went against her parent's wishes, which resulted in her crashing.
A House Divided
When Rose gets divorced from Ted, it ends dramatically. The divorce brings An-mei and Rose closer together in the end.
The piano represents Suyuan finally forgiving Jing-mei for not being a child prodigy like how Suyuan dreamed she would be.
A House Divided
Joy Luck Club
Suyuan gave Jing-mei the piano that she failed so miserably to learn how to play. June embarrassed Suyuan, yet she still forgave her by giving Jing-mei the piano as a birthday present. [She] had not played in all those years… [and she] saw the offer as a sign of forgiveness, a tremendous burden removed,” (Tan 143). I was moved by this quote because it shows that a simple gesture can mean a lot to people and can cause them to feel more at peace with a situation.
In Joy Luck Club, author Amy Tan presents the idea that cultural misunderstanding is common in family relationships because there's a difference in beliefs between generations. Jing-mei Woo found it hard to relate to her mother, Suyuan. Suyuan believed that one should stick to his or her culture and constantly use it in everyday life. Jing-mei had a hard time connecting with her mother because Jing-mei "talked to her in English, [and] she answered back in Chinese" (Tan 34). This quote shows how a generation gap can not only lead to misunderstanding, but also a lack of a relationship. Suyuan and Jing-mei never had a good relationship because of how different their beliefs were about culture.