Life on the Other Side

Calvin Kean


My favorite parable of the novel was "The Twenty Six Malignant Gates". I like it because it contains humorous irony when the girl says "'You don't know anything!' And the girl ran outside, jumped on her bicycle, and in her hurry to get away, fell before she even reached the corner" (Tan 87). This is ironic because the girl says her mother knows nothing when in reality she is the one who knows nothing, for she ignored her mother's warning and fell. But by using this irony Tan teaches an important lesson: obey your parents.
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"We are lost, she and I, unseen and not seeing, unheard and not hearing, unknown by others" (Tan 67).This quote emphasizes how Ying-ying feels about her daughter: disconnected and distant. But it is my favorite quote because it summarizes, for the most part, the relationship between all of the mothers and daughters, and how moving to America has placed a barrier between their generations.
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Mother Daughter Pair

If I could choose one mother daughter pair that I would want to read most, it would be the Jordans'. This is in-part because of the mother's struggle with faith and how it impacts the family has piqued my interest. But the other reason is because I would like to see how the tragic loss of Bing affects the family and how Rose-Hsu goes on with her life.
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In "The Joy Luck Club", Amy Tan presents the idea that resilience is necessary when encountering obstacles but overcoming them defines one's character. For example, Ying-ying St. Clair was dealt many obstacles in her life, from her husband leaving her to having an abortion. She even had a baby with "No brain... his head [was] just an empty eggshell" (Tan 112). And yet through all of the challenges she faced, Ying-ying stayed resilient, and though she lost many things, she kept her tiger spirit, her gold and black sides. She remained hidden between the trees, waiting patiently and resiliently.