The Art of Invisible Strength Essay

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The Art of Invisible Strength

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club is a truly rich novel. The concept of "invisible strength" caught my interest in particular, so I have chosen to analyze the relationship between Lindo, her daughter Waverly and Waverly's boyfriend Rich. My questions are how Lindo achieved this strength, why she did it and how it effected herself, Waverly and Rich.

It is fundamental to the analysis to investigate Lindo's past in China. It is clear that she is a much loved child. "In my case, people could see my value. I looked and smelled like a precious buncake, sweet with a good clean color"(42). In my opinion, that kind of self-worth comes from unconditional love. This helps her when she is left at twelve by her family.
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The Huangs are frightened and Lindo is set free. She has mastered the art of invisible strength.

Consequently, when we then meet Lindo's daughter Waverly, her first words are: "I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength" (80). But Waverly plays chess. She never masters the art of playing with people, the way her mother does. There is a dark side to this invisible force; Lindo cannot refrain from manipulating even her most loved ones.

In contrast to her mother Waverly is not strong, but when she reaches puberty her mother's overpowering interest in her career as a chess champion makes her rebel. At one point she screems: "Why do you have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, then why don't you learn to play chess?"(91). This hurts Lindo at the core of her being.

The pain they feel makes the fight fierce; the weapon is ice-cold silence, used by both parties. Waverly stops playing chess and life continues without a word. But she cannot challenge her mother and decides to play again. Lindo is furious: " It is not so easy anymore!"(166). The cause of Lindo's anger is that Waverly is completely unaware of the sacrifices Lindo has had to make, in order to enable her little girl to play chess in complete freedom. Because Lindo has had to fight so hard, she cannot endure Waverly's carefree approach to life.

Waverly is severely punished: "It was as if she had erected an invisible wall and I was
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