The Joy Luck Club Sacrifice Analysis

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The strongest display of love and strength is sacrifice, as one who makes a sacrifice, whether materialistic or spiritual, willingly chose to lose something for no reward. The person knew the consequences of their actions and made the sacrifice anyways, all for the love of another. In order for a shepherd to make a sacrifice, his love for his sheep must surpass his threshold of self-preservation, for humans instinctually strive to survive for themselves, not for others. It is this realization that makes the act of sacrifice all-the-more powerful and selfless. Knowing this about sacrifice, I was surprised to find countless beautiful examples of it in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. There are many physical sacrifices present in the book, but also many beyond the realm of the physical. Ultimately, all of the parents in the book, for example, sacrificed their Chinese culture (among other things), which they prized so much, in hopes of granting their daughters the lives they deserved. More specifically, the book also shows sacrifices that induce real physical pain, which is where the aforementioned statement on self-preservation shows its truest roots; it is strictly against human instinct to harm oneself, and thus such a sacrifice betrays instinct for love. A big example of this would be when An-Mei Hsu’s mother cuts of a piece of her arm to put into the remedy soup for Popo. This sacrifice, I believe, meant more than just a simple remedy – it shows “how a daughter honors her

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