Essay on Understanding the Mothers in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

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Understanding the Mothers in The Joy Luck Club In America, it is common to take mothers for granted and reject the advice they try to give. Generally, their attempt to give advice is considered as an intrusion into our lives and our privacy. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan tries to get the reader to take a step back and see the good intentions behind our mother's actions. In the stories told by Jing-Mei, Tan weaves in flashbacks and memories of Jing-Mei's own childhood experiences, including stories she has heard of her mother Suyuan's early life in China. These stories help to explain why she teaches her daughter the v alues of optimism and determination. As the reader encounters these flashbacks, Suyuan's tragic…show more content…
challenges she may face in life. When learning to play the piano Jing-Mei's mother never expected her to become a genius and told her in broken English: "Only ask you be your best. For you sake"(Tan 136). By encouraging her to be her best, Suyuan wants to teach her daughter to be the best she can be and never have to regret not trying. The reader is able to recognize that Suyuan's intention was like that of most mothers: not to make her daughter's life miserable, but to help her. By teaching her daughter the values of determination and perseverance that have helped Suyan to overcome challenges in her life, Suyan intends to protect her daughter from the tragedy and disappointment that come from giving up and settling for less than the best she can be. The character of Lindo Jong also reveals her tragic past through Tan's use of flashbacks and recollections of her youth in China. Lindo has been betrothed to the son of a wealthy man, an arrangement she was not very fond of. She went through with the m arriage and "sacrificed [her] life to keep [her] parents' promise," (Tan 49) living in unhappiness until she devises a plan to release her from the marriage without bringing shame to her family. By revealing Lindo's unhappy youth through flashbacks, Tan demonstrates to the reader her willingness to sacrifice her own happiness to keep her family's honor and her inner strength to continue
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