The Joy Luck Club
Important Quotations Explained
will I say? What can I tell them about my mother? I don’t know anything.
. . .” The aunties are looking at me as if I had become crazy right
before their eyes. . . . And then it occurs to me. They are frightened.
In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant. . . . They
see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese
. . . who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed
from generation to generation.
. . . looked in the mirror. . . . I was strong. I was pure. I had genuine
thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take
away from me. I was like the wind. . . . And then I draped the large
embroidered red scarf over my face and covered these thoughts up.
But underneath the scarf I still knew who I was. I made a promise
to myself: I would always remember my parents’ wishes, but I would
never forget myself.
mother is best. A mother knows what is inside you,” she said. .
. . “A psyche-atricks will only make you hulihudu, make you see
heimongmong.” Back home, I thought about what she said. . . . [These]
were words I had never thought about in English terms. I suppose
the closest in meaning would be “confused” and “dark fog.”But really,
the words mean much more than that. Maybe they can’t be easily translated
because they refer to a sensation that only Chinese people have.
. . .
wisdom is like a bottomless pond. You throw stones in and they sink
into the darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect
anything. I think this to myself even though I love my daughter.
She and I have shared the same body. . . . But when she was born,
she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away
ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore.
And now I must tell her everything about my past. It is the only
way to . . . pull her to where she can be saved.
. . I wanted my children to have the best combination: American
circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these two
things do not mix? I taught [my daughter] how American circumstances
work. If you are born poor here, it’s no lasting shame. . . . In
America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody
else gives you. She learned these things, but I couldn’t teach her
about Chinese character . . . How not to show your own thoughts,
to put your feelings behind your face so you can take advantage
of hidden opportunities. . . . Why Chinese thinking is best.
by MiracleeCream, September 10, 2012
Is there any symbolism in this short story? I was assigned to analyze it like a "professor" and I am not sure if there is any symbolism. All I know is that when Jing-mei's mother offered her to keep to piano it was like a peace offering or forgiveness.
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