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The Joy Luck Club

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Joy Luck Club as a Whole

I feel that this book was very interesting and unique. I feel this way because usually in a normal book you only see one person full perspective or have a couple of main characters but in the Joy Luck Club it is not centered on one view. At the same time, the characters have their own sections in which you learn more about the individual characters.
My favorite character in the story was Rose Hsu Jordan because after all she went through she finally got to face her fears and speak up to her husband. I loved the way that her mother in her story “Mag Pies” responded to the fact that she goes to a psychiatrist fro help, saying,” she lies down on a psychiatrist couch, squeezing teas out about this shame. And I think she will lie there until there is nothing left to cry about, everything dry." Also her that fact that she spoke up to her husband was significant because she wasn't the only character who had this problem.
Other characters such as Ying Ying St. Clair and Lena St. Clair also had this inability. Ying Ying in her first story says" For all these years I kept my mouth shut so selfish desires would not fall out. And because I remained quite for so long now my daughter does not hear me." At first I really didn't understand what she was talking about when she said this but when I read her last section "Waiting between the Trees" I understood. Her selfish desires developed as she lived wealthy as a child and since she didn't tell her daughter about her past she feels that her daughter doesn't know her. In this way Lena can not understand her to her full capacity. However, at the end of the story I think that she was waiting so she could tell Lena her story.
My least favorite character was Waverly Jong because she seemed to be to cauky at times and self absorbed. First, she did not want be Chinese she supported the American way to the fullest then when she thinks Chinese” is the style” she wants to change. Nevertheless, by the end of the story she turned out to be a descent person. I thought better of her after I read Lindo Jong’s Story” Double Face” `because close to the end of it she say’s in response to her mother “It means we look one way , while following the other. We mean what we say but our intentions are different” I felt that this statement was important because it basically described the story that Lindo just told. About the changes she went through coming to this country and how she lost her face. This statement may have helped her relationship with her mother because she might think that Waverly now understands the struggles she went through and how they are alike to each other. Also, it may show that she could understand that people can tell when you have changed, when you have developed more than one self. (The Chinese and American).
Jing Mei Woo, was not the most interesting character in the book. She had no characteristics that really stood out above the rest. When I started the book I thought she would be because I assumed that since she was introduced first she would be the most significant character and therefore the most compelling was wrong. The stories that she was in” Joy Luck Club, Best Quality, and Pair Of Tickets” were fine as they were but they just did not compare to the other stories when you see how the other stories had more depth. The stories of the previous mothers and daughter had the connection between each other which made each one more interesting to read. I think that maybe if Suyuan woo had not died, Jing-Mei Woo’s story would have been just as good as the others.
In conclusion, I feel that The Joy Luck Club is over all an appealing book to read. I think that the basic moral of the book was to show how some of your expectations can be diminished but you should still hold on to your hope. I also enjoyed the book because I was written well and I could envision how the characters felt either in time of joy or distress. Some people may not relate to the characters in the book but as a whole I think most people do. However, if you don't the experience of just reading such unique works should be enough to satisfy any reader from any time and place.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lena St. Clair
Rice Husband

Fallen Down

into the mist unknown,
Because I don't know
Who I am
And what I want.

But why don’t I catch it?
I know I can save it
Yet it keeps falling
It close to the ground
Should I try?

It’s hopeless,
I can’t do it.
There’s no hope
Yet you don’t’ feel this
You’ve seen through it
You’ve seen through me
You’ve lurked through places
I'm scared to even touch

Then why don't I stop it?
Why don’t' I face it?
Why do you seem to know?
all my faults?
All the things that will
Occur without remorse?

I wish I had your powers
To know what will be lost
So I won't have to catch it.
So I won’t have to care.
It will fall down

But you always know.
It’s falling.
So why do you try?
It’s falling.
Why do you have hope?
It’s close.
Why don’t' I catch it?
Almost there…
It’s a simple question.
In this poem, I tried to express how Lena would feel about her marriage falling apart, as well as her mother predicting the worst. I think that Lena felt that her mother knew best and since her mother recognized the problems in their home, that gave her the courage to say something to her husband. In way, she just waited for her mother to make analysis and then she followed it through in that direction. I feel that she really needs to find out what she wants in life. I also think that Lena just wants to have marriage, not one where everything is split down the middle. In my perspective, if a marriage has a prenuptial agreement it that is just preparation for divorce. That is not how a marriage should start.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rose Hsu Jordan
Half and Half

I think that the moral of this section of the Joy Luck Club was that even though terrible things may happen to you should never lose hope. A big part of hope is your faith, the faith that things will work out. I feel this was shown through the story because even though it seemed that Rose’s mother had lost her faith in god she still held on. As proof, her bible props up the table yet still remains pure white. She almost lost her hope when Bing drowned. At this point in the story, I was scared that she would lose her faith and never develop it again. This feeling came over me especially when she threw the ring into the water and waited all night fro Bing to come out of the water. She seemed impervious to the fact that Bing was gone. At this point she gave me hope. I thought maybe a miracle could really happen.
I enjoyed this story especial because even though Bing died she held on to her hope that maybe everything would work out. My favorite part was the last sentence "On the page before the New Testament begins, there's a section called "Deaths," and that’s where she wrote "Bing Hsu" lightly in erasable pencil." This is a good and bad thing at the same to time. To have faith that maybe Bing is alive could help you keep living, but at the same time to think that, it could be cause you to have the sense that the person really is alive. But now when I think of it is it wrong to pretend that the one you've lost is really with you? Is it wrong to think that maybe there is a slightest chance of his survival?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

As read the section of called, "The Rules of the Game," I noticed the quote from Waverly Jong's mother which said, "They say don't know why, you find out for yourself. But they know all the time. Better you take, find out why yourself." It leads me to think about how America might seem to immigrants who come here and find out how hard it can be to succeed as a minority. Is coming to the United States supposed to be like a puzzle that you have to solve yourself or a world full of opportunities that are displayed right in front of your face? Is it better to disclose information (good or bad) from newcomers and allow them to learn for themselves? Would that be holding them back? I think that if people come to a country expecting to get the best chance to succeed they can get any information that can facilitate in that process should not be withheld. Like the mothers in Joy Luck Club immigrants come here expecting to have a better life and achieve things for themselves and their own children.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Rules of the Game
You’ve caught me!
Yet I'm sly
Rules of the Game
I'll find my way
My own way
Not yours!

Oh no!
Your north wind blows
It sweep off my course
I don't know who I am
Caught in the vestiges
Of my many selves

Do I hurt you?
Because I succeed in America
I the pace you decided me to go
In the place which we act
as if you despise so?

You are a piece of me
And I of you
You are not me
And I am glad
Because you don't
have these American ways
With which I am
Gracious to have

But is this good?
Can you tell me this?
If letting go of your culture
Will lead to my spiritual bliss?

You smile with satisfaction
The wind roars with laughter
Have you won?
The game I worked so careful on?
This can't be
This is not true
I've followed this path
But now I must follow one anew
The wind blow
I feel you
But your
Chinese thoughts
are not
Words of my
I ponder my next move.

I wrote this poem to show how Waverly Jong might feel about her mother and her life. I tried to make it in the form of like a chess game because to her life probably was allot like a chess game. The game of life is full of winning and losing. Lately, I think se has been losing to her mother because she is so absorbed in her won self she can't really see what's went in her mother's life. She would not understand it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Jing-Mei Woo
"The Joy Luck Club"

In this section tell about Jing-Mei Woo's mother's "organic chemistry". She said that each person is made out of five elements. This reminds me of my own mother becuase like Jing-mei's, she always tries point out the faults in people. "Something was always missing. Something always needed improving. Something was not in balance. This one had too much of one element, not enough of another." When you deal with my mother its as if no one is ever good enough. If I am extremely good at something, such as writing, my mother never acknowleges accompishments in that area. What she does do is scold at me becuase I still have my weak points(math).
At this point in the story I became confused because it was told that a person has five elements yet not all of them were spoken about. They elements that were there were fire,(Jing-mei woo's father), wood(An-Mei), and water(Jing-Mei Woo). What happened to the other two? I think that Jing-Mei's mother's main point was for a person to have balance in the things they are good at. However, I don't agree with this because if people were good at everything they did, life would be boring. Also, they might have balance but nothing would ever stand out as extremely special to them becuase everything they did ended up in success. I feel that failure is neccessity for success.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Joy Luck Club
"The Red Candle"
Deep inside

Searching in
the depths of my soul
I whirl through neverending
the seas of tears
the seas of scars
the seas
of weary waves washed
into unwanted shores
I don't want this
nor does he.
But why do we continue
to endure these obstracities?
The wind blows
no one can see
the wind blows
my heart yearns to break free
the wind is the only key
the key to unlocking what lurks deep inside me
inside this tomb
I hide
the tomb of santary
the tomb of mind
I hide
avoiding the beats of life
avoiding the irrevocable
the defeats of life
what does thsi mean to me
to stand around and do what others
wish of me
or to set out what is deep inside me
and let everyone see
the real me
the me that cannot be washed through my skin
the me that has been lying in the depths within
the me that knows where I want to go
the me that that only I know
The me that stands tall when I am right
the me that is willing to fight.
no one can take it away
though the surface has changed
I still remain the same
I wrote this poem to show how I think Lindo Jong felt whe she realized that she was like the wind. I chose to do this becuase that was my favorite part of the story"scar." Her realization of this saved her life. It gave her hope to pull through when all seemed dead and hopeless. In poem I wrote about her contemplation between a river, and wind. She thought about how a river changes color but is it the same still underneath? This struck my attention. I really don't know the answer to it. Nevertheless, would rather be like the wind so I am able choose where I want to go. I fel stronmgly about this becuase don't like it when people make decisions for me.