Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club
Parents always want what is best for their children, regardless of culture or ethnicity. In The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, and in "Life With Father" by Itabari Njeri, the parents express their parental methods upon their daughters. Children will all react differently to their parent's methods, as do Waverly, June, and Itabari, but they still share a common resentment for their parents. It is shown in the two stories how parental methods expressed to children can be misinterpreted, thus influencing the child's behavior.
June's mother wants her to become a successful piano player. The problem with this is that June possesses no talent or determination to do so, so she doesn't practice. Her mother cleans an old deaf piano teacher's apartment in exchange for June to be taught piano, but the teacher can't correct June when she makes a mistake, because he cannot
hear. June's mother encouraged her to practice and would always brag about how good she was to everyone. June's mother enjoyed having pride in her daughter, as she thought her daughter was a representation of how successful she was herself. June did not appreciate this at all. After making a fool of herself at the talent show she vowed to never play piano again. Her mother's wishes for her success were mistaken for her mother's selfishness. June thought her mother was only pushing her to find something in her daughter that was not in herself.
Waverly was the same as June, in that her mother also wanted her to become great at something. Waverly's mother saw her being a child prodigy of chess. Once she saw that Waverly was good at it, she encouraged her to play. Waverly enjoyed chess and took it upon herself to get good at chess. June could possibly have been successful with the piano, but she would not embrace her mother's hopes to that degree. It seemed that Waverly had an ability inherited from her mother to conceal feelings and strategies, much like what is needed to win a chess match. Waverly got along better with her mother than June did, but June's mother pushed her in a direction she didn't want to go in, rather than taking credit for success. Both actions were misconceived however.
Waverly has the ability to humiliate June, as she did at the New Year's dinner. Those with self-confidence such as Waverly easily insult June. Waverly's mother has taught her to be proud of her abilities, while June's mother has not shown her to be proud, but more "content." Waverly is noted by June's mother as being a crab, moving only sideways, trying to keep others from passing her. June is more of the type to surpass Waverly's meager insults, making her the better person. Waverly is like this because she cares so much about other people criticisms of her, strongest of all being her mothers. She runs her life based upon what she thinks her mother feels about things. These children act the way they do, insulting and accepting, based upon their...