Mother and Daughter Relationships in The Joy Luck Club and A Hundred Secret Senses
In life, many things can be taken for granted - especially the things that mean the most to you. You just might not realize it until you've lost it all. As I walk down the road finishing up my teenage days, I slowly have been finding a better understanding of my mother. The kind of bond that mothers and daughters have is beyond hard to describe. It's probably the biggest rollercoaster ride of emotions that I'll ever have the chance to live through in my lifetime. But, for those of us who are lucky enough to survive the ride in one piece, it's an amazing learning experience that will influence your entire future.
In Amy Tan's novels, The Joy Luck Club, and A Hundred Secret Senses, she describes relationships between mothers and daughters reflecting on her own parents experiences in life.
Four mothers, four daughters, four families... whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "telling" the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to talk, eat dim sum, and play mahjong.. As June's mother said, "Idea was to have a gathering of four women, one for each corner of the mahjong table" (Joy p.32) Being together in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Instead of sinking into tragedy, they choose to gather and raise their spirits. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." (Joy p.134) In other words, why sit back and keep pondering the tragedy, it's better to let the past go, and move on.
In The Joy Luck Club, Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, but also more entwined.
For example in June's situation... In failure to excel at the tasks that Suyuan, her mother, had set before her, June begins to feel more and more resentment towards her. She looks at her mother's hopes as expectations, and when she doesn't live up to them, she feels like a failure. When June performs a piano piece filled with mistakes at a talent show, she feels that her mother is completely ashamed and disappointed with her. As June reminisced, "My mothers expression was what devastated me: a quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything" (Joy p.143) But her mother is unhappy because June did not care about having the best for herself. June didn't have any high hopes to be successful at anything. She failed because she didn't try, and didn't care. Until June's mother died she never realized how much her mother loved her and how proud she was of her. "Right after my mother died, I asked myself a lot of things, things that couldn't be answered, to force myself to grieve more. It seemed as if I wanted to...