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The Joy Luck Club (novel) - Essay Example

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The Joy Luck Club: Jing-mei vs Waverly Jing-mei is, in a way, the novel’s main character while Waverly is one of the characters of daughters. Structurally, the narratives presented by Jing-mei help connect the storytellers from two generations since she not only has to speak for herself, but also has to speak on behalf of her deceased mother in the first and the fourth section of the novel; “I am to replace my mother, whose seat at the mah jong table has been empty since she died two months ago” (Tan 19)…
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The Joy Luck Club (novel)
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"The Joy Luck Club (novel)"

Download file to see previous pages She not only accomplishes the goal of her mother on her behalf, but also gets to learn more about her mother as a result of the unique experience of reuniting with her long lost and never seen before half-sisters. Jing-mei and Waverly share the feeling of regret of having lost ties with their indigenous Chinese culture in their attempts to identify themselves with the Americans. Jing-mei and Waverly share the same cultural differences with their respective mothers which also happen to be the cause of misunderstandings between the daughters and the mothers. On one hand, Jing-mei does not find her mother as supportive, understanding, and leveraging as she would like her to be as an American and on the other hand, Waverly is uncomfortable with and afraid of the criticism that her mother offers to Waverly’s fiance Rich; “But I worried for Rich. Because I knew my feelings for him were vulnerable to being felled by my mother’s suspicions, passing remarks, and innuendos” (Tan 175). ...
Waverly seems to be setting the standards and Jing-mei seems to be knocked out mostly. This can be fundamentally attributed to the fact that rather than realize her own potential and qualities, Jing-mei keeps comparing herself to Waverly all the time. Waverly inherits invisible strength from her mother that she uses to strategize, and when she does that to Jing-mei, Jing-mei feels downplayed. The very strength makes Waverly develop a sense of competitiveness because of which, she becomes Jing-mei’s rival and insults her at the dinner of Suyuan’s New Year in front of others. Jing-mei finds Waverly too difficult and offensive to talk to. She explains this in these words, “I felt like screaming. She could be so sneaky with her insults. Every time I asked her the simplest of tax questions, for example, she could turn the conversation around and make it seem as if I were too cheap to pay for her legal advice” (Tan 204). The Episode of crabs illustrates that Waverly wants only the very best and is intelligent enough to choose it while Jing-mei is not which is why she does not know what are the best qualities to look for in a crab and also she gets belittled by Waverly at the dinner. Jing-mei’s relation toward Waverly changes over time as she reflects upon her own weaknesses. She realizes that in her attempt to keep competing with Waverly, she has been finding herself coming up short; “I turned on the water to wash the dishes. And I no longer felt angry at Waverly. I felt tired and foolish, as if I had been running to escape someone chasing me, only to look behind and discover there was no one there” (Tan 207). In spite of her weaknesses and insecurities, Jing-mei has a lot of room for improvement and she does improve as the novel ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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