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Joy Luck Club - The Struggles of Life
A giant total has been assessed onto an assignment. The team has spent weeks of preparation. In moments the presentation of this project will commence. But, some team members aren't ready. The whole project crumbles and ultimately results in a failure. Disciplined workers have no control over it, but they must overcome this obstacle. Only this way can they become better people and know how to handle similar situations in the future. People must overcome hardships to have stronger personalities, just like the women in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. People learn from their mistakes. For Suyuan Woo, she over packed and failed to make it to a relief area. "After a while, she left the suitcases behind, keeping only the food and a few clothes. And later she also dropped the bags of wheat flour and rice^ ." (p. 324). After leaving all this, she continued, but she was already too fatigued to walk anymore. Her energy was burned up from her body, like fossil fuel from the Earth. Finally, too much was used. She learned that no one could ever take everything with them. They must make sacrifices to survive. An-mei Hsu survived a great hardship, like when hot soup scorched her young neck, leaving her with a scar. "I could not speak because of this terrible choking feeling. I could not see because of all the tears that poured out to wash away the pain." (p. 39). Her tender skin survived the intense heat, and her character developed. When she was older, another crisis erupted when her mother killed herself with opium. At this point, Wu-Tsing's house was nothing, only a hive of polygamy. From this, she learned that she could gain respect that her mother could never fully achieved. "And on that day, I showed Second Wife the fake pearl necklace she had given me and crushed it under my foot. And on that day, Second Wife's hair began to turn white. And on that day, I learned to shout." (p. 272). She resisted, and refused to succumb to the pressures in her life. Planned marriages were a common practice when the Joy Luck mothers were still young. For instance, when Lindo was 12, she was forced to marry into a very harsh family. From it, she learned patience. Soon, after her marriage, she longed to be free again. "On the morning of that day, I woke up Tyan-Yu and the entire house with my wailing. It took Huang Taitai a long time to come into my room." (p. 60). From this, she also learned that manipulation was a cruel, but powerful force. Without notice, she made many attempts to be free. Eventually she broke her way out. Even though she freed herself, another obstacle appeared when she came to the United States. Unable to find a reasonable job, she was forced to work at a cookie factory, where perfection was critical. "If you grabbed the pancake too soon, you would burn your fingers on the hot, wet dough. But if you grabbed too late, the cookie would harden before you could even complete the first bend." (p. 298). From this job, came love. Lindo's marriage to Tin Jong was inevitable. An-mei, another worker at the factory, tried to connect them and it happened. The 'right' fortune cookie from the factory strengthened it into a marriage. While some marriages are planned, others are just bad, as was the case with Ying-ying's first marriage. Her first marriage was a bitter pill to swallow because her first husband was unethical and unfaithful. "And I will tell her of the baby I killed because I came to hate this man so much. I took this baby from my womb before it could be born." (p. 281). After enduring this hardship, she learned to choose a better marriage. Even though she did lose her identity passing through Customs, she did not hate St. Clair, and she certainly didn't abort Lena, her child. Even tigers get caught sometimes, and Ying-ying was no exception. Divorces can be very painful. It was for Rose Hsu Jordan, but she survived it and didn't let it affect her negatively. Like her mother, An-mei, she was able to bounce back with confidence from her hardships. "Ted pulled out the divorce papers and stared at them. His x's were still there, the blanks were still blank." (p. 219). This was the turning point in Rose's life because decision making was not an easy task for her. She was forced to succeed, or she would never find her true self. Everybody has their fair share of problems and Waverly Jong, a chess player, is no exception. Her marriage to Rich Schields was not easy to accomplish. With her mother, Lindo, strongly influencing her to find another man, it was hard to decide. The hurricane from hell for Waverly came when Rich was invited for dinner. "This was one of our family's cue to eat some and proclaim it was the best she had ever made^ And he proceeded to pour a riverful of the salty black stuff on the platter, right before my mother's horrified eyes." (p. 197). Rich failed miserably at this, and a multitude of other cultural tests. Fortunately, Waverly was able to weather the storm and rebuild from the wreckage though. After being mesmerized, she learned never to have her nave mother around Rich again. She knew there was no hope after that. But, she had to face the goddess of the sea and fight it with the invisible strength she had worked so hard to master. Her popularity hindered her learning. Her mother was always pressuring and pushing her to become the best. "She retreated to the kitchen and made loud noises with the pots and pans. When the crashing stopped, I could see out of the corner of her eye that she was standing in the doorway." (p. 101). You can only do so much at a time, everyone has their limits. Waverly ended her chess career to avoid being burned out. Sacrificing chess was not such a bad idea because those skills were traded for life skills. June (Jing-mei) Woo was merely a seed compared to Waverly in the beginning. She was never as talented nor motivated. As a child, Suyuan flooded her to become a prodigy, but she was unable grow in talent. "I was aware of eyes burning into my back. I felt the shame of my mother and father^ ." (p. 151). After she disappointed her parents, Waverly made fun of her, causing her to feel more shame. From this, sprouted "Best Quality". A valuable quality that negated the effect of being a prodigy. June was equal to Waverly's in status, and while not as talented, she had that quality. She used it well, like a stepping stone across a river to the land of higher self confidence. As with most other women in this book, Lena St. Clair also had marital problems. Her problem was not the standard run-of-the-mill. Harold, her husband, wanted

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