The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan s The Joy Luck Club is a story about four women from China, Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu, Linda Jong, and Ying Ying St. Clair, and their four daughters, Jing-mei Woo, Rose Hsu Jordan, Waverly Jong, and Lena St. Clair. The Asian mothers had fled China in the 1940 s to escape the political unrest and formed a social group called the Joy Luck Club upon meeting each other. The book focuses on Jing-mei June Woo who takes her mother s place at the meetings after her death. As the women play Mah Jong, a Chinese game, and feast, they recall stories from their past and explain the differences between them and their daughters. It is through these stories that June comes to appreciate her Chinese heritage.
One such story is that of Suyuan Woo, the founder of the Joy Luck Club, and her two twin daughters in china. She had walked for three days trying to escape the Japanese during their invasion in World War II. The weight of her possessions were so heavy that her hands started to bleed and she was overcome with pain and fever. She abandoned her things one by one until she only had her babies. She then tried to give the two girls to someone who would take care of them, but no one would accept. She had no choice but to leave them on the side of the road in hope that someone would find them. Suyuan put all of her jewelry and money with the babies as well as her family pictures and a note, and then she left. Shortly after, she fainted and was found by American missionaries. Then Suyuan found that her husband had been killed, but soon met her future husband, Canning Woo.
Suyuan Woo is an anti-hero, she is not perfect but still very heroic. A hero is someone who is brave, caring, loving and someone who tries to do the right thing. Suyuan had all of these characteristics. She was extremely brave to leave her home and her possessions and flee without her husband or friends. To actually give her children to a stranger so they can survive rather than have them die with her. Most mothers would probably stay with heir child, even if it meant death for them and the children, rather than give them to a stranger so they can survive. Morally she did not make the wrong choice. There isn t a right or wrong answer to what she should have done because the babies might have died whether she left or stayed with them.
Another hero who is similar to Suyuan Woo is Forrest Gump. They are both anti-heroes who are brave and want to do the right thing. Forrest always tried his best to do what he thought was right, such as saving a drowning man or telling people what the war was really like, even if it was against the nation s best interest. For Suyuan, she wanted to do what was best for the girls. Forrest, like Suyuan, is also very caring. Suyuan cared enough about her daughters to give them away, and Forrest is caring because he treats all people the same, without any prejudice, and helps out when someone is in need.
Near the end of the book, Jing-Mei Woo receives a letter from her twin half sisters in China. They had been found and raised by a peasant couple who had tried to locate Suyuan several times. However, by that time the Woo s had already left for America. The twins did not yet know that their mother had died. Jing-Mei has Aunti Lindo write to them to tell them about Suyuan, but June still feels that they should meet. Jing-Mei and her father Canning go to China where they are greeted by some of Canning s relatives. When June finally meets her long lost sisters, she is stunned at how much they resemble their mother. However, later she does not see the resemblance, but after seeing a picture of the three of them, they realize that together they are their mother. Separately they are just pieces, but together they are whole.