In Amy Tan’s novel The Bonesetter’s Daughter, the main female characters are Ruth and Lu Ling. Lu Ling is Ruth’s mother and like Amy Tan’s own mother, Lu Ling is a Chinese immigrant (“Amy Tan”). Ruth and Lu Ling do not have the most ideal mother-daughter relationship. When Ruth was a child she pretended she could not talk because it made her feel loved by Lu Ling (Tan 74). Ruth finally feels “Lu Ling belonged to that same family, and Ruth belonged to them both” (365).
Lu Ling lives life in accordance with Chinese tradition. Lu Ling escaped from China during the Chinese Civil War but still values her heritage. Lu Ling will only go to Chinese operated hospitals (62). She believes in ghosts and curses as they were in her childhood days in China (223). Along with her superstitions from her days in China, she thinks everything costs way to much (338). Ruth however, was raised in America and has adopted American ways. While her mother swears that ghosts are true, Ruth believes such things do not exist (75). Ruth thinks it is important to live life the way you choose and venture into the free world. Contrary to Lu Ling’s beliefs, Ruth believes sometimes you have to spend money in order to gain (335).
In order to understand each other, they must each compromise on their beliefs and assumptions of each other. Lu Ling must realize that Ruth is no longer a child and Ruth must learn about her mother’s history to fully understand her way of thinking (159 -307).
In The Joy Luck Club, Waverly Jong has a very misunderstood relationship with her mother Lindo...