The Connection between Lindo Jong’s Experiences and Her Anticipation for Waverly
In The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, the Jong family is one of four families that have a mother from China and a daughter who is born in America. The social background of the book switches back and forth from China during war time to modern America. Therefore, differences in thought as well as in culture can be seen clearly. However, there is a connection between what Lindo Jong experienced in China and her anticipation for what her daughter – Waverly Jong – faces in America. This is shown by the way Lindo forms her invisible strength and teaches her daughter to apply it in playing chess.
At the beginning of “The Red Candle”, Lindo keeps talking about “the promise” (49) – how it is significant with her and how it seems to be worthless with her daughter. She is talking about an important element which motivates her to realize her genuine value. The phrase “keep my parents’ promise” (49) and “promise to be myself” (49) are repeated over and over again to show this inner motivation is really important. Lindo lived in her mother-in-law’s house for four years before her marriage. She spent a long time learning how to be a good wife, how to take care of her in-laws as if it was her own family. The sentence “The Huangs almost washed their thinking into my skin” (56) shows that Lindo is assimilated. It was not until the night of her marriage that she realized her true value. In this part, Tan ingeniously uses the wind as a metaphor to describe an invisible strength that is formed inside Lindo character – “I couldn’t see the wind itself, but I could see it carried the water that filled the rivers and shaped the countryside” (58). Lindo’s value is also shown when she says “I was strong” (58), “I was pure” (58) and “I had genuine thought inside that no one could see” (58). Lindo’s invisible strength is manipulatively emphasized at the part when she...
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