Symbolism in "The Joy Luck Club"

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“I knew from their snow white bellies and pretty voices they were magpies, birds of joy.” An Mei’s mom (243). Magpies are one of the many symbols used in the book The Joy Luck Club. Magpies were used to symbolize how some people’s joy comes from others sorrow. Double meaning and presentations of simple life situations are used as symbols throughout the book. Similar to magpies is the wind. Attacking without warning strong fast not being seen, the wind has the art of invisible strength. Resembling a game of chess strength in each move can not be seen. Waverly Jong learns this lesson while playing a game called chess. Her mother lindo always pushes her to make every move better and stronger, teaching her the art of invisible strength. “…strongest wind can not be seen” (89). Equal to the mental defeat Waverly has over June it is meaningful, powerful and can not be seen. Another embodiment of symbols is wood, one of the Chinese element needs like water and fire to make a person balanced. Through roses’ life and during the course of her marriage she moves and sways to other others needs. At a point Rose realizes her marriage was falling apart. “…I was born without wood, born without wood so that I listen to, to many people” (209). When all Rose can hear is the voices of others, she can not listen to herself. Even though she was born without wood she eventually stands up for herself. Yet another sign is the tiger. Ying-Ying who is born the year of the tiger embraces it, although it is thought not to be a good year. After she moves to the states and gets married she surrenders her tiger. Years later after she sees her daughter in a bad place in her marriage she vales to get her tiger back. “The gold side leaps with its fierce heart. The black side stands still with cunning hiding its gold between the trees…. .”(282). The spirit inside of Ying-Ying is lost until she rises to revel her true strength. From beginning to end many symbols were used like tiger, wind, and...
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