My response to “The Moon Lady”

“The Moon Lady” is one of the chapters in Joy Luck Club Written by Amy Tan. It tells us about Ying-Ying St. Clairs’ childhood days, who is one of the main characters in the story. The story was written from the first person point of view. I really enjoyed reading about how Ying-Ying used to be when she was a child. I reminisced about my childhood days when I read about how she fooled her two gullible cousin sister-giving them only small share of a cake and keeping the bigger share for herself. I also used to fool my little brother by keeping larger share of everything for myself. I realized that I was a very arrogant sister.

Moreover, I found some evidences that endorse gender is created by society and reinforced by its social construction: family, mass media, and culture. And the evidences are as follows:

  1. Ying- Ying’s mother and Amah look after her. Amah always nurtures Ying-Ying while Ying-Ying’s mother spends her time by netting beautiful clothes for her family. Moreover, her mother and various other ladies talk about how to mix herbs and cook it; Whereas Ying-Ying’s father and her uncle talks about a poem and their occupation. Here it clearly shows that Ying-Ying has learned that her father works outside their home; whereas, her mother does the household chores.
  2. Ying-Ying’s father wears a plain fine quality silk weave and workmanship dress; whereas her mother and she wear colorful dresses, jackets and skirts, for the festival. Ying-Ying learned about clothing. She knew that men and women wear in different ways.
  3. When Ying-Ying ran after a dragonfly to play with it, her Amah stops her and tells her that only boys can run after dragonflies. Ying-Ying learned that boys are more “wild” than girls.
  4. After watching “The Moon Lady” play, Ying-Ying learned that women are yin, the darkness and men are yang, the light to our minds.

Although Ying-Ying was just a four year old child, she learned from her family about how men and women take their responsibilities and how they cloth themselves. Through culture she learned that men are the light to women’s darkness. I think Ying-Yings ability to know that she is a girl is not innate.For example, it is her Amah who told her that she is a big girl and she should dress herself neatly and decently.which means she learned about gender from surrounding.

What do you think about it?

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