Response to “The Voice from the Wall”

“The Voice from the Wall” is a chapter of Joy Luck Club Written by Amy Tan which reflects about the matters which you don’t want to think, but these usually come to your mind and you can’t stop yourself thinking like this. Here, the main characters Lena St. Clair and her mother Betty St. Clair (Ying-ying) used to think like these. The whole chapter’s subject was appearance vs. reality. They see one thing but discover another thing. Ying-ying believes that there is existence of ghost in the world and she used to discuss with her daughter about the ghost of a beggar who killed her grandfather (Ying-ying’s) as he had sentenced the beggar to death. Ying-ying believes that his grandfather did not die because of influenza but the beggar turned into a ghost and took revenge on her grandfather. Lena St. Clair also had begun to think like this. When she saw monkey rings, she used to think that it would split in two and send a singing child hurtling through space.

When I was reading this chapter and reading about the imagination of the mother and her daughter, I was thinking that what these were. I didn’t ever think like this. After some moments, I remembered that I also thought like this. When I went to the rooftop and saw the ground from there, the thought came to mind that what would happen if I fell from the roof to the ground, my head might be broken and my brain would come out and scatter in the ground. Again, when I cut fruits by a sharp knife, the thought came to my mind that if the knife slipped from my hand it would go through the belly of my little sister who was playing beside me. What a horrible thinking came to my mind! I never liked to think like this but it happened.

Lina’s mother Ying-ying used to frighten her by telling a story of a man, who was thousands years old and liked to eat the children who went to the basement. Her mother used to tell such kind of story to Lina to discourage her to go to the basement as it was a dark place and many stairs were there, if Lina went there, she could fall down and hurt herself. The same thing also happened to me. When I was five or six years old, I disliked eating vegetables. My mother made a story that there was a witch who searched for the children who disliked vegetables and ate the children. I believed the story and didn’t refuse to eat vegetables anymore.

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