I missed my parents when I read “Rice Husband” Written by Amy Tan

“Rice Husband” is one of the chapters from The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan. It is written in first person’s point of view; we see the story or understand the story through Lena St. Clair’s, the main protagonist, eyes. It mainly tells us about her married life and her mother’s ability to predict or see the things related to her family before they happen. Clair felt in love got married to a very frugal person, Hagord, who always kept account of money he spend on buying things that they shared. She thought she would have a happy married life with him. However, she got fed up with the way they account for everything in their life and quarreled with her husband. Meanwhile she realizes her mother’s prediction; her mother warned that she will get a bad future husband by looking at her rice bowl, which was left unclean. Since her mother’s prediction about many things such as knowing beforehand that her husband, Clair’s father, would die or knowing ahead of time that she will give birth to a lifeless baby came true, she becomes wary about her married life.

I tried to connect some of the paragraphs that talks about her married life with my parent’s married lives and I found out that they have similar stories. My parents never keep their money together, just like Clair’s and her husband did. In fact, my father’s character is quite similar to Clair’s husband, Harold’s, character. My father doesn’t like to take money freely from any one. He always believes that borrowing and lending money ruins a good relationship. This was the same case with Harold. Also, my mother’s character seems similar with Clair’s character. Clair helped her husband to become a good chief architect by sharing her ideas and strategies with him; similarly, my mother helps my father to make a good conclusion. My father always seeks my mother’s help to make good decisions.

Although some of clair’s and Horald’s character match with my parents’ character. My parents never quarrel over minor things. My father is a very frugal person and he sometimes make a list of goods he had bought, just like Clair and Harold did, and tell we children about it. He then shouts, “I will never buy anything for you all now, I’ve spend enough. Tell your mom to buy your goods.” However we infer that he is going to buy more goods for us because that is what he always does after reprimanding us.

After relating Clair’s and Harold’s character and my parent’s character, I made a deduction that, within a couple, keeping account for everything has more advantages than disadvantages. For example, if we have different account, we can be independent; we will be wary about how much we earn and how much we spend. Moreover, we will be freed from problems like sometimes a wife annoys her husband when he fails to give full salary in her hand by querying many questions.

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2 Responses to I missed my parents when I read “Rice Husband” Written by Amy Tan

  1. auwpriyanka says:

    Dear Dorji,
    You have made a good observation from the story written by Amy Tan. After reading your response, I realized that my parents’ behavior is somewhat similar to yours’. As you have said that your father is a frugal person and he becomes annoyed by your family’s expenses, it is the same in my mother’s case. She is very concerned about the household expenses. If I buy things that are very expensive, then my mother argues with me and says that I always waste money in trivial things.
    My parents also make a budget for the household as well as individual expenses. They share their earnings as the St.Clair’s do. They help each other in their difficulties either related to family or societal matters. I also agree with you that couples should make list of their earnings and savings so that there may be no disputes regarding economy of the family.
    Finally Dorji, could you please clarify how is your father same as Harold in lending or borrowing money? I did not get what you meant by that.

    • dorjiom says:

      Priyanka, thank you for your question. As per my understanding, Harold refused to take money from Lena st. Clair when she said that he can either borrow it or take it from her. It was because he doesn’t like to keep others money. He asked Lena St. Clair to live with him in same apartment so that she can pay him some amount as a rent. This way he takes money from her. Moreover, he said that he value their relationship and doesn’t want to damage it at any cost. Similarly, my father thinks that taking money from others without any thing in return ruins one’s relationship. He believes that money can spoil a good relationship. Therefore, I inferred that they have got similar characters.

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