“If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold”

In the chapter “Rice Husband” in The Joy Luck by Any Tan, Lena’s mother says, “If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold.” Lena conceives the meaning as “One thing is always the result of another.”Lena believes that Arnold’s died because of the uneaten rice left in her bowl. Once her mother told her that she would marry a bad man and her future husband would have pock marks on his face in accordance to the amount of rice Lena had left uneaten in her bowl. As a result, she felt responsible for causing death of Arnold whom she believed was her destined husband.

From my point of view, I feel that Lena’s mom is right because everything that we do in our lives, either success or failure, is always the result of our own actions and behaviors. For instance, when I was in 12th grade, my parents advised me to study well to fulfill their expectations by being able to qualify for an engineering college. However, I didn’t study well and couldn’t perform well in my BHSEC exams. As a consequence, I didn’t qualify for the engineering college, instead I qualified for Chemistry and Math honors in another university. I regretted for I failed to fulfill my parent’s expectation and most importantly, I couldn’t accomplish my ambition. Thus, it is tangible that my failure was the result of my indifference and not having worked hard.

The other thing is that I applied for the admission in AUW since I wasn’t interested to in doing chemistry honors. I worked hard to pass through the interviews and exams in order to qualify for admission in AUW.  Finally, I got selected in AUW, which I considered to be a great opportunity for me. After joining AUW, I got to learn a lot which I haven’t heard while I was back in my country. Also, I gained a great deal of skills in reading, writing and listening skills. Moreover, I got the chance to meet and get acquainted with students from different cultures and religions. Therefore, I would say that this is the result of the hard work that I put in order to get admitted in AUW.

Life is what you make out of it, so be wise in making decision or making choice as every decision has direct influence on your life. As Lena’s mother said, “If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold.”

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One Response to “If the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold”

  1. vythai says:

    Dear Tshering,
    you are right in many circumstances, but I think that saying is not always true. For example, one of my friends used to take an exam without studying very much, but she still got enough marks to go to a university. i think her success also depends on her luck. What do you think?

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