Unspoken Words

These two dialogues are dedicated to the two characters of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. The characters are Waverly Jong and her mother Lindo Jong.

Waverly Jong:

“Ma! Why did not you try to realize my feelings at my childhood? I did not want your extravagant show-off which made me feeling embarrassed. I did not want that because it made me to fill up with anger. Do you want to know why? Because it meant to me that you did not accept my power of playing chess. I know once I was a prodigy as I played chess so easily because of my confidence. But it is you! Yes, you who shattered my power of confidence. I wanted you to tell me something after my bad behavior to you on Stockton Street in front of people. But you said nothing, nothing which I expected. I expected it because I wanted to play chess, because I wanted to take my revenge to you perfectly, because I wanted you to behave with me normally. But you did not do this. If you realized my feelings, then I would not have to give up playing chess, my most favorite game where I won, not you.”

Lindo Jong:

“Meimei, I knew what was your feeling. But I wanted to teach you a lesson. As a mother, I had to teach you something which could make you to realize a fact ‘nothing is easy’. You wanted me not to show-off. You wanted me not to interfere in your game. I did not do this. But then what was happened? You wanted to take revenge, but it reflected on you. You had to give up playing chess, not me. Were you happy then? You wanted not to abide by my words…but you were off from your right track. A mother always wants well-being of her child. If you realized my thought, then you would not have to suffer a lot…” ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Maybe they wanted to tell these to each other, but they could not because their cultures were different, Waverly got used to live in American culture, and her mother had her Chinese origin. Though they were mother and daughter and shared the same blood, the language of their blood relationship became changed which made a gap between them. Thus, they were never able to communicate properly as they wanted because they made translations to understand each other, but the matter was that they could not; in translation, there was something missing which weakened their communicating bond. What is your opinion? Was that their fate?

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One Response to Unspoken Words

  1. auwpriyanka says:

    Hey Samia,

    You have made an excellent observation. I really liked the way you address both of the characters. May be they were thinking the same as you have mentioned. They may be really wanting to say eachother these words, but could not because of their failure of translating their views properly.
    Since you have asked that if it was their fate, I think it was not their fate but rather Waverly’s ego. Waverly wanted her mother to speak to her first. She did not realise that it was her mother who taught her lessons and gave her an internal spirit to win those games. She was waiting her mother to speak to her first which resulted her failure on the other chess games too. Moreover, in this lesson we come to know that actually Waverly did not uinderstand her mother. Her mother actually was helping her, but it was Waverly who distorted her mother’s thoughts and opinions.
    Yes, we can say, it was because of mistranslation as everything that happened was the result of the communication gap between the mother and daughter.

    Best Wishes

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