who deserved to be blamed?

                   Reading The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, I had always blamed for the daughters who misunderstood their own mother until I recognized the situation of the daughters. Living in a different culture, they had constantly had to face a lot of problems. Listening to their mothers was very good, but how could they apply what they were taught in her family in American society? The environments where they lived certainly impact their lives, even though they wanted it or not.  Indeed, it was very hard for them to fully adapt two cultures simultaneously.

                  Moreover, it was a fallacy that I had thought every fault was caused by the daughters; but their mothers were also responsible to their knotty relationships. Even though everything the mothers did because they wanted goodness for their daughters, their behaviors really took part in increasing their gaps. For instance, Suyan Woo had an inclination to teach Jing Mei to be a prodigy. She always wanted her daughter to be good, to be shrewd, and to do something she wanted, without even asking Jing Mei’s wishes. Her action was impartial, wasn’t it? She used to say that she just wanted Jing Mei to try her best, but how could Jing Mei concentrate on what she didn’t like? I wondered if Suyan had never thought about it. Also I was surprised Suyan hadn’t known Jing Mei good quality until Jing Mei turned 36 in the chapter “Best Quality.” In fact, Suyan was the one who indirectly coerced Jing Mei into her situation.

                    Then, I was aware of An-mei Sue’s definite teaching on Rose Sue Jordan, her daughter. She always wanted her daughter to listen to her, though she hadn’t known what she said was right or wrong and how Rose adapted it. Rose used to admit that she didn’t even know what her mother said, but she still complied with her mother’s requirements. Didn’t An-mei’s teaching direct Rose to be disoriented? She couldn’t make any decisions by herself; rather, she depended on others. First, I thought that Rose never tried to heal her marriage, that if she obeyed her mother’s advice, she could solve her problem properly.  Yet I realized she even didn’t have ability to judge her trouble. It was because her mother always decided for her, wasn’t it?

                      Finally, Waverly Jong’s mother, Lindo Jong, changed herself so immediately that Waverly couldn’t adjust what was going on around her. I used to get angry when I discovered Waverly had misapprehended her mother until her late 30s. Nevertheless, I noticed which and who forced her to become that kind of person. She had always thought something bad about her mother since her mother altered not to intervene in her life. How could a child understand clearly what her mother wanted when her mother suddenly changed, although she knew it was because of her disrespect toward her mother? The fact that she felt her mother want to be against her was highly liable.

Thu Nguyen

2 Responses to who deserved to be blamed?

  1. tdenkar says:

    Dear Thu,
    For me, i knew from the beginning of the novel that both the daughters and the mothers are too be blamed for their misunderstandings. the mother expect a different thing from their daughter and the daughter expects a different thing from their mothers. so i think both the mother and daughters are to be blamed. Lke you pointed out, due to the culture differences, they had to undergo several misunderstandings and disagreements. If i was in the shoes of one of the daughters, i would also have had faced the same conflict with the mothers. For, instance when Jing-Mei’s mother told her about the cat, i infered that she had killed the cat by the way she told to her daughter, but the cat wasnt actually killed. thus, i think lack of proper commmunication lead to the misconception that occured between the mothers and the daughters

  2. tausifa says:

    Dear lovely Thu, I think your imagination is right. I also think that the mothers are more responsible than the daughters for their misunderstanding. I do agree that the mothers were very polite and responsible as daughters to their parents, but they couldn’t be good mother to their daughters. The daughters were young and immature, but look, how their mothers behaved with them. Jing-Mei’s mother always used to underestimate her, and Waverly’s mother always used to show off her. How can a person accept this kind of behavior? They were not immature; they should have understood their daughters, but they couldn’t try to understand them. Think, if Suyuan encouraged Jing-Mei, would she give up her efforts to be a prodigy? To be blunt, I think the mothers are responsible for all misunderstandings.

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