Best Quality

I found the chapter, “Best Quality” of the novel, The Joy luck Club awe-inspiring. After discussing the chapter in detail, I realized that everybody has a best quality hidden inside them and they need to discover it by themselves. I thought this lesson will be helpful for those who think that life is full of misery and loss because this chapter mainly talks about discovering our best quality and marching forward for a successful life.

By giving the example of Jing-Mei Woo, Amy Tan, the writer of the novel gives an evocative message i.e., we should be able to believe in ourselves and understand our own best quality. In the story, Jing-Mei always compares herself with others. She thinks everyone is perfect except her, which makes her weak inside. She has a dispute with Waverly, one of the daughters in the novel, about the issues of being talented and wise. Jing-Mei thought that she possessed nothing “good” quality and felt inferior to Waverly. In addition, when Jing-Mei’s mother says to Waverly, one should have innate talent to have in real life, Jing-Mei misinterprets it and thinks that her mother is against her, so she gets more upset. However, her mother is actually blaming herself because by inborn talent she means that she do not have those traits to pass on to Jing-Mei. Hence, this shows that Jing-Mei was going in wrong direction. She always got confused taking decisions and was more inclined to listen to others.

Moreover, she was unaware about her inner quality which was unknown to her. For example, in the Chinese New Year party, everyone picks up a large, delicious-looking crab, while Jing-Mei chooses a small, one-legged crab from the remaining two crabs. This makes her mother understand that Jing-Mei is different from others and is an altruistic person. However, Jing-Mei herself cannot know her best quality hidden inside her, so she always feels hopeless and frustrated about her life. Thus, this shows that everyone possesses a good quality within themselves, but what they need to work at, is to find their own essence and identity. Also, Jing-Mei’s mother gives her a necklace that reminds her of her mother‘s advice, which gradually helps her to understand her life’s importance.

I found the story really inspiring and I learnt from Jing-Mei’s example that we should not always be pessimistic and compare ourselves with others. We should also look at those activities that we excel in. Consequently, this will help us to be positive and remain happy in our lives.
Finally, I would like to ask everyone- what is your “Best Quality” and have you been successful to discover it?

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One Response to Best Quality

  1. Masooma says:

    Dear Priyanka,
    I agree that Jing-mei didn’t realize her best quality and personal value until her mother allude at it in the Chinese New Year party. But, I guess we shouldn’t forget that her mother also played an important role for making Jing-mei feeling disappointed in her own value. When Jing-mei was young, her mother always compared her with other child prodigies like Waverly, which had a negative impact on Jing-mei’s character. After she failed to be what her mother expected from her, gradually, she came to believe that it was a reality about her that she is worthless and is good at nothing. If her mother tried to discover the areas that her daughter was interested in or strong at and helped her to show her talent in a atmosphere free of comparison and negative pressure, Jing-mei might have improved her good qualities from childhood and would accept what she was without arguing with her mother.
    And about my best quality, I can remain optimistic even in the worse situations. This quality gives more energy and helps me move forward.

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