Take Action

     “Waiting Between the Trees,” the last chapter talking about the characters Ying-ying and Lena in The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Ying-ying tells her stories about the process of her first marriage, how she goes through the hard time after her husband leaves her, and how she gets married to Saint Clair, Lena’s father.

     Born in the year of tiger, Ying-ying has tigers’ qualities, which includes the gold and the black sides. According to her mother, “The gold side leaps with its fierce heart. The black side stands still with cunning” (Tan 282). For Ying-ying, her black side accompanies her for more than ten years after her husband leaves her; she aborts her baby, stays in her cousin’s family, and waits patiently. I was once curious that what she was waiting for. Was it because of the thought that she was “too good for any one man” (281)? Or she had the thought that her husband would come back her side? However, I do have a better understanding about what Ying-ying wants to say at the end of this chapter; she says that she will pass her spirit to her daughter Lena, who is also a tiger, too. She will “gather together “her “past and look,” “hold the pain in the hand until it becomes hard and shiny” (286). I suppose that she realizes that waiting things to come is not enough for a person, and one should take action if she wants to get what she really wants. Therefore, Ying-ying wants to give her spirit, which is her gold side, to Lena, by which she teaches Lena to take action before things becoming late. Also, she doesn’t want to see Lena to do the same thing as what she did – waiting patiently, sticking in a same place, and losing her way to continue her life.

     I’m so surprised that the ending of this chapter is similar to the previous chapter’s, to some extent. In the previous chapter, An-mei’s mother, who is a concubine, doesn’t have any voice in that family but undergoes all the pain by herself. Finally, her mother’s death tells her how important it is to speak out one’s thoughts. Then, here, a similar lesson is being taught – if you want to get what you want, taking action is important and necessary.

     However, sometimes taking action is not an easy thing to do. Perhaps that’s the reason why Ying-ying keeps silent for such a long time. In order to do that, I think we must be brave enough. What’s your opinion?

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One Response to Take Action

  1. shinyday14 says:

    Hello friends. Yes, you are right about the Ying-ying story. She has lost her past, younghood and happiness since she had been silent, she had not express her anger, her sarrow and her happiness. she had been observing everything but didn’t speak one word. however, now she finds herself in a situation that she must shout. Seeing her daughter suffering from the same pain, she decides stopping her silence and prevant her daughter to bear what she had.
    However it is late for herself to wake up, saving her daughter’s life can make her happy. It may releas her pain of being guilty for giving her innocence up. This is the time to raise her voice and revitulise her dead spirirt.

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