response to “Half and Half”

In the chapter, “Half and Half” of The Joy Luck Club Rose Hsu Jordan narrates the story how her mother lost her faith on God, and how “fate” and “faith” influenced Rose’s married life. In this chapter, the narrator Rose Hsu Jordan gives a very intellectual idea about “fate” and “faith”.

            According to the story, fate is what we except subconsciously, and we don’t pay attention to control over it. Consequently, we let it happen as we expect it. In the story, Rose knew that her brother was going to fall in water; she expected it. When she had become inattentive to him, the accident happened. It was their destiny which was unchangeable. Though she noticed what was going to happen, she couldn’t change the fate. Same things happened in her marriage. She expected that she was going to be divorced; instead of doing anything to save the relation, she just let it happen.

            On the other hand, “faith” refers to a strong belief on something or someone that make us confident. When Bing had been lost, An-mei was confident that she would find him because she had faith in God. She refused to accept the fate as she had expectation from God. When her faith couldn’t save her son, she lost faith on God.

`           From my own point of view, both “fate” and “faith” leads our lives. We can’t deny our fate for our faith. According to my religion Islam, if you have faith on Allah, you must be ready to accept your destiny. Islam says, keep faith on Allah, and Allah sometimes fixes our destiny to examine how strong our faith on Allah. Allah also says, try your best to be successful, and if you fail, just be patient and you will be rewarded later. According to my faith on Allah, I can’t accept Rose’s mother’s one sided belief on faith, and her refusal to God. I also disagree with Rose as she is constant in fate without trying to save her marriage. However, I appreciate An-mei’s effort as a mother to find her son.

            In conclusion, we all should keep faith in God or in our capacity. We should also be prepared to accept our destiny, but we should try to change our luck too.

Yin Yang vs. the Present World

     In “The Moon Lady”, the myth of Yin Yang was presented which explained that Yin was a male with traits like independency and activeness. On the other hand, Yang represented a female with traits such as dependency and passiveness. The story expressed that females depended on men. The characteristics of males and females, according to Ted and Rose in “Half and Half”, have supported the traits of males and females described by Yin and Yang. Though they got married with their approval and acceptance their bond weakened with respect to time. After their marriage, Rose started relying on her husband and accepting all decisions made by him. This showed that Rose depended on her husband and is passive, for she accepted everything finalized by her husband. On the contrary, Ted is independent and active for he is able to decide for both of them.

 I feel that the meaning implied by myths isn’t always true. It varies from generation to generation. This myth took place in ancient ages when men held superior positions and all the decisions are made by men. Women, on the other hand, would follow as summoned by men. I believe that the meaning of the symbol of Yin Yang doesn’t resemble men and women of the present world. Comparing my mother and my father with Rose and Ted, they bear many differences. My father is independent and active like Ted which meets the meaning of Yin. However, my mother’s traits do not resemble the traits of females expressed by the symbol. My mother is independent and active for she is employed and confident enough to make her own decisions whereas Rose is the opposite of it. Rose represents the meaning of Yang, but my mother’s trait is against it. The present century is different from the time in the past; these days, people are educated and both males as well as females utilize their potential to live an independent life. Nonetheless, these myths will keep alive the situation of certain periods in human history. So, myths are to gain knowledge about the situation of that time as well as people‘s lives. We can enjoy getting exposed to different myths and do some research to increase our knowledge, but it doesn’t mean that every meaning of the myth will remain the same forever.

What is your thought about it?

Faith Vs Fate

Do you believe in the fate or the faith? For me, I believe in both faith and fate. Fate is when I believe that something happens to me because it is meant to happen or meant to be destined to happen to me. Faith, on the other hand, is when I believe something happens because I have expected it to happen.  I believe that sometimes we get confused about accepting the things as they are and conceding ourselves to how things are in our life. Often when I start improving myself in any qualities that I lack for a little while and then when things don’t work out I would say, “Well, I guess it wasn’t just meant to be.” This is when I give in myself to whatever “fate” has in store for me. But I approached to improve these qualities with the faith and trust to improve myself.

 Now, if I talk in the context of The Joy Luck Club, Rose Hsu Jordan’s mother had full faith in her religion until the day she loses her son Bing. An-mei, refusing to accept the fate drove with Rose to the beach early in the morning to search for Bing. An-mei offered prayers to god and the watery-blue sapphire ring into the ocean hoping that Bing would be returned, but it was in vain. At the time, Rose thought that her mother inferred that faith could not change fate. Moreover, Rose also realizes that “Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention”. Because of her inattention that caused Bing to drown, and her inattention to decision making with her husband made the marriage deteriorate and finally resulted in Ted’s request for a divorce. On the other side, An-mei’s hope for the return of Bing and Rose Hsu’s expectation to save the marriage plays the other half of their fate.

In the chapter “Two Kinds” Jing-mei and her mother also have conflicts because of their contrasting ideas of fate. Suyuan is adamant that Jing-mei will discover her inner talent of becoming a prodigy if only she and her daughter work hard like Waverly Jong and her mother does. However, Jing-mei, on the other hand, believes she can’t be forced to do what she doesn’t want to. After all, she is who she is, not a slave of her mother.

Tries and Responsibilities

In the chapter “Half and Half” of THE JOY LUCK CLUB, Rose tells some stories about her marriage and the accident in which her brother Bing died. From those stories, especially from the part that about her mother, Rose realizes that both fate and faith are essential for everyone.

I’m impressed with the things what Rose’s mother – An-mei –dose after her son falls into the sea. Even though she is very sad, she still gives her a chance to have a try; she goes to the beach again and does several things the next day, which she thinks will get her son back. Although she doesn’t make it, her actions give a message that we should give us a try whenever we can, no matter how impossible it seems.

Certainly, we often have the same feeling with Rose, “There’s no hope. There ‘s no reason to keep trying” (Tan 139). An-mei’s response is that this is your fate, and this is what you must do (Tan 139). I don’t want to get into the topic of fate because I don’t know whether all people believe it. However, I do agree with An-mei’s point that this is what you must do. The reason is that all people do things for themselves and others in their lives, so they have the responsibilities for themselves as well as others. We want to deny everything we don’t like, but we have to do something when it is a requirement of our responsibilities sometimes. Responsibilities can be a set of rules existing in societies, but they also can be a sense that everyone should have. From the example that An-mei keeps telling herself to try something that seems futile, we can see that it somehow related to her responsibilities: As a mother, she have personal feelings with her son, so the action that she try to look for her son shows that she is responsible for her feeling of love, or we can say that she is responsible for herself. Moreover, since her role is a mother, she definitely has the responsibilities to take care of her children, so she must give her a try.

On the other hand, in terms of Rose, she lets everything happen and never pay attention to what she really wants which shows that she doesn’t have a strong sense of responsibilities, no matter for her marriage or herself.

Therefore, sometimes we really need to give us a chance to have a try because we must do it, which may meet our responsibilities.

Accepting fate with faith

     “Half and Half” in the novel The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan is about Rose Mei Hsu’s life. In the story, Rose Mei is a girl who desires to live as she wants. She has faith in herself and she believes in her fate too. In the beginning of the story, her mother has complete faith in the Bible. She carries it with her wherever she went. But later when her son, Rose Mei’s brother, Bing is lost in the sea, her faith in God diminishes. She tries a lot to find her son but she cannot. When her hope of finding her son back goes in vain, she starts to believe in fate. She thinks that it might have written in her fate to lose her son. However, she still keeps the Bible at her home. It shows that her faith in God has not completely diminished. The bible under the table is still clean and white which represents that she still has some faith in the Bible and herself too.

     I have always wanted, in fact have lived my life as I want. I believe that no matter what others say, we must do what feels correct to our heart and mind. Doing against our heart and desire does not have effective results.  However, fate is also an important part in our life. Whatever it is written in our fate, it certainly happens. Moreover, I believe that we are born in this world for certain reasons and we all have our own wishes and desires; our own fate. What seems good and correct to me may not seem correct to others. But our fate has been created in a different way with different hopes and desires. No matter how much we try to change our fate we cannot. It is inevitable and we have to surrender to our fate. Furthermore, that we believe in fate is some kind of faith in ourselves. If I do not have faith in myself, I cannot believe in fate. To be succinct, fate is what we have faith in and what we have expected about. Our faith continues until something bad happens in our life. And when bad things happen, which are often expected, we should believe in fate. Whenever bad things happen in my life, I think that it was meant to be. Instead of lamenting for those bad days, I desire to live further and have faith for better days in life.

     So, I prefer to live my life accepting my fate and living as I wish without being concerned about criticizers by learning from past mistakes with no regrets and with new faith.

Digya Shrestha

Can i be myself???

Can I be MYSELF? Can I BE THE ONE MY PARENTS want me to be? Can I be both? Can I balance these choices: myself and an expected daughter? In the chapter “Half and Half,” Rose was disobedient to her mother because she wanted to be herself, to keep her own identity. She couldn’t meet her mother’s expectation; indeed, she failed to do many things that her mother expected her to do. Is it right to be as yourself, to live as you want, and to do as you like? Last night, after the rehearsal for Ms.Fatema’s program, one of my friends was very upset, even indignant. Why? Just because of comments of the audience on our performance. Actually, our performance was nice, but it was not suitable for an academic environment because it might be too sexual. I told her to keep these steps if she didn’t want to alter them (Sorry Madam). I told her to do what she wanted without considering other’s opinions. “As long as you feel happy,” I said. “It is easier said than done. If you don’t care about others, why do you do your hair? Why do you make up? Also, why do you help people? You help them just because you want them to be grateful to you,” she retorted. Her answer made me think a lot. Do I help people just because of their gratitude? Or do I help them because I want to prove my kindness? Do I help them to keep pace with my friends because everyone is trying to do good things? Am I selfish? Am I only concerned about myself and my happiness? After conceiving thoroughly, I acknowledged my selfishness. Sometimes, I also want to receive gratitude; I also want to have many friends, and I also want to become “famous.” I have talked to myself to live as I like and do what I want without considering people surrounding me: I burst into laughter whenever I am happy; I burst into crying whenever I am sad. However, these actions seem be my pretense, aren’t they? Sorry my friends whom I have helped just because of my happiness and feelings. I will try my best to help you just because of you, but not me. I will try to be myself but also take account into your thoughts and feelings.