Charity

How will you feel if a person comes to you and gives you some money to get better off in your pitiful circumstance? How will you feel if someone gives you new clothes when you are wearing torn clothes? How will you feel if an organization helps you when a flood victimizes you? How will you feel when someone bestows you a sponsorship to study in a high school at the time of your need? These are all examples of charity for good purposes and for good reasons. This evokes rays of happiness, hope, and joy to the receivers. People or organizations whoever are involved in such helpful works are always highly praised and privileged.

However, how will you feel if someone gives you hand-me-down clothes as a charity? How will you feel if someone gives you leftovers to eat? How will you feel if someone gives you an already used chess set lacking some pawns as a Christmas gift? Certainly, it’s a humiliation rather than a charity, and nobody likes being humiliated. It’s true that you are poor, that you have hard time to fulfill daily requirements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need sympathy and pity. This is the very case with Lindo Jong in “Rules of the Game.”

In a Christmas party, Lindo Jong’s son, Vincent gets a chess set as a gift from a so called Santa Claus. It is an old chess set which has already lost some of its elements. Hence, it’s obvious that they got the chess set as a charity with humiliation but not a gift with affection. Therefore, Lindo Jong tells Vincent to throw away the chess set as the chess set is a symbol of sympathy, humiliation, and pity.

There is a vast difference between a charity and a gift. A charity is given to the people who need and a gift is given to beloved ones. Within charity also, there are a charity with affection and a charity with humiliation. These two also differ from one another tremendously. A charity with affection is incorporated with compliment, tribute, joy, and happiness, while a charity with humiliation incorporates with inequality, emotional torture, and hatred.

The Magic of Christmas Gift

Waverly Jong’s brother got a chess set as a Christmas gift. This Christmas gift brought luck and success to Waverly Jong life. Before the Christmas, Waverly Jong didn’t have any ideas of playing chess and becoming popular in the San Francisco Chinatown. She might not have even dreamt about it. However, after the arrival of the chess set in her house, she begins to discover her talent in playing chess. Her brothers didn’t allow her to play the chess game until she offered two of the lifesavers to substitute the missing black pawn and white knight. From that moment she started to give much attention and she even borrowed guide books from the Chinatown library. She began to dig out the secrets of the game by making use of the invisible strength inherited from her mother. Whenever, she used to practice at home, her mother used to hover over her and gave an unsatisfactory look. As a result, she could not really concentrate on what she is doing. Similarly, one of Kahlil Gibran’s poems titled “On Children” implies that parents should not control the life of their children. If they want their child to be successful and productive, they must not distract the decisions of their child. Jong’s mother tried to teach her the chess lesson, but she taught in such a way she expected Jong to win all the time and not make a single mistake. It was hard to handle the game with her mother around. However, she felt much free to play with Lau Po, an old man. He taught her various strategies to play chess. Without her mother’s interference, she can play well. She won several tournaments. At the age of nine, she became a national player. Later, we find her imaging herself having a chess match with her mother using art of invisible strength.

She became a well known figure in the San Francisco Chinatown. While going for shopping, she yells at her mom for praising her to everyone whom they meet in the town.  Jong was so embarrassed that she left her mom and went away despite her mother calling her. This reminds me of the boy in the poem The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. In this poem, the boy never cares about the feeling of the tree. Similarly, Jong also never care about how her mother would have felt when she yelled at her mom in the crowd.

Waverly Jong -Joy luck club.

We have heard and some of us may have come across those people who after achieving success ,wealth or a high position in society, sooner or later fail to thank, respect  and obey the ones who have cared and helped them the most in need. It happens so that they even fail to remember their importance and try to ignore them. This action of individuals is assumed due to greed or overconfidence.

For example, in Joy Luck Club, Waverly Jong had interest in playing chess and so her mother supported her and watched her every time she played. She was given every comfort. She was not troubled to do the house chorus, instead her brothers were asked to do it so that she could practice her best in chess. And as hoped, Waverly starts to win every competition and gradually becomes known to all. Her mother is so happy and proud of Waverly that on the way to the market she tells everybody else present there as if showing off, “She is Waverly, and she’s my daughter” pointing to Waverly by her side. But this action of her mother annoys Waverly and she yells at her mother and runs away leaving mother all by herself.

Referring to the above example, one may conclude that Waverly’s actions were wrong. She should have thought what her mother had done in order to get her to this position and make her capable of winning but it seems that she doesn’t feel so. On the other hand, some may say that her mother’s actions were wrong too. Of course she is allowed to feel proud; moreover, she should be proud of her daughter, but the way she expressed it was not in an impressive way as people witnessing that scene may take it in negative sense and think of her as a proud and show off mother.

The conflicts can also account as a result of difference in generation, and the changes/difference in the way of living, seeing things and way of thinking have changed. So Waverly’s thought and her mother’s thought doesn’t match and so she becomes angry at her mother’s action at the market and leaves her alone and runs away. It doesn’t mean that all individuals do it but a few among them do it knowingly or unknowingly. On the other hand, the above mentioned points may not always be responsible for people to forget their past and treat others that way. There can be many other reasons such as individual reasons, the way they were brought up, their way of thinking, their experience so far and many more.

Waverly and I

 After I read the story, “Rules of the Game”, in the novel The Joy Luck Club, I found that Waverly and I share some common and contrasting childhood memories. As like Waverly, I am the only and the youngest daughter in my family. During my childhood, I used to play with my brothers and roam around with friends in my locality. We would have great fun gathering together and playing hide and seek in the straw huts of our backyards. Before going to school, my mother would comb my hair and make braids on two sides. She would also teach me discipline, morals, and traditional customs. Moreover, like Waverly’s mother, my mother also asked me to comply with her rules and restrictions.

                In the story, when Waverly’s brothers played chess, she became interested in participating. However, her brothers did not allow her, so she had to lure them with the candies. Similarly, whenever my brothers played cricket, I remained isolated from the game. I would insist them on letting me play, but they refused with the reason that I was naive. However, I used to act shrewdly and threat to complain about their mischief to our parents. Then, they would reluctantly agree to let me play.

Unlike Waverly who continued pursuing her interest in becoming an ingenious chess player, I did not show any interest in playing cricket and becoming a champion. I was competent at studies and had excellent academic performances, so my parents supported me in my academic ordeal. In the story, Waverly strongly disliked other’s interruption while practicing chess; for example, when her mother hovered around her, she could not concentrate on the game. Similarly, I could not stand any noise or disturbance whenever I was studying; therefore, I would yell at my brothers and even my parents if they distracted me with loud music and sound.

Furthermore, Waverly’s brothers had to do all the kitchen work and help their mother in the house when she had chess tournaments. Similarly, I was inclined to my school’s curricular activities. Whenever I had exams, my brothers had to do the dishes and help my mother in household chores. Although my brothers would get annoyed doing those tedious work, they could not refuse because my parents understood my hard work and determination.

Hence, these were some experiences that I could compare to Waverly’s childhood.

Waverly Jong

As Waverly Jong, most of us forget the one who plays the important role in our life to lead us towards the success. Waverly Jong had not achieved all her success by herself, it was her parents who grew up her and provided the environment to lead towards success. It was her mother who kept her far away from every kind of household works though her brothers had to accompany her mother for household works. It was her mother who provided a suitable peace environment so that she could think about new tricks for playing chess. Her mother too provided separate room and stopped to criticize when she left the food on plate so that she could not be disturbed and could be able to focus on tricks about the chess game. Though in that time, Chinese women were not freely allowed to compete in such kind of games outside of home, her mother allowed her to take part and also encouraged her to play actively. In such a case, I found Waverly Jong foolish to think that her mother was using her for the sake of name. Parents always fell proud when their children get success in their life. If I were Jong, I would surely feel proud to be helpful for my mother to make her proud for having me.
I had the same kind of short true story to share with you all. It’s the story of my mother’s friend. As my mother, I have always found my mother’s friend very understanding. She has one daughter and one son to whom she had given well education and fulfilled their all demands since childhood. She had moved to US two years ago so that they could have better future, but unfortunately after 1 year, both of her children left home. There was a minor conflict which leads to that big step. Her son had also got job, but he started to use that money for bad girls. So, she had just requested him to help her in paying rent instead of wasting money on bad girls. This led her son to leave home. The same case had repeated with her daughter. Her daughter eloped with an American. Now, whenever she talked to my mother, she always used to say not to totally destroy own life for children. Maybe, she is right up to some point.