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Joy Luck Club
In the novel "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan, the ignorance, the
disregard of, and the necessity of love are all introduced as the characters
tell their life stories and memories. The characters in "The Joy Luck
Club" take love for granted. By ignoring love, concentrating more on
material possessions, and hiding their true identities, the characters don\'t
realize love\'s importance. One character that takes love for granted is Harold,
Lena St. Clair\'s husband. This occurs when Lena leans over to him in their car
and states "I love you." He responds by asking Lena a question about
his car, which seems to be more important to him than his relationship with her.
Harold does not realize the importance of love. He only thinks about material
possessions. Since Harold does not revealing his true nature, he reveals that he
has a lack of love for himself as an individual. The love you have for yourself
is a necessity in life because it provides self-respect; if one respects
oneself, one will respect and love others. The story of Lindo Jong provides
insight into the concept of revealing your true nature. To "keep everything
inside" as does Lindo Jong, provides for not being able to experience love
to its fullest. Lindo Jong hides "under a red marriage scarf" in
attempt to shield herself from the outside world. Her "hiding under the
scarf" demonstrates that to be able to love, you must be able to first
reveal your true nature. Ying-Ying St. Clair stands as an example of the desire
to remain hidden as she says, "All these years I kept my true nature
hidden, running along like a small shadow so nobody could catch me." The
image of the shadow relates directly to the red marriage scarf. They both
attempt to provide the concealment of their true natures, because the result of
revealing your true self may be that of "pain". The importance of love
goes unnoticed as the characters take love for granted and expect it to
naturally come to them. The ceasing of taking love for granted does occur later
and has its results and consequences. The characters realize that they are
taking love for granted when they feel meaningless and uncomfortable, and stop
doing so by either ending the relationship or confronting the problem. By not
taking love for granted and realizing "there\'s absolutely nothing left to
save" in her marriage, Rose Hsu Jordan recognizes that she must divorce her
husband. Rose Hsu Jordan does not feel comfortable with her life and feels that
she is living under false pretences. She comprehends that she is not what she
continually pretends to be. Therefore, she stops taking love for granted and
ignoring it, and instead moves on to a better, more comfortable life with a
feeling of being needed. Lindo Jong compares love to a hill and as to heaven.
This hill symbolizes the steps that she must take to truly attain love and enter
heaven, her comparison to happiness and a comfortable lifestyle. Love proves
hard to attain but Lindo Jong learns to embrace it and accept it as best she
can. The "pained feeling" at the "beginning of love"
provides insight into the revelation of the true nature of the character. This
pained feeling, the lifting of the scarf or the shadow, opens the door to the
true nature of the character. This love provides better understanding and a
better love of your own character. It makes the people more comfortable with
themselves and makes them feel important, needed, and loved.
Joy Luck Club . Amy Tan. 336 pages. IVY books NY.1989
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Chinatown, San Francisco, Emotions, The Joy Luck Club, Love, The Shadow, Romance
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