Joy Luck Club
In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, the characters Suyuan and Jing-Mei

Woo have a mother-daughter relationship confused with scattered conflict, but
ultimately composed of deep love and commitment for one another. Because of
drastic differences in the environments in which they were raised and in their
life experiences, these two women have some opposing ideas and beliefs. This,
and their lack of communication are responsible for many of the problems they
face in their relationship. These conflicts are only resolved when June learns
about her mother\'s past. The way that their relationship develops, and the
conflicts June and Suyuan face, reveal some of the themes that Amy Tan intends
for the readers to learn. These themes concern such topics as finding our life\'s
importance, making choices, and understanding ourselves and our families. Most
of the conflicts that June and her mother face are based on misunderstandings
and negligence concerning each other\'s feelings and beliefs. June does not
understand or even fully know her mother because she does not know about her
tragic past and the pain she still feels from the memory of it. Because Suyuan
lost two daughters in China, and her entire family was killed in the war, she
leaves this place behind her and places all of her hopes in America and her
family there. She wants the very best f or her daughter June. Even her name,

Suyuan, meaning "long-cherished wish," speaks of this hope for

Jing-Mei, meaning "the pure, essential, best quality younger sister."

Suyuan tells her daughter June that she can be anything she wants to be, and
that she has great talent. At first June is excited and dreams about what she
will become: "In all my imaginings, I was filled with a sense that I would
soon become perfect. My mother and father would adore me. I would be beyond
reproach. I would never feel the n eed to sulk for anything." (p. 143)

Suyuan pushes June to be successful in many different areas such as dance,
academics, trivia, and piano. After failing to excel at each task set before
her, June begins to feel more and more resentment towards her mother. She sees
her mother\'s hopes as expectations, and when she does not live up to these, she
feels like a failure. The final incident, when June performs a piano piece
filled with mistakes at a talent show, makes June believe that her mother is
completely ashamed and disappointed with her. June looked through the crowd to
her mother\'s face. She thought to herself, "...my mother\'s expression was
what devastated me: a quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything."
(p. 143) What June did not realize, was that the real reason why her mother was
upset was not because she had not lived up to her expectations. She was unhappy
because June did not care about having the best for herself. She did not have
high hopes or a passion to be successful at anything. She failed because she did
not try and she did not care. This is in strong opposition to Suyuan\'s high
hopes that originate from the strong love she has for her daughter. It is not
until much later in her life, after Suyuan\'s death, that June realizes just how
much her mother loved her and how proud she was of her. After Suyuan\'s death,
and after June learns more of the details about her mother\'s past, June\'s eyes
open to the good intentions her mother always had for her in all of the ways
that she acted. She realizes that her mother was proud of her even though she
was not a great genius at anything. After Waverly humiliated June at the dinner
table by stating that the work she had done for her firm was not good enough,

Suyuan attempted to display her pride in June by giving her the jade pendent she
always wore, which symbolized her life\'s importance. She wanted June to know
that her life had value and that she just needed to develop and use her talents
in order to discover this. After her mother\'s death, June begins wearing this
necklace every day. She also thinks back to her job and decides, "I was
very good at what I did, succeeding at something small like that." (p. 233)

Because June does not make many of these discoveries until after her mother\'s
death, she fears that she did not appreciate her enough during her life: \'Right
after my mother died, I asked myself