Success Vs. Wishes In The Joy Luck Club

1255 words - 5 pages

Imagine a relationship between a coach and a player. The job of the coach is to make his student better at the sport; therefore, he puts pressure upon the player and expects him to show off the skills that he teaches him. This pressure and expectation can lead to the player winning or losing depending on the player’s motivation. Also, depending upon the result of the competition, the coach and the player can have a strong relationship or a weak one with growing distances and irritation if the two do not get along. Likewise, in the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the mothers develop many expectations of their daughters as they begin to worry about their daughters’ future. Although having expectations from a child can lead to a negative effect in a relationship, it can also have a positive outcome in a relationship.
One type of effect the Chinese mothers’ expectations has in their relationship with their “Americanized” daughter is negative since the mothers are unable to achieve anything. An-Mei Hsu expects her daughter to listen and obey as the young ones do in Chinese culture, but instead receives a rebellious and stubborn daughter, “‘You only have to listen to me.’ And I cried, ‘But Old Mr. Chou listens to you too.’ More than thirty years later, my mother was still trying to make me listen’” (186-187). Instead of the circumstances improving, the mother is never able to achieve anything; her forcing and pushing her daughter to the Chinese culture goes to a waste. They are both similar in this sense because both are stubborn; the daughter learns to be stubborn through American culture and wants to keep herself the way she is, whereas the mother wants to remove this teaching from American culture and does not give up even if it takes her her entire life.. Suyuan wants her daughter to be the best of all the other children while Jing-Mei feels bad to give up, “She would look through them all, searching for stories about remarkable children…And after seeing my mother’s disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die. I hated the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations” (134). Everyone’s level of working is different; some people need pressure to move further, whereas others become more frustrated and do worse upon pressure. Jing-Mei wants to work hard but upon her own level and this attitude affects her relation with her mother negatively because she begins to accept defeat and ignore her mother’s expectations by giving an irritated attitude. While the mothers’ hopes affect their bond with their daughters negatively, it also leads to positive outcomes.
Although the pressure of the many expectations of the mothers was tough on the daughters, it results in the betterment of the daughters, also creating a positive outcome to their relationship. Lindo is proud that her daughter is a very good chess player, yet still expects her to get better in other ways in the same game, “‘Next time win more, lose...

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