The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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-The Sisters of Misunderstanding-
Parents always want what is best for their children, regardless of culture or ethnicity. In The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, and in “Life With Father” by Itabari Njeri, the parents express their parental methods upon their daughters. Children will all react differently to their parents methods, as do Waverly, June, and Itabari, but they still share a common resentment for their parents. It is shown in the two stories how parental methods expressed to children can be misinterpreted, thus influencing the childs behavior.

Junes mother wants her to become a successful piano player. The problem with this is that June possesses no talent or determination to do so, so she doesnt practice. Her mother cleans an old deaf piano teachers apartment in exchange for June to be taught piano, but the teacher cant correct June when she makes a mistake, because he cannot

hear. Junes mother encouraged her to practice and would always brag about how good she was to everyone. Junes mother enjoyed having pride in her daughter, as she thought her daughter was a representation of how successful she was herself. June did not appreciate this at all. After making a fool of herself at the talent show she vowed to never play piano again. Her mothers wishes for her success were mistaken for her mothers selfishness. June thought her mother was only pushing her to find something in her daughter that was not in herself.

Waverly was the same as June, in that her mother also wanted her to become great at something. Waverlys mother saw her being a child prodigy of chess. Once she saw that Waverly was good at it, she encouraged her to play. Waverly enjoyed chess and took it upon herself to get good at chess. June could possibly have been successful with the piano, but she would not embrace her mothers hopes to that degree. It seemed that Waverly had an ability inherited from her mother to conceal feelings and strategies, much like what is needed to win a chess match. Waverly got along better with her mother than June did, but Junes mother pushed her in a direction she didnt want to go in, rather than taking credit for success. Both actions were misconceived however.

Waverly has the ability to humiliate June, as she did at the New Years dinner. Those with self-confidence such as Waverly easily insult June. Waverlys mother has taught her to be proud of her abilities, while Junes mother has not shown her to be proud, but more “content.” Waverly is noted by Junes mother as being a crab, moving only sideways, trying to keep others from passing her. June is more of the type to surpass Waverlys meager insults, making her the better person. Waverly is like this because she cares so much about other people criticisms of her, strongest of all being her mothers. She runs her life based upon what she thinks her mother feels about things. These children act the way they do, insulting and accepting, based upon their parents means of conveying what is important. By being forceful, Suyaan has made June more passive, while Waverly has become more aggressive as she likely has more contempt within her.

Suyaan and Lindo have harbored pride as a very important factor within their daughters. Waverly refuses to play piano when her mother keeps bragging to everyone that her daughter is good at it, as she wants to have pride in herself. Suyaan is only trying to bring out a talent in June, for Junes own sake. June cannot see it this way, and speaks up for herself when she fails at her first piano performance. Both daughters try to hold they “abilities” over their mothers heads in order to get their own wishes. But this doesnt work for either of them, as their mothers are only trying to help them better themselves, while also at the same time make themselves look good at parents. Mothers constantly compare Waverly and June. Waverlys mom complains to Junes mom that she cannot

get her to do anything else besides chess, because she is so good at it she is obsessed. Junes mom counters this bragging by saying that June doesnt even hear her when she asks her to do something, because

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Junes Mother And Waverlys Mother. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from