The Joy Luck Club
Spiritual Reassessment and Moral Reconciliation
In Fay Weldon's opinion, a good writer does not always need to conclude his story with a joyous flourish in order to satisfy his reader. "The writers, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from readers are the writers who offer a happy ending through moral development. By a happy ending, I do not mean mere fortunate events - a marriage or a last-minute rescue from death - but some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation, even with the self, even at death." Both Moby Dick and The Joy Luck Club leave a lasting impression on the reader because, although the resolution to each novel is not necessarily a happy one, a spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation is reached in the end. In Moby Dick, Captain Ahab faces death as his moral penance, and in the Joy Luck Club, Jing-Mei Woo finds a spiritual resolution by fulfilling her mother's destiny.
Captain Ahab, the leader of the Pequod's whaling expedition, is appropriately named after an Israelite king who worshipped idols and drew upon himself the wrath of God. There is no small connection between Ahab and his namesake - Ahab, in a similar way to the ancient king, makes an idol out of the whale, Moby Dick. His desire for...
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