The Joy Luck Club

expectations between mother and daughter

What are examples of this? Where are their page references and examples from the text?


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Summary—Rose Hsu Jordan: “Half and Half”

Rose thought that her mother had yielded to the realization that faith could not change fate. Yet Rose comments that she now realizes “fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention” (hence the title of the story, “Half and Half”). Just as she believes her inattention caused Bing to drown, she thinks that her inattention to signs of her marriage deteriorating resulted in Ted’s request for a divorce. Rose ends her story on an optimistic note, by emphasizing the “expectation” side of fate. She concludes by returning to the Bible under the kitchen table, saying that she once flipped through it and saw her little brother’s name written in the “Deaths” section, “lightly, in erasable pencil.”

Jing-mei Woo: “Two Kinds”

Jing-mei describes her childhood, which was full of pain and resentment linked to having never become the “prodigy” that her mother desired her to be. Suyuan felt certain that Jing-mei could become a prodigy if only she tried hard enough, and at first Jing-mei eagerly complied, trying her skill at a wide range of talents. As Waverly Jong won championship after championship in chess, with Waverly’s mother, Lindo, bragging day after day, Suyuan became ever more determined that she would find her daughter’s hidden inner talent. But Jing-mei always fell short of her mother’s expectations, and as she looked in the mirror one night, she promised herself that she would not allow her mother to try to twist her into what she was not.