The King Must Die

The Joy Luck Club – Feathers from a Thousand Li Away: Introduction & “The Joy Luck Club”

Summary—Introduction Each of the four sections of The Joy Luck Club is preceded by a short parable that introduces the major themes of that section’s four stories. The parable that begins “Feathers from a Thousand Li Away” tells the tale of a Chinese woman who decides to emigrate to America. Before she leaves Shanghai, the …

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The Joy Luck Club – Feathers from a Thousand Li Away: “Scar,” “The Red Candle,” & “The Moon Lady”

Summary—An-mei Hsu: “Scar” An-mei’s mother became the concubine of a man named Wu-Tsing when An-mei was four, so she and her little brother went to live with their grandmother, Popo, who forbade them to speak their mother’s name. After a few years, An-mei forgot her mother entirely. When Popo became terminally ill, An-mei’s mother visited …

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The Joy Luck Club – The Twenty-six Malignant Gates: “Half and Half” & “Two Kinds”

Summary—Rose Hsu Jordan: “Half and Half” Rose Hsu Jordan begins by describing the Bible belonging to her mother, An-mei. Although An-mei carried the white leatherette volume with great pride for many years, the Bible now serves to prop up one of the kitchen table legs in her apartment. Rose sits at her mother’s kitchen table, …

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The Joy Luck Club – The Twenty-six Malignant Gates: Introduction, “Rules of the Game,” & “The Voice from the Wall”

Summary—Introduction The parable that precedes the second section of the novel deals with an American-raised daughter’s conflict with her mother. The mother does not want her seven-year-old daughter to ride her bicycle around the corner because her daughter will suffer an accident when she is out of sight and earshot. The mother explains that a …

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The Joy Luck Club – American Translation: Introduction, “Rice Husband,” & “Four Directions”

Summary—Introduction In the parable that precedes the third section, a mother visits her daughter’s new condominium. She expresses dismay at the mirror her daughter has placed at the foot of the bed: she believes superstitiously that this mirror will cause her daughter’s marriage happiness to bounce back and deflect away. Her daughter dismisses the warning …

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The Joy Luck Club – American Translation: “Without Wood” & “Best Quality”

Summary—Rose Hsu Jordan: “Without Wood” “A mother is best. A mother knows what is inside you,” she said. . . . “A psyche-atricks will only make you hulihudu, make you see heimongmong.” (See Important Quotations Explained) Rose Hsu Jordan describes finding divorce papers and a ten-thousand-dollar check from her husband, Ted, in her mailbox. Paralyzed …

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The Joy Luck Club – Queen Mother of the Western Skies: Introduction, “Magpies,” & “Waiting Between the Trees”

Summary—Introduction The opening parable of the fourth section depicts the woman of the first three parables as she plays with a baby granddaughter. She laments that she does not know whether to teach her granddaughter to shed her innocence in order to protect herself from emotional injury or to preserve her granddaughter’s optimism and faith …

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The Joy Luck Club – Queen Mother of the Western Skies: “Double Face” & “A Pair of Tickets”

Summary—Lindo Jong: “Double Face” How can she think she can blend in? Only her skin and her hair are Chinese. Inside—she is all American-made. (See Important Quotations Explained) Lindo Jong discusses her daughter Waverly, who is planning her wedding and honeymoon to China with Rich. To Lindo, Waverly has expressed her fear that she will …

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