Throughout her childhood life her mother, Suyuan, was continuously pushing her to be her best. Jing-Mei purposely tried to fail at everything to prover to her mother that she could never become a great and famous person. Then after a piano recital that went horridly wrong, her and her mother had an argument and their relationship was never the same. Many years later Suyuan tried to give Jing-mei the piano that she had as a child. She refused the offer, but than a year later her mother died and Jing-Mei was cleaning out her mother’s house and decided to play the piano and she was surprised that she still knew how.
One day, Jing-Mei’s family and Waverly’s family meet and both mothers brag about how their daughters are very successful. After seeing her mom brag about her non-existent talents, Jing-Mei is determined to stand in the way of her mother's ambitions. A few weeks later, Jing-Mei participates in a talent show at a church hall, although she hasn't practiced and does not know any of the music. Halfway through the song, she realizes how badly she’s playing. The weak applause and her parents’ look of disappointment revealed the indisputable truth: Jing-Mei is not a musical prodigy.
Lenora Chu’s book, "Little Soldiers: An American Boy, A Chinese School, And The Global Race To Achieve," is about the differences between American and Chinese school systems. Chu and her husband moved to China from America and sent their son to an elite academy in Shanghai. Chu noticed that the Chinese educational system focuses children putting effort into every subject and teachers install a fear into children about completing tasks to the best of their ability. The Chinese used extreme methods to emphasize the importance of doing schoolwork perfectly and respecting teachers who use extreme measures. While the American educational system focuses on children’s talents and encouraging them to keep working instead of using force.
The article is about Jennie Chine Hansen speech that was given for the Chinese American Women Oral History Project. Hansen discusses in her speech about the ways exclusion, participation and empowerment shaped not just her life but the lives of all Chinese people living in America. Hansen during her speech also talks about the brief history of Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892 and how that had a significant impact on the parents and grandparents of Chinese American women. She also talks about how there are two generations, the ones who were born in China and the ones who were born in America. She discusses how there is an alienation from her parents and other Chinese people who never learned to speak English who live in America.
“Her actions remind me that, even under unbearable circumstances, one can still believe in justice,” in David Henry Hwang’s foreword, in Ji-Li Jiang’s memoir Red Scarf Girl, commemorated even during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution anyone can overcome adversity (9). Ji-Li Jiang was a young teenager at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, and living through a very political time in China’s history made Ji-Li into the person she is today. Ji-Li’s intelligence, her choices, and family devotion made her into the headstrong and successful person she is today. Even when Ji-li thought she was unintelligent, others saw she was wise. There were many moments when Ji-Li was reminded she was very smart.
Regardless, her mother still is persistent on Jing Mei becoming a prodigy, despite her passionless performance and her family’s negative reaction. In return, Jing Mei becomes angry at her mother, and will do anything to change her mind. Screaming, “I wish I were dead! Like them.”, her mother freezes, disappointed in her daughter, and quits Jing Mei’s piano classes. On Page 28-29, Jing Mei’s perspective on the world becomes more apparent: “For unlike my mother, I didn’t believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could only be me.”
(Vanity Fair) Jing-mei’s mother is always bossing her around to make sure that she will have a good future. It is not just the children who have weights on their backs, it is also the parents. “It’s about giving your kids a better life-- as if parenting didn’t come with enough pressures already.” (Vanity Fair) Jing-mei’s mother has a lot of pressure on her because she does not want to be embarrassed by other parents who are better at parenting than she is. She is always trying to make sure her daughter is better than the other kids.
At her first glance at them, she knew exactly who they were because of their resemblance to their mother. However, as she approached them, she realized that there were no evident similarities in features between them and her mother, but that the similarities she noticed at first ran deep in their blood: they were family. And at this brief moment of realization, the most perceptible change in Jing-Mei took place. She said, “Now I also see what part of me is Chinese. It is so obvious.
In The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, we are introduced to Suyuan and her daughter Jing-Mei “June” Woo. As with any relationship, there is conflict between Suyuan Woo and her daughter, as it seems that Jing-Mei doesn’t understand her mother’s Chinese culture and ambitions. In the Chinese culture, women are seen as inferior and often lack basic rights such as the right to marriage or financial holdings, thus deprived of their potential. This is why the rights in the U.S. are seen as privileges to Chinese women, among other minorities, and why Suyuan endeavored for her daughter to become a prodigy and excel in anything and everything. Yet as Jing-Mei was forced into this ideal, and the more her mother tried to enforce this idea, the further she begun to despise her mother for attempting to turn her into a “fraud”.
It came to dominate my understanding of the discussion on the social and historical scene and to restrict my ability to participate in that discussion.(444) If we go back and use the reference again of the electronic tool we can see the struggle of being at home and communicating with her family and having an influence of capitalistic viewpoints and living the life of a capitalist, then immediately having to communicate in a different language at school and being surrounded by socialistic views and living the life of a socialist. Her thoughts were constantly flip-flopping and this became very frustrating for her. If we bring all these struggles into one main purpose, Min-Zhan Lu’s mother falls into silence two months before her death and Min-Zhan Lu attempts to “fill up that silence with words that I have since come to by reflecting on my earlier experience as a student in China.(437) The struggles that she faced growing up in China as a student and her past experiences have really helped her overcome life obstacles and develop her as a better reader and writer.
However, this determination sometimes appears to be obsessive to the point of running her daughter’s life for her. Regardless, she is only trying to help, as she encourages Jing Mei by asserting “‘You can be best anything.’” (1). Because of this, it suggests that although she is very harsh on her daughter at times, it is only to make sure that Jing Mei can use her full potential and not end up losing everything like her
Jing-mei expresses, “Soon after my mother got this idea about Shirley Temple, she took me to a beauty training student in the Mission district and put me in the hands of a student who could barely hold the scissors without shaking. Instead of big fat curls, I emerged with an uneven mass of crinkly black fuzz” (Tan 221). This shows that her mother’s eagerness for a famous daughter is emerging, and it comes to the point where she wants to change her child’s
The barriers among Chinese and American cultures are exacerbated by imperfect translation of language, the mother's use storytelling to circumvent these barriers and communicate with their daughters. The stories they tell are often educational, warning against certain mistakes or giving advice based on achievements in the past. For instance, Ying-Ying’s decision to tell Lena about her past is motivated by her desire to warn Lena against the passivity and fatalism that Ying-ying suffered. Storytelling also engaged to communicate messages of love and pride, and to illumine one’s inner self for others.
Aunt Lindo signs the letter as her mother, making the twins believe that their mother is still alive. Jing-Mei arrives on a boat, and meets
On the other hand, being born into this country, Jing-mei is against wanting to live up to the expectations her mother sets on her. Two kinds reveal two different sides of the cultural spectrum, and their opposing view towards their values. Jing-mei 's mother felt like an outcast existing in a dominate population. Grasping the same idea, she held onto her hard time back in her home. Jing-mei is her last hope to prove that her homeland can be just as talented as Americans.