Why does Jing-mei join the Joy Luck Club after her mother's death.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the reasons why Jing- Mei joins the club is to honor her mother's memory.  She recognizes that her mother felt a considerable amount of loyalty as being as a part of the club, as well as its founding member.  To continue that legacy after her mother's death is important to Jing- Mei.  In a setting where her identity is not completely and totally defined, her presence in the club  helps to establish part of this.  At the same time, I think that she continues to remain in the club because she understands that cultural identity in a setting like America is vitally important.  Jing- Mei recognizes that while it might not play a role in her initially joining the club, the loss of identity, the surrender of what was to what is, represents something that is a motivation for her.  Jing- Mei's presence in the club helps to bolster this and helps to set the stage for her own cultural reclamation that does reflect her identity by the end of the narrative.  The club is also a way to enhance the identity she possesses as a daughter.  The club becomes that link between mother and daughter that she was unable to fully forge while her mother was alive.  In life after death, Jing- Mei's presence in the club accomplishes what she could not do when her mother was alive in terms of embracing her mother's identity fully and all that it encompassed.


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