In "The Joy Luck Club," compare and contrast Suyuan's expectation of Kweilin with the reality of her life there.

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Suyuan had always thought that Kweilin would be a beautiful place, with "jagged peaks lining a carving river, with magic moss greening the banks".  What she found was a city whose shabby surrounding peaks "looked like giant fried fish heads trying to jump out of a vat of oil".  But the reality of the ugly city was not the worst letdown for Suyuan.  Her husband had brought Suyuan and their children to Kweilin because he thought they would be safe from the war there.  They did not anticipate that the city would be crowded with refugees, "a city of leftovers  mixed together".  The city was dirty, and the people, who had come from all over, did not get along.  Kweilin, with its squalid living conditions, was not beautiful in any way at all.

The worst thing about Kweilin, though, was that it wasn't even the safe haven they had believed it to be.  The Japanese had penetrated the hills surrounding the city, and the citizens had to take shelter regularly from the bombs which rained from above.

(Chapter 1 - "The Joy Luck Club")

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The Joy Luck Club

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