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The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

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What does Jing-Mei's mother want her daughter to become? Why? What does she make her do in order to reach her goal?  

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Suyuan, Jing-mei’s mother, wanted her to become a child prodigy like Shirley Temple and Lindo’s daughter. Suyuan urged her daughter to attempt practicing certain skills in order to establish and develop a special talent. Her daughter was initially receptive to the idea but eventually gave up on the quest to become a child prodigy like her mother wanted.

Suyuan enrolled Jing-mei for piano classes after she watched a young Chinese girl playing the piano on the Ed Sullivan Show. Suyuan settled for Mr. Chong as Jing-mei’s trainer. However, Mr. Chong was tone deaf and unable to hear the mistakes Jing-mei made while at practice. Jing-mei was not truly interested in learning to play the piano. She participated in a talent competition and failed miserably at her performance. Her mother was disappointed, but she did not give up on the piano lessons. 

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