In "The Joy Luck Club," Mrs. Woo attempts to bring a Swan into the United States after purchasing it in China. The seller had told her that the swan was a duck that had stretched its neck so far it became a swan and was too beautiful to eat. Mrs. Woo takes this metaphor to heart, and wants to live with that in mind. She plans to stretch herself out so that she can reach America, and her life, and more importantly her daughter's life, will be far more beautiful in America.
Unfortunately, the swan is taken away from her by customs agents upon entering the United States, so she is left with a single feather. This feather represents the hopes she has for herself and her daughter, as well as all the work that went into bringing them there and forming a better life.
Mrs. Woo purchases a swan in Shanghai that she attempts to bring to America. The vendor tells her that the swan was formerly a duck who stretched its neck too far and became a swan; it became far too beautiful to eat. On the way to...
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