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The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

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How does the quote “long-cherished wish” from "A Pair of Tickets" in The Joy Luck Club connect to the theme of hope?

“long-cherished wish” (The Joy Luck Club, "A Pair of Tickets")

Quick answer:

The “long-cherished wish” in The Joy Luck Club connects to the theme of hope by making Suyuan’s dream a reality. The daughter’s fulfillment of her late mother’s wish fits into “A Pair of Tickets” by physically taking Jing-Mei to China and uniting her with her sisters. It thereby provides a suitable ending to the novel by showing how a Chinese American woman psychologically reconciles the two national aspects of her identity.

Expert Answers

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In the chapter “A Pair of Tickets,” the Chinese American woman whose uses the names of June and Jing-Mei travels to China for the first time. A significant event during this journey is meeting her older half-sisters, who are twins born and raised in China. The reunion is a partial fulfillment of their mother’s “long-cherished wish”; it allows Jing-Mei to meet important family members and gives her a deeper understanding of the Chinese part of her identity. The reunion provides an appropriate ending for this chapter and the narrative about Jing-Mei that runs through the novel, which emphasizes her troubled relationship with her mother. Because the theme of Chinese American identity formation is prevalent in The Joy Luck Club, the episode is a logical ending for the novel.

During her childhood and into early adulthood, Jing-Mei had frequently clashed with her mother, Suyuan. Their conflicts stemmed not only from differences between their respective American and Chinese upbringings but also related to the secrets that Suyuan kept. After Jing-Mei learned that her mother had abandoned twin baby girls while fleeing China, she began to understand the deep pain her mother continued to suffer. Suyuan had desperately hoped to see her twins once more, but died with that wish unfulfilled. Jing-Mei, however, is finally able to visit China. When she sees her half-sisters, she feels as if her mother is there as well.

Together we look like our mother. Her same eyes, her same mouth, open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish.

In part through her experiences traveling through the country but especially through her reunion with her older sisters, the American known as June gains a feeling of completeness with the Chinese, Jing-Mei part of herself.

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