The Joy Luck Club
I was not thinking when my legs lifted me up and my feet ran me across the courtyard to the yellow-lit room. But I was hoping – I was praying to Buddha, the goddess of mercy, and the full moon – to make that candle go out. It fluttered a little and the flame bent down low, but still both ends burned strong. My throat filled with so much hope that it finally burst and blew out my husband’s end of the candle. (I.3.59)
I know now that I will never find a way to save my marriage. My mother tells me, though, that I should still try.
"What’s the point?" I say. "There’s no hope. There’s no reason to keep trying."
"Because you must," she says. "This is not hope. Not reason. This is your fate. This is your life, what you must do." (II.3.97)
America was where all my mother’s hopes lay. She had come here in 1949 after losing everything in China: her mother and father, her family home, her first husband, and two daughters, twin baby girls. But she never looked back with regret. There were so many ways for things to get better. (II.4.3)