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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

On her journey she cooed to the swan: "In America I will have a daughter just like me. But over there nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husband’s belch. Over there nobody will look down on her, because I will make her speak only perfect American English." (I.Prologue.2)

The woman imagines a future in America where her daughter will have a better life and will be judged by her personal abilities, and not valued based on her husband.

Quote #2

"So we decided to hold parties and pretend each week had become the new year. Each week we could forget past wrongs done to us. We weren’t allowed to think a bad thought. We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told the best stories. And each week, we could hope to be lucky. That hope was our only joy. And that’s how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck." (I.1.26)

Although the weekly gathering is called Joy Luck, it’s more about hope than about joy or luck.

Quote #3

And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation. (I.144)

The mothers become worried when they imagine a future in which their sacrifices, their hope, and their stories are not able to be passed on.

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