The Joy Luck Club
Family Quotes Page 11
How we cite our quotes:
"But if he is not a citizen, you should immediately do number two. See here, you should have a baby. Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter in the United States. Neither will take care of you in your old age, isn’t that true?" And we both laughed. (IV.3.44)
The joke is that, unlike Chinese children, American children don’t take care of their parents.
"You don’t understand," I protested.
"What I don’t understand?" she said.
And then I whispered, "They’ll think I’m responsible, that she died because I didn’t appreciate her."
And Auntie Lindo looked satisfied and sad at the same time, as if this were true and I had finally realized it. (IV.4.29)
Jing-mei is experiencing a lot of guilt for not being a Good Daughter while her mother was alive – and even more guilt because her half-sisters never even got the chance to be Good Daughters.
And although we don’t speak, I know we all see it: Together we look like our mother. Her same eyes, her same mouth, open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish. (IV.4.146)
Jing-mei fulfills her mother’s greatest desire. She also realizes that between the three sisters, they look like, and are like, their mother; so the mother is alive in her daughters even after her death.