The Joy Luck Club
I had truly expected my mother to come soon. I imagined her seeing my soiled clothes, the little flowers she had worked so hard to make. I thought she would come to the back of the boat and scold me in her gentle way. But she did not come. Oh, once I heard some footsteps, but I saw only the faces of my half-sisters pressed to the door window. They looked at me wide-eyes, pointed to me, and then laughed and scampered off. (I.4.73)
"How do you know I’ll fall?" whined the girl.
"It is in a book, The Twenty-six Malignant Gates, all the bad things that can happen to you outside the protection of this house."
"I don’t believe you. Let me see the book."
"It is written in Chinese. You cannot understand it. That is why you must listen to me." (II.Prologue.4)
I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others, and eventually, though neither of us knew it at the time, chess games. (II.1.1)