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The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club


by Amy Tan

Queen Mother of the Western Skies

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The Queen Mother of the Western Skies appears in the parable that is the prologue to the fourth part of the novel. In this parable, a grandmother thinks that her baby granddaughter must be the Queen Mother of the Western Skies, a mother reincarnated many times over and therefore holding much wisdom about life. From the Queen Mother/baby granddaughter, the grandmother realizes that she has lived an aspect of her own life wrongly, and passed on that same false wisdom to her daughter. This shows that mothers aren’t always right in what they teach their daughters. It also implies that wisdom can come from age and learning over your lifetime, but can also be found in youth.

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