The Joy Luck Club
How we cite our quotes:
I watched this same movie when you did not come. The American soldier promises to come back and marry the girl. She is crying with genuine feeling and he says, "Promise! Promise! Honey-sweetheart, my promise is as good as gold." Then he pushes her onto the bed. But he doesn’t come back. His gold is like yours, only fourteen carats. (I.3.2)
The guy in the movie promises the girl anything to get sex. Lindo sees the movie and worries about Americans’ abilities to commit to promises. And by Americans, we all know she’s thinking about her own American daughter.
"From the beginning, I was always scared that Tyan-yu would someday climb on top of me and do his business." (I.3.61)
Lindo has no desire for sex with Tyan-yu. She actually fears having sex with him, probably because, as a Chinese wife, she knows that if he did want to "do his business," she’d have no way or right to stop him.
That’s when I could see what was underneath Tyan-yu. He was scared and turned his face. He had no desire for me, but it was his fear that made me think he had no desire for any woman. He was like a little boy who had never grown up. (I.3.67)
Lindo hypothesizes that Tyan-yu is asexual, essentially still in a child-like state. Interestingly enough, this revelation that Tyan-yu is like a scared little boy means that Lindo doesn’t have to fear him and his power over her sexuality, allowing her to learn to love him.