"The Joy Luck Club" - Appearance and Reality

Essay by goku23High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2007

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In the novel, "The Joy Luck Club", there is a strong emphasis on the theme of appearance and reality. Appearance and reality reflects on all the four daughters and all the four mothers in the stories. In the story there are several times that the character is exactly the opposite of how he/she is being perceived. The theme of appearance and reality is not only restrained to the parts of dual personality but it also connects the four Americanized daughters to their traditional Chinese mothers. This refers back to the quote at the beginning of the book “mother is in your bones” (pg. 19).

The role of appearance being deceptive is very crucial in this novel. When An-mei went with her mother who was a concubine in Wu-Tsing’s house, Second Wife of Wu-Tsing gave An-mei a necklace. An-mei’s mother realized that that the pearls were fake and crushed them right in front of An-mei.

An-mei thought, “This necklace had almost bought heart and mind now had one bead of crushed glass”, (pg.261). This demonstrates to us that Second Wife was trying to look very nice, but in reality she was full of wickedness and was only trying to win An-mei’s heart by deceiving her. An analogous thing happened in my life. There was a neighbour back in India who gave me a rotten apple. I didn’t realize it as I was very young. When I brought the apple home, my mom suddenly panicked and gave the apple to my friend who desperately wanted it. The next day my friend had diarrhoea. Then I realized not to take food items from other people. This situation is similar to that of An-mei because I would also have thought my neighbour a great person and I would have been deceived by...