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The Joy Luck Club Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from The Joy Luck Club
  1. #1
    ″‘Chinese people do many things,’ she said simply. ‘Chinese people do business, do medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people. We do torture. Best torture.‘”
  2. #2
    ″‘That was the night, in the kitchen, that I realized I was no better than who I was....And I no longer felt angry at Waverly. I felt tired and foolish, as if I had been running to escape someone chasing me, only to look behind and discover there was no one there.‘”
  3. #3
    “I . . . looked in the mirror. . . . I was strong. I was pure. I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind. . . . And then I draped the large embroidered red scarf over my face and covered these thoughts up. But underneath the scarf I still knew who I was. I made a promise to myself: I would always remember my parents’ wishes, but I would never forget myself.”
  4. #4
    “‘It is because I had so much joy that I came to have so much hate.‘”
  5. #5
    ″‘My mother had a look on her face that I’ll never forget. It was one of complete despair and horror, for losing Bing, for being so foolish as to think she could use faith to change fate.‘”
  6. #6
    “Over the years, she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine.”
  1. #7
    ″‘This house was built too steep, and a bad wind from the top blows all your strength back down the hill. So you can never get ahead. You are always rolling backward.‘”
  2. #8
    “And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds “joy luck” is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.”
  3. #9
    ″‘So we decided to hold parties and pretend each week had become the new year. Each week we could forget past wrongs done to us. We weren’t allowed to think a bad thought. We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told the best stories. And each week, we could hope to be lucky. That hope was our only joy. And that’s how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck.‘”
  4. #10
    “And now I also see what part of me is Chinese. It is so obvious. It is my family. It is in our blood.”
  5. #11
    “I once sacrificed my life to keep my parents’ promise. This means nothing to you, because to you promises mean nothing. A daughter can promise to come to dinner, but if she has a headache, if she has a traffic jam, if she wants to watch a favorite movie on TV, then she no longer has a promise.”
  6. #12
    “I didn’t know what to do or say. In a matter of seconds it seemed, I had gone from being angered by her strength, to being amazed by her innocence, and then frightened by her vulnerability. And now I felt numb, strangely weak, as if someone had unplugged me and the current running through me had stopped.”

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  1. #13
    ″‘Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.‘”
  2. #14
    “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous.”
  3. #15
    “But even if I had known I was getting such a bad husband, I had no choice, now or later. That was how backward families in the country were. We were always the last to give up stupid old-fashioned customs. In other cities already, a man could choose his own wife, with his parents’ permission of course. But we were cut off from this type of new thought. You never heard if ideas were better in another city, only if they were worse.”
  4. #16
    ″‘I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these things do not mix?‘”
  5. #17
    ″‘I discovered that maybe it was fate all along, that faith was just an illusion that somehow you’re in control.‘”
  6. #18
    ″‘Your mother was a very strong woman, a good mother. She loved you very much, more than her own life. And that’s why you can understand why a mother like this could never forget her other daughters. She knew they were alive, and before she died she wanted to find her daughters in China.‘”
  7. #19
    ″‘For woman is yin,’ she cried sadly, ‘the darkness within, where untempered passions lie. And man is yang, bright truth lighting our minds.‘”
  8. #20
    “The gray-green surface changes to the bright colors of our three images, sharpening and deepening all at once. 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.”
Book Topics › daughters
Children's Books About Daughters

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