The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan
Contributed by Vernita Mires
Section 3 - Parable
Summary

This section, like the other sections, begins with an anecdote. A mother is shocked to find that her daughter has placed an armoire with a large mirror facing the foot of her bed; the mother is convinced that the mirror will bring her daughter bad luck. Her daughter, who is modern in her thinking and does not share her mother’s superstitious beliefs, refuses to alter the position of the mirror. To rectify the wrong, the mother places another mirror at the head of the bed to nullify the ill effect of the mirror at the foot of the bed. She believes the new set-up will bring her daughter luck.

Analysis

The anecdote throws light on the traditional views of a mother clashing with the modern outlook of a daughter. What the daughter considers fashionable and modern offends the mother’s sense of propriety and luck. But the mother is sensible. She cannot change her daughter’s mind about removing the mirror, so she corrects the imbalance by purchasing a new mirror. This way both the mother and the daughter are happy.

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