An-Mei Symbolism

512 Words 3 Pages
In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, An-Mei tells the story of how she got a scar on her neck as a young child. An-Mei did not live with her mother. She and her younger sibling lived with her grandmother, Popo. It is revealed to the reader that her mother is a “ghost” and An-Mei has only seen her a handful of times in her life. During one of her mother’s impromptu visits, scalding soup is knocked onto An-Mei and because of the severity of the scarring, she almost dies. This scar symbolizes the lasting emotional scar that is left on An-Mei by her mother’s absence, it also serves as a reminder of all the necessary sacrifices and how one must show respect, loyalty, and love for her mother until there is no more time.
After An-Mei is burned, Popo says “Even your mother has used up her tears and left. If you do not get well soon, she will forget you.” (47). An-Mei recalls that because Popo said things like this she knew she must get better, “(She) came hurrying back from the other world to find (her) mother.” (47). For close to two years, this scar healed, Popo would pour cool water onto from a hollowed grapefruit at night and in the morning she would peel the scabs off. As the scar healed, she forgot about her mother, she says “The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much. And once it is closed, you no
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She performs a special ceremony of sorts to help Popo stay alive, the ceremony includes cutting off a part of her flesh and putting it in Popo’s soup to show respect for her mother and for tradition. “This is how a daughter honors her mother… You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother before her. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh.” (48). An-Mei’s response to this ordeal shows that her scar is her reminder of how one must make sacrifices for their families and show their respect, love, and loyalty for their mother until the very last

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