Becoming A Hero In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

In a six-hour PBS series called “The Power of the Myth,” mythologist, writer, and lecturer, Joseph Campbell, discusses the Hero’s Journey and defines it as “leaving one condition and finding the source of life to bring you forth into a richer or more mature condition” (Campbell 1). According to Campbell, heroes ”recover what has been lost or [they] discover some life-giving elixir” (1). In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, the character Jing-Mei Woo fits into the criteria of being a hero because efewfhydwfe. After her mother Suyuan passes away, Jing-Mei is asked to take her mother’s spot in the Joy Luck Club. During one of the meeting of the Joy Luck Club, Jing-Mei faces her call to adventure when her mother’s friends tell her that …show more content…
As a result of crossing the threshold she goes through a “psychological transformation” (Campbell 1). Campbell defines this as “to evolve out of this position of psychological immaturity to the courage of self-responsibility” (1). Jing-Mei leaves behind her self-doubts which triggers her “psychological transformation” (1). When Jing-Mei and her father arrive at the airport in China, she meets her great-aunt. The night before meeting her sisters she reflects upon her mother and asks herself, “All the times when she got mad at me, was she really thinking about them? Did she wish I were they? Did she regret that I wasn’t?” (Tan 278). These are all rhetorical questions she knows can never be answered. Although as the moment Jing-Mei meets her sisters approaches, her connection with her mother deepens. This is due to the fact that she now has the courage to look past all the times she had failed her mother. Jing-Mei father tells her that he and her mother returned to China in 1945 up until 1947 in hopes of finding Suyuan’s family and her daughter (Tan 285). Through this conversation Jing-Mei discovers that her mother name, Suyuan, means “ Long-Cherished Wish” (280). Her name connects to the purpose of Jing-Mei’s journey because the reason behind her trip to China was to fulfill her mother 's long-cherished wish. INTERPRET/ANALYZE THIS …show more content…
In this stage she performs a spiritual deed “in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message” (Campbell 1). After her talk with her father she starts to have a better understanding of how strong her mother was. She realizes that even if her mother had started over in America, she still clung onto her life in China because of her twin daughters that she had to leave behind. When Jing-Mei sees her sisters for the first time she realizes that they all somewhat resemble their mother. Jing-Mei says, “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” (Tan 288). If Jing-Mei had not gone to China to meet her sisters, she would not gone through the “psychological transformation” (Campbell 1). This transformation enables Jing-Mei to have a more genuine connection with her mother that was once lacking. The boon Jing-Mei gets out this quest is the understanding that even if her mother is no longer with them, she will always have a part of her in a sense that she and her sisters all bear a resemblance to their

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