Mothers have a unique ability to see their daughters. They see them in a way no one else does. Often what a daughter perceives as her mother’s opinion is really not how she feels at all. The mothers in Joy Luck Club see more then what is on the surface of their daughters, they see inside them. As An-mei Hsu tells her daughter “A mother is best. A mother knows what is inside you” (Tan 188). The mothers in the Joy Luck Club want more for their daughters then the daughters realize. Ying-ying wants her daughter to have a more honest, less passive relationship then she had with her husband and she believes that Lena deserves it. The section American Translation opens with a short story which shows a mother who sees in her
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Her mother has always had “mysterious ability to see things before they will happen” including the death of her husband and their unborn child (Tan 149). While she is visiting, Lena is afraid of how her mother will view their house and the house will say about their future. “She is visiting my husband and me in the house we just bought in Woodside. I wonder what she will see” (Tan 150).
Throughout most of her life, Lena St. feels her mother has found flaws in everything, from her new house “so much money” (Tan 151) to Harold’s driving “Ai, tire squealing” ” (Tan 150). But her mother is really not finding flaws; she is simply speaking the truth.
Lena and her husband Harold started out as equals in their relationship, but as time went on, Harold got more control, power and money, and paid less attention to Lena. Lena came up with the idea for their new architecture firm, themed restaurants. But once they married, Harold did not think it was fair to promote Lena. Harold now makes seven times the money and receives the credit for their work (Tan 159). Although their work life is no longer balanced, they continue to divide their personal expenses, perhaps thinking this will keep money from becoming an issue. Harold pays so little attention to Lena that he never even notices something so small and basic as the fact that Lena hates ice cream (Tan 162). Her