The Joy Luck Club (5-8)

The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates

Chapter 5: Rules of the Game (Waverly Jong)

In this chapter, Waverly tells us about her mother’s influence on her while she was growing up. From a young age, Waverly tries to outsmart her mother, but her mother always triumpths. We see Waverly’s impression of her mum- out to torture her kids, full of pride and self confidence. She tells us about the chess set her brother got as a Christmas present from church one year, and how she learnt to play chess. Waverly was a chess champion, and her mother was so proud of her, telling everyone that Waverly was her daughter. One day after Waverly throws a tantrum and runs away, she comes back and refuses to play chess anymore. After that incident, she found herself unable to see any more chess stratergies nor win anymore chess tornaments.


Chapter 6: The Voice from the Wall (Lena St. Clair)

Here, Lena tells a little about the stories her mother tells her as a kid. She talks about her scary childhood memories of her mother and a room in the basement of the house. Also, she talks about her chinese eyes– how she can see scary scenes and has a sort of third eye. She talked about hos she sees her mother miscarries and how her mother acts like she knew it would happen. Lena also talks about her old room and how she would hear weird sounds coming from her neighbour’s bedroom, and how one night her neighbour came knocking on the door asking to climb throught the window back to her own house. Lena tells us about how her own mother went into spaces of time where she stared into space and was lost in her own thoughts, and how she wished to save her mother.


Chapter 7: Half and Half (Rose Hsu Jordan)

Rose tells us about how her mother used to carry a bible around. She also talks about how she fell in love with Ted, and how their parents disapproved. She talks about how over the years, Ted made all the decisions in the household until one day he decides that she needs to take half the responsibility. They fall out. Rose then goes on to tells us about how her brother died at a beach outing their family had one day, and that’s how her mother lost her faith and started believing in fate instead.


Chapter 8: Two Kinds (Jing-Mei Woo)

June talks about how her mother had high hopes for her from young, and how her mother tried to groom her into different kinds of prodigies but failed. Partially becuase June thought that she was absolutely normal and ordinary. June talks about how she failed at being a piano genious and all. In her life, June always disappointed her mother, but her mother always believed in her.