Deception in The Joy Luck Club Essay

Deception in The Joy Luck Club Essay

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Deception binds the characters of the Joy Luck Club together. In the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan depicts deception at almost every turn in the novel. Mothers often help their daughters through deceptive comments; husbands hide secrets from their wives through deceptive acts. Even best friends deceive each other as they struggle for one reason or another. Throughout the story, deception is an irreplaceable tool for parenting; for attempting to keep marriages together, or maintaining friendships. From time to time, it grows out of control from a benign lecture to a life changing scam.
Deception is an effective parenting tool. Maternal deception is present throughout the book as the mothers and grandmothers guide their daughters to happiness through misleading stories, and warnings to brighten their daughters’ future. This is particularly evident in the relationship between Waverly and her mother Lindo Jong. Earlier, Lindo learns that Waverly already secretly engaged with her fiancé Rich, but pretends not to know. She did not act on it so she could have an untainted view on whether Rich is a good husband for Waverly. This works well for Waverly, as Waverly put, “I came up with a brilliant plan. I concocted a way for Rich to meet my mother and win her over” (Amy Tan 194). Many family friends come over to have dinner at Lindo’s house. During the dinner, Waverly introduces Rich to Lindo, and Lindo wastes no time as “she scrutinized him from head to toe, checking her appraisal of him…” (Tan 195-196) When Waverly asks Lindo of her opinion about Rich, her only comment is on his freckles. In the end, it turns out that the random comment means that she is fine with him, but it does deceive Waverly that Lindo might not like Rich. Lindo appears ...


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...sing fake suicide, she manipulates Wu Tsing to give her more money and power over the household. Her only lack is in children. Even this is solved as she conspires and succeeds to steal Wu Tsing’s Fourth wife’s son as her own. Having a son in Chinese culture meant that she gets even more power over the household. Second wife’s insatiable desire constantly grows bigger, until it completely redefines her life.
In many cultures, deception does not directly imply evil, but a useful tool that can solve problems quickly. For kind purposes, parents use deception to advise, teach and help their children to have a better lives. While for others, deception is for selfish reasons. Throughout the Joy Luck Club, many complain about being victims of deception, but they too are deceiving others. It is a skill passed down from generation to generation.



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