Although Rose believes that she has "no hope," inside she has a nengkan as powerful as her mothers, which makes her wish her marriage would last, just as her mother wishes Bing would still be alive. Overall, each mother in The Joy Luck Club went through something emotionally exhausting and saddening in her life. The mothers use their experiences to try to direct the course of their daughters' lives, to make them simpler and more carefree. Initially, however, the daughters only see that their mothers want to make decisions for them, not to help them. Ultimately, the daughters realize their mothers' intentions, but not all accept them.
The ending of the story was based on Connie’s decision and she accepted to go with Arnold “Connie steps outside” (Oates 80). She has nothing else to do at that time because she doesn’t want Arnold to harm her family that’s why she has to sacrifice for her family. After reading this short story, the reader gets an idea of the life of Connie that she’s not the only one to blame. She became different person to her family than to the world. It’s kind of her mother’s fault too because she never talks to Connie nicely.
Her mother also shows another stereotype when Emily says that her mother “had never been that interested in what went on under my skin” (7). Her mother only cared about the outside because that’s what she thinks matters. Later on throughout the story, as Emily was leaving the bar, she managed to stay strong and tough, even though Sera had stolen her boyfriend. This gives a positive light upon her and how she doesn’t act how the stereotypical media portrays a woman who has been cheated on. She walks out and is able to control herself and stay somewhat calm.
The story ends with the girl socially positioned and accepted as a girl, which she accepts with some unease. The young girl in the story is struggling with finding her own gender identity. She would much rather work alongside her father, who was “tirelessly inventive” (Munro 328), than stay and work with her mother in the kitchen, depicted through, “As soon as I was done I ran out of the house, trying to get out of earshot before my mother thought of what to do next” (329). The girl is torn between what her duties are suppose to be as a woman, and what she would rather be doing, which is work with her father. She sees her father’s work as important and worthwhile, while she sees her mother’s work as tedious and not meaningful.
Already, Dedé sees the future and wants no part of it, sending herself to the past where she feels more comfortable, but also carrying the burden of never allowing herself a future. She goes on to talk about, no matter what happens, she will be the one left behind, her past parallel to her sisters’ in stating “whether she joined them or not, her fate was bound up with the fates of her sisters. She would suffer what they suffered. If they died, she would not want to go on living without them” (193). Again, Dedé states that life without her sisters is not a life worth living, further revealing her depressive nature.
Emily is taught that women stay in the house and iron; she is not encouraged enough by her mother early on. The mother regrets her failure to teach her daughter that she can make her own path through life, claiming her “wisdom came too late” and that she can only hope that Emily “ know[s]- that she is more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron” (Olsen 298). The narrator failed to guide her daughter through life and to help her avoid some of the mistakes she made. Emily will likely fall down the same path the narrator has taken, because of the perpetual nature of
Because of the world around and the decisions made by her mother, she will not have the opportunity to become more. However, to her mother she is perfect the way she is. She feels she has failed her in a way “my wisdom came too late, she has much to her and probably little will come of it.” (Olsen) Her mother doesn’t want her to settle, “help her to know that she is more than this dress on the ironing board.” (Olsen) She wants better for Emily; she does not have to conform to the world around her.
They were just about to graduate and get married. Instead of feeling joyful or smiling at the sight of them she had a completely different reaction. She wanted to go up to them and stop them. Maybe they looked innocent then, but she knew that they would not remain that way for long. By telling the story of her parent’s ignorance, betrayal, and the difficult decisions that soon follow, Sharon Olds shows that the will to live helps people make life’s difficult decisions, in “I Go Back to May 1937.” After seeing her parents walk out of their colleges, she describes them as being innocent kids who were ignorant to the real world and what their future would hold.