Joy Luck Club Essay

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In Amy Tan’s, The Joy Luck Club, the Chinese cultural belief is that a person’s destiny is controlled by both outside forces and the ability to will their own desires. There is a constant struggle between these ideas of fate versus faith, which effects the characters by making them feel impotent or empowered. Ying-Ying lives by the thought of fate, but she struggles if a circumstance is not in her advantage and when something tragic happens, she changes her ideas of fate, acting in a contrasting manner. Ying-Ying believes that she is destined to do certain things in her life and can’t change what she’s meant to carry out, but she also alters her fate which makes her feel powerful. Years ago, when Ying-Ying was 16 years old, she was attending a wedding when she encountered an older man. For the first time, she became conscious of her gift of knowing before things happen, and confirmed that, “I knew I would marry this man. It was not with joy that I thought this, but wonderment that I could know it” (246). She felt completely awed that she had this talent, but she didn’t see any happiness with it. She surrendered all that she was to fate because she only took notice on her destiny, and not how she could change it. A short time later, Ying-Ying wed this man, exactly how she knew that it was going to occur. She allowed this man to marry her only because fate had whispered it. The marriage dwindled on and Ying-Ying knew once more. She knew that one night, she had conceived a baby boy with the characteristics of her husband. But soon after, Ying-Ying discovered her husband was unfaithful to her and she filled with absolute detest. By taking matters into her own hands for the first time, she aborted the baby, rather than permitting destiny take the lead. This was the only circumstance that Ying-Ying altered her fate, but it brought her great strength and

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