Joy Luck Club:Four Directions

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“Four Directions” Essay In “Four Directions,” Waverly is crippled by her mother Lindo’s criticism. Waverly cannot follow her desires because she is under the impression that her mother is trying to cause her harm. However, Waverly soon realizes that it is not because of her mother that she cannot follow her desires, but because of Waverly’s own lack of self-confidence and direction. When one lacks self-confidence, one is vulnerable to criticism and therefore loses one’s direction, becoming unable to follow one’s desires and to control one’s destiny. Without self-confidence, one is defenseless in the face of criticism, causing one to lose one’s direction. In “Red Candle,” Lindo introduces us to the power of the wind and how she uses it to follow her desires as well as to keep her promises. Later on in her life, Lindo teaches her daughter, Waverly, about the power of the wind. For years Waverly uses this power to win chess games. She is in control, she has direction, but only while she and her mother are allies. When Waverly starts to see her mother as the enemy, Waverly slowly loses her self-confidence, and begins to lose chess games as well. This is shows when Waverly says, “I could no longer see the secret weapons of each piece, the magic within the intersection of each square; I could only see my mistakes, my weaknesses” (172). By adulthood, she is a slave to her mother’s criticism, when in reality; it is Waverly’s lack of self-confidence that caused her to lose direction. Likewise, when one lacks a sense of direction, one is unable to pursue one’s wishes. In the first section of “Four Directions,” Waverly feels that she and her mother are opposites. With fear of criticism, Waverly gives up trying to follow her wishes when she says, “I gave up the idea that there would ever be a good time to tell her the news: that Rich Schields and I were getting
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