English 10 HN
1 October 2012
Motivation is the desire to do things. The desire to be equal in her marriage is a defining factor in Lena’s motivation. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan uses the stories of the Chinese born mothers to examine the lives of their American born daughters. Through Tan’s use of talk stories, life lessons are ascertained by each daughter. Lena St. Clair, in her quest for equality looses her voice. However, through the use of the symbols, Lena’s motivation returns and so does her voice.
By refusing to pay for the ice cream that she doesn’t eat, Lena’s desire and motivation slowly returns to her. Lena and her husband have always split certain things financially, even though she does not utilize the items. Lena asserted, “I’ve hated ice cream almost all my life” (162). According to Lena’s mother, Ying-Ying, Lena has never liked ice cream because it seems to always make her sick. Therefore, Lena should not have to pay part of the items that she does not like.
After the big fight over the cat that Harold gave Lena, she discovers the lack of emotional balance in their marriage. Harold posits, “You should pay for the exterminators, because Mirugai is your cat and so they’re your fleas. It’s only fair” (150). Although Harold gave Lena Mirugai as a gift and doesn’t help pay for Mirugai’s needs, it appears that Harold does not show his love to Lena. In appearance their marriage is great but in reality, they fight over the smallest issues.
Once the table breaks, that Harold made, Lena realizes how their marriage does not have any balance. Lena expects the table to break by saying “It doesn’t matter, I knew it would happen” (165). Lena understands that the table was going to eventually break. By this table breaking, reality sets in for Harold and Lena. Lena understands that her relationship with her husband, Harold, is going to become more difficult for each one of them....