In the Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan presents the idea that sacrifice is the ultimate form of love. She does this through the mother Suyan leaving her daughters on the side of the road with money in hopes they will be found. Also with how Suyan cleans for the piano teacher in order for Jing mei to get free lessons. Suyaan also takes time out of her day in order to teach jing mei many things and push her so jing mei will succeed in life and live happily.
The first example of sacrifice in the joy luck club is when Suyan leaves her kids behind in China with all remaining money she had in hopes they will be found and live a better life. In the following quote in chapter 16 Jing mei’s father gives more insight on why Suyaan left the babies in china ‘Please care for these babies with the money and valuables provided.
When it is safe to come, if you bring them to Shanghai,9 Weichang Lu, the Li family will be glad to give you a generous reward. Li Suyuanand Wang Fuchi.’And then she touched each baby’s cheek and told her not to cry. She would go down the road to find them some food and would be back. And without looking back, she walked down the road, stumbling and crying, thinking only of this one last hope, that her daughters would be found by a kindhearted person who would care for them. She would not allow herself to imagine anything else.”
In this quote we can gather that Suyaan felt as if she were to continue to carry the babies in the grueling condition she was in, both she and the babies would die. The last logical thing to do was for her to leave the children with the note and money in hopes that the babies would be found and cared for. She was still uncertain if she would survive for much longer in the condition she was in. But to her dying wouldn’t be so bad as long as her children would live. As a parent she would do anything in order for her daughters to live because she loves them with everything and would not forgive herself if her children died along with her. Instead she leaves them in hopes that they are found by kind people and was going to possibly sacrifice her life and die for the future and survival of her children.
The second example of sacrifice in the joy luck club is when Suyan works extra by cleaning up the piano teachers house in order for jing mei to get free piano lessons. In the following exchange between her and her mother it is clear her intentions on having jing mei take piano lessons. “Why don’t you like me the way I am? I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could is wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!” I cried My mother slapped me. “Who ask you to be genius?” She shouted “Only want you be your best. For you sake.”
Here we see how Suyaan pushes her daughter to take the lessons even though she is reluctant Suyaan keeps pushing because she had spent time working in order for jing mei to get piano lessons but she wanted her daughter to be the best she can be. Suyaan as a loving mother wanted her daughter to be a good person and took time out of her day to allow jing mei to get free piano lessons so jing mei could be become the best person she could possibly be. Suyaan cares for Jing mei and wants her to live happily and have a good future so she takes time in order to have jing mei take piano lessons on top of countless other things in order for jing mei to happy because Suyaan loves her.
My third example of sacrifice in the joy luck club is how Suyaan takes time out of her day to push jing mei and focus all of her energy into jing mei in hopes for her to become a successful and happy person. “Every night after dinner, my mother and I would sit at the Formica kitchen table. She would present new tests, taking her examples from stories of amazing children she had read in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, or Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest, and a dozen other magazines she kept in a pile in our bathroom.
My mother got these magazines from people whose houses she cleaned. And since she cleaned many houses each week, we had a great assortment. She would look through them all, searching for stories about remarkable children.” This quote would be one of the examples of suyaan focusing all of her energy into her daughter in hopes of helping her in becoming a better all around person.
Suyaan spends time with her daughter teaching her as much as possible and taking time out of her day to help her without jing mei asking. Although Jing mei does not like nor want to participate in these activities she still later realizes what her mother was trying to do for her and is greatful. Although it may not be a direct sacrifice like suyaan leaving her children in hopes of them finding better lives, she still “sacrifices” time out of her day and instead of trying to focus on herself or trying to improve herself she puts all of her energy towards her daughter. This is both a discrete/indirect form of sacrifice and love both in one.
In conclusion Amy Tan presents the idea that sacrifice is the ultimate form of love by showing how a mother will go to any lengths in order to make sure her daughters grow up happy/successful. She shows this by how the mother will take time out of her day by focusing on her daughter instead of herself to leaving two of her children on the side of the road in hopes that they will be found and survive fully accepting her fate of death, being willing to die just so her children can survive. She only does these actions of sacrifice because she loves her children. If she didn’t she wouldn’t sacrifice anything for them. This directly correlates to real life as i wouldn’t sacrifice myself for someone i don’t truly love or care for. Would you?