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what does the swan in the prologue represent?

The mothers' expectations for their American daughters

Who were the original members of the Joy Luck Club?

Suyuan and three other women who lived in Kweilin

Why was the Joy Luck Club begun originally?

To maintain good spirits despite the horrors of the Second World War.

What do the mothers give Jing-mei at the end of the meeting?

Enough money to visit her long-lost sisters in China.

Why doesn't Jing-mei know her Chinese sisters?

Her mother only recently managed to find them

Why must there always be four members of the Joy Luck Club?

One for each corner of the Mah Jong table.

According to Jing-mei, what defined her mother's relationships with the other members of the Joy Luck Club?


Why did Jing-mei think that her mother's Kweilin story was a fairy tale?

She always changed the ending

How did An-mei get the scar on her neck?

In the midst of a family argument, hot soup accidentally spilled all over her neck

Why did An-mei's mother cut flesh from her arm?

To make a curative soup for Popo

What did An-mei understand when her mother cut flesh from her own arm?

That our flesh and pain connect us intractably to our mothers

Why does Lindo tell Waverly the story of the red candle?

She thinks Waverly does not understand the meaning of a promise

Why did Lindo move in with the Huangs?

Her family's land was destroyed in a flood

Why did Lindo blow out Tyan-yu's end of the candle?

She wanted to get out of marrying him

Why didn't Lindo and Tyan-yu consummate their marriage?

Tyan-yu had no interest in having sex with Lindo

How could Lindo manage to get what she wanted while keeping her parents' promise?

She used superstition to trick Huang Tai Tai into making her leave

What belief of Huang Tai Tai's did Lindo take advantage of in order to get what she wanted?

Her belief in the ghosts of ancestors

What was the purpose of the red candle?

It symbolized the permanence of marriage

According to Ying-ying, why did she turn into a ghost?

Because she learned to think only of others and forget her own hopes and desires

When is the last time Ying-ying remembers being fully alive?

When she was a girl, on the day of the Moon Festival

Why could Ying-ying tell only the Moon Lady her secret wish?

Because girls were supposed to keep their wishes to themselves

Who was Amah in relation to Ying-ying?

Her nanny

How did Ying-ying end up on shore by herself?

She fell overboard and was saved by fishermen

What is the moral of the story of the Moon Lady?

Women represent darkness and require men to show them the light

What does Ying-ying realize when the Moon Lady takes off her costume?

That she is really a man

What game do the members of the Joy Luck Club play?


How does the red candle predict the success of Lindo and Tyan-yu's marriage?

If it burns from both ends without going out, it will presage a happy marriage

What happens to the candle?

Lindo blows it out, but the servant lights it again out of fear that she will be punished for negligence

What does Ying-ying's Amah teach her that girls should do?

They should never ask questions or make requests, but only listen

What is the source of Waverly's first chess set?

Her brother receives it as a gift at a church Christmas party

What does Ying-ying say is wrong with the St. Clairs' apartment?

It is not balanced

What is the name of Rose Hsu Jordan's youngest brother?


How do Rose and An-mei return to the beach to look for Rose's drowned brother?

An-mei drives them in the family car, even though, to Rose's knowledge, she has never driven before

Why doesn't Jing-mei's piano teacher, Mr. Chong, insist that she play the correct notes?

he is deaf

What does Ying-ying say when Lena fails to eat every last grain of rice in her bowl?

She tells Lena that every grain of rice she fails to eat will become a pock mark on the face of her future husband (doesnt eat because of Arnold)

What gift from Rich does Waverly show to her mother?

A mink coat

What material element does An-mei say is lacking symbolically in Rose's character?


What is the name of the pendant that Suyuan gives to Jing-mei?

her "life's importance"

What is wrong with one of the crabs that Suyuan and Jing-mei buy for their New Year's dinner?

it is missing a leg

Why does Suyuan end up not eating any crab at all during the celebration?

Waverly takes the best specimen for her daughter, leaving for Suyuan what she had anticipated would be "extra"—the lamed, "unlucky" crab

What does An-mei's mother tell her to do rather than cry?

Swallow her tears and suppress her grief

What is deceptive about the necklace that Second Wife gives to An-mei?

It is glass, not pearl

What measures does Suyuan take to try to ensure that her twin daughters are returned to her after the war with Japan?

She writes the address of her family home in Shanghai on the backs of family photographs and stuffs the photos into the babies' clothing

What does Jing-mei eat for her first meal in China?

Hamburgers, french fries, and apple pie

What distressed Lindo about her recent trip to China?

She realized that people could recognize her as an American

What is Ying-ying's first step in trying to make Lena realize the problems with her marriage and do something about them?

She knocks over the rickety coffee table that Lena's husband had made in his student days, shattering the vase that had been sitting on top of it

What does An-mei use as a prop to keep her kitchen table from wobbling?

white leatherate Bible

What does Lindo call Waverly's psychiatrist?

A "psyche-atricks"

Where does Suyuan meet her husband, Canning?

In a hospital in China

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