The Permanent Scar

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“When you lose your face, An-Mei,” Popo often said, “it is like dropping your necklace down a well. The only way you can get it back is to fall in after it.” This quote from “The ScarTaken from The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan fit the main character: An-Mei’s mother very well. An-mei’s mother is the main character of the story who abandoned her child and family in exchange for another unhappy life. An-mei’s mother is best characterized as personality and what others think of her.

An-mei’s mother displayed herself as an inconsiderate mom and a member of a family. “Never say her name.” She warned. “To say her name is to spit on your father’s grave.” (Tan, Page 1). An-Mei’s Popo obviously disliked An-Mei’s mother since she warned An-Mei that even mentioning her mother’s name is a disgrace to her dad which reflects what Popo think of her mother. “You are a son of a mother who has so little respect she has become ni, a traitor to our ancestors. She is so beneath others that even the devil must look down to see her.” (Tan, Page 2). Since An-Mei’s Auntie described her mother as a traitor to their ancestors due to the disrespectful actions, we can infer that her mother was inconsiderate of what she was supposed to do to her ancestors. “Auntie said our mother was so thoughtless she had led north in a big hurry, without taking the dowry furniture from her marriage to my father, without bringing her ten pairs of silver chopsticks, without paying respect to father’s grave and those of our ancestors.” (Tan, Page 2). An-Mei’s Auntie talked about how An-Mei’s mother forgot things of her and showing respect when she was leaving, through this evidence it is apparent that her mother wasn’t being thoughtful. These three evidences clearly illustrate that An-Mei’s mother is a thoughtless, and disrespectful to their family according to An-Mei’s Auntie and Popo’s strong opinions on her.

Meanwhile, An-Mei’s mother is a person who is willing to repent. “I was sitting at the top of the stairs when she arrived.” (Tan, Page2). An-Mei’s mother showed her willingness to repent as she had the courage to come back. “As she rubbed this spot, I became very still. It was as though she were rubbing the memory back into my skin. And then her hand dropped, and she began to cry, wrapping her hands around her own neck. She cried with a wailing voice that was so sad.” (Tan, Page3). She demonstrates regret and guilt to her daughter for not accompanying her daughter when she was suffering the pain through crying in front of her: “She cooked magic in the ancient tradition to try to cure her mother this one last time.” (Tan, last page). Since she was willing to cook the soup and cut her own flesh to serve her mother one last time, it can be seen that she was making up for her past.


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