Why Do Waverly and Her Mother Have a Disagreement

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Why do Waverly and her mother have a disagreement?

In Amy Tan`s novel The Joy Luck Club, one of the recurring conflicts involves the relationship between Waverly Jong, a Chinese American chess prodigy, and her mother Lindo, a traditional Chinese immigrant. Waverly and Lindo have a disagreement that reflects their different cultural backgrounds and generational perspectives.

The disagreement arises when Waverly, who has achieved great success in chess and gained recognition from the American media, invites her mother to a tournament where she will face an opponent from Russia. Lindo, who has always been critical of Waverly`s ambition and independence, disagrees with her daughter`s decision to play against a foreigner and tries to discourage her by saying that the Russian might cheat or use dirty tactics. Waverly, who is resentful of her mother`s interference and lack of support, accuses Lindo of not believing in her and being jealous of her success.

At the heart of the disagreement between Waverly and Lindo is a clash of values and expectations. Waverly, as a modern American woman, values individual achievement, competition, and recognition, and sees chess as a way to prove her worth and challenge herself. Lindo, as a traditional Chinese mother, values family loyalty, harmony, and cultural identity, and sees chess as a foreign and potentially harmful influence on her daughter`s character and relationship with her.

The disagreement also reflects the complex intergenerational dynamics of immigrant families, where the children often assimilate to American culture faster than their parents and face conflicts between their heritage and their environment. Waverly, as a second-generation Chinese American, has to navigate between her Chinese roots and her American dreams, and faces pressure from both sides to conform or rebel. Lindo, as a first-generation immigrant, has to balance her nostalgia for her homeland and her desire to protect her children from the challenges of assimilation, and sometimes resists the ways in which her daughter has become different from her.

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