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Mary-Beth Hughes’ Israel – Glorifying the Common Occurrence

Mary-Beth Hughes’ Israel – Glorifying the Common Occurrence

Mary-Beth Hughes’ short story titled “Israel” is a rich literary piece.

Every detail within the story has some sort of meaning and is there for a

reason. When analyzed, this story has a lot to say, however, when

summarized, the storyline is rather simple. The story contains five

characters, the mother, the father, their daughter, and the mother’s

friends, Dr. Derek Duncalf and Dr. Dan Ovita. The time period is unknown,

except that it is during a time when Isralies are fighting to keep their

homeland. The narration of the story is first person persona told by the

daughter throughout. The setting is a house in London in which the mother is

living with her daughter. The father lives in a bachelor pad just down the

street. The storyline is that of a dysfunctional family in which the mother

lives with her daughter, and the father has resorted to a separate house

down the street. Dr. Duncalf is motivated to have a relationship with the

mother, while Duncalf’s friend, Dr. Ovita, is a pleasant man who is able to

fix the daughter’s problems by letting her come to Israel with him. The

daughter communicates with her parents by mail, and in each reply her father

signs it saying, “our love.” The short story summarized above illustrates

that life is not perfect, and people must make hard decisions in order to

make their life happy, satisfying, and acceptable to them.

The characters in this short story all show verisimilitude, making them

major characters. Each one has his or her own personality, therefore making

them round characters and not minor characters. This story, like most

literature, contains more than just the details on top. Within the basic

story lies oppositions, paradoxes, symbols, conflicts, complexities,

ambiguities, tensions, as well as ironies; and each one contributes to what

the reader can make of and associate with the story.

The title of the story, “Israel,” is relating to where the daughter moved

to. The country of Israel is also where Dr. Ovita is from, and where he

doctors the soldiers. Israel in itself represents a country that is

currently fighting. They are fighting for themselves and fighting for their

freedom. This associates with the story in a way that each character is

doing what ever he or she has to do in order to be happy.

Mother and Daughter Relationships in Joy Luck Club and A Hundred Secret Senses

Mother and Daughter Relationships in The Joy Luck Club and A Hundred Secret Senses

In life, many things can be taken for granted – especially the things that mean the most to you. You just might not realize it until you’ve lost it all. As I walk down the road finishing up my teenage days, I slowly have been finding a better understanding of my mother. The kind of bond that mothers and daughters have is beyond hard to describe. It’s probably the biggest rollercoaster ride of emotions that I’ll ever have the chance to live through in my lifetime. But, for those of us who are lucky enough to survive the ride in one piece, it’s an amazing learning experience that will influence your entire future.

In Amy Tan’s novels, The Joy Luck Club, and A Hundred Secret Senses, she describes relationships between mothers and daughters reflecting on her own parents experiences in life.

Four mothers, four daughters, four families… whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s “telling” the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to talk, eat dim sum, and play mahjong.. As June’s mother said, “Idea was to have a gathering of four women, one for each corner of the mahjong table” (Joy p.32) Being together in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Instead of sinking into tragedy, they choose to gather and raise their spirits. “To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable.” (Joy p.134) In other words, why sit back and keep pondering the tragedy, it’s better to let the past go, and move on.

In The Joy Luck Club, Tan examines the sometimes painful, often t…

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…ring a closer relationship to their families.

Works Cited and Consulted

“Biography of Amy Tan.” DIScovering Authors Modules. 1998. GaleNet.

“Criticism, Amy Tan” DIScovering Authors, Gale Research Inc, 1996.

Buck, Claire. “Amy Tan.” The Bloomsbury Guide to Womens Literature. Pg1065 Great Britian: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1992.

Shear, Walter. “Generational Differences and the Diaspora in The Joy Luck Club.” in Critique. Volume 34, No3,

Spring 1993 pp 193-99.(on GaleNet

Tan Amy. The Hundred Secret Senses, New York; Mass Market Paperback, 1996

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York; Mass Market Paperback, 1994

Willard, Nancy. “Tiger Spirits.” in The Women’s Review of Books. Vol.6, Nos. 10-11, July 1989, pg12.(on GaleNet)

*Amy Tan interview was conducted on the front cover of the hard cover copy addition of The Joy Luck Club.

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