The Joy Luck Club Chapter 15, Lindo Jong, Double Face
Lindo says that Waverly wants to go to China for her honeymoon, but is afraid that the people there will think she is one of them. When Lindo tells her that she will be instantly known as a foreigner, she gets angry. Lindo sees that Waverly thinks it is fashionable to look Chinese. Lindo thinks, "I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these things do not mix?" Chapter 15, pg. 254 Lindo reasons that people in America have ways of solving their problems that Chinese people don't have. Lindo knows that Waverly is ashamed of her, because she looks so Chinese. She insists that Lindo have her hair cut. At the hairdresser's, and the stylist talk about Lindo as if she isn't there. Lindo thinks about how Americans never really look at each other. The stylist says that Waverly and Lindo look strikingly similar, and Waverly gets very upset. They look at each other in the mirror, and Lindo remembers herself as a young girl.
Lindo remembers that when she was turning ten, her mother analyzed her features. She told her that they looked very similar, and described the hardships and good fortune that lay in Lindo's future. Lindo loved being similar to her mother in all ways. Lindo remembers that she paid a girl in Peking to teach her how to succeed when she went to America. The girl told her to say she was a student of theology, and told her to get married and have a child quickly--all the while telling the authorities that she would not have a child. Lindo is frustrated, thinking about what Waverly imagines her mother's life to be like. She wonders, "Why are you attracted only to Chinese nonsense?" Chapter 15, pg. 259 She wants Waverly to truly understand her, so she can understand herself. Lindo remembers when she came to America, no one questioned her the way she thought they would. Walking around Chinatown, she thought everything was cheap and silly-looking, not authentically Chinese. Lindo got a job in a cookie factory, and found a cheap apartment. Lindo met An-mei at the factory. They joked over the silly messages inside fortune cookies. An-mei tells Lindo that her husband knows a man who is looking for a wife. Lindo realizes that if she doesn't marry him, she will have to go back to China. With An-mei's urging, Lindo and Tin Jong begin dating, and soon got married. She had two sons, and then a daughter. Seeing how much her baby looked like her, Lindo decided she wanted the best for her daughter. Remembering this at the hairdresser's, Lindo watches Waverly. She suddenly sees that Waverly's nose is flawed and tells her she must have it corrected, but Waverly ignores her, telling her they have the same nose, which she likes because it makes them look devious. Lindo remembers that when she went back to China the year before, everyone knew she was a foreigner, and she didn't know why. She wonders what has happened to her, and whether it is good or bad. She decides to ask her daughter.