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Chapter 2, An-Mei Hsu, Scar Notes from The Joy Luck Club

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The Joy Luck Club Chapter 2, An-Mei Hsu, Scar

As a young girl in China, An-mei was forbidden to talk about her mother. She lived in a large house with her brother, grandmother, uncle and aunt. Her grandmother, Popo, loved her, but An-mei was afraid of her too. Popo got very sick and told An-mei fables she could not understand. Her father was dead, and she was afraid of his ghost. One day, her aunt told her and her brother that her mother had dishonored their family by marrying a rich man who had many wives and children. That was why they were forbidden to speak her name. One day when Popo was dying, An-Mei's mother returned to the house. She was reluctantly admitted, and she began to care for Popo--who would have thrown her out of the house if she had been in her right mind. An-mei saw that her mother was beautiful, foreign-looking, and curious just like An-Mei herself. Her mother brushed An-mei's hair, and when she felt a scar on her neck, she began to cry. Suddenly An-mei remembered where she got the scar: her mother had appeared one night during dinner, trying to take An-mei away with her. There was a fight, and soup spilled on An-Mei. She nearly died. Remembering years later, An-Mei explains when she began to love her mother: her mother cut a piece of flesh from her own arm to feed to Popo, hoping to save her life. An-mei understands the pain her mother feels. "Even though I was young, I could see the pain of the flesh and the worth of the pain." Chapter 2, pg. 48

Topic Tracking: Mothers and Daughters 2

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