The Joy Luck Club

What does June learn about the musical compositions "perfectly contented" and "pleading child" in The Joy Luck Club?

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Jing Mei had always viewed these two musical pieces as two separate entities. But now, as she looks at them, she realizes that they were meant to be played together, united, as one whole piece. She realizes that this, too, embodies her mother and her mother's life. And in many ways the two pieces are symbolic of the struggle between mothers and daughters. The "pleading child" cannot be "perfectly contented" because she cannot resolve her difficulties with her mother—and herself. In her struggle with her mother, she is struggling with her own identity