June Woo
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

June Woo

The Joy Luck Club

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About Her

Grew Up… Chinese-American in California. Growing up in a highly competitive environment, Jing-Mei was pressured by her mother to become a prodigy. Initially as eager as her mother, Jing-Mei eventually learned to hate the pressures of being extraordinary and became "determined not to try, not to be anyone different."

Living… without her mother. Suyuan Woo's death comes as a surprise to all her friends, but especially her daughter, who still had many unasked questions for her mother.

Profession… copywriter. After starting "half a degree in biology, then half a degree in art, and then finishing neither," Jing-Mei dropped out of college and found herself a decently-paid, if modest, job in writing ads.

Interests… rebelling against expectations – and living up to them. For all her childhood rebellion, Jing-Mei hates disappointing others. Whether as daughter, Chinese-American, or friend, she wants to fit into the roles assigned for her. And when Jing-Mei can't, she feels her failures keenly.   

Relationship Status… single. While all her Chinese childhood friends are married or engaged, Jing-Mei is unattached – and with her mother just dead, it's probably going to be a long time before she's ready to date.

Challenge… understanding her mother. In life, Jing-Mei and her mother had a rocky relationship, with Jing-Mei often vacillating between wanting her mother's approval and resenting Suyuan for her high expectations. Now that Suyuan's dead, Jing-Mei is still struggling to understand her mother and their fraught relationship.

Personality… headstrong, but unfocused and sensitive. As a child, Jing-Mei stubbornly avowed, "I won't be what I'm not," but now that she's an adult, she seems to have lost much of her childhood determination. Stuck in a middling job, she has few hopes for the future and fewer still for herself. Unconfident and sensitive to criticism, Jing-Mei is left even more aimless after her mother's death, forced to grapple with both her choices and her grief.

June Woo's popularity ranking on CharacTour is #5101 out of 5,600+ characters. See our top-ranked characters and read their profiles.

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