Comparing Social Expectations in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and Huckleberry Finn

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Social Expectations in Joy Luck Club and Huckleberry Finn

Of the many novels written in recent history, perhaps two of the most of these society expectant novels are Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, and Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. These books present the views of society very well, yet at the same time, differentiating very much from each other.

In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, a boy takes an incredible voyage down the river, representing life's journey. This voyage takes Huck Finn through many places, and demands him to make good moral decisions along the way, regardless of what society thinks. In the process of the story, Huck Finn learns that although society is usually correct in his eyes, he must learn to make decisions that he knows deviate from the values of society, yet he also learns that his decisions are morally correct.

In a different perspective, The Joy Luck Club sheds an different light on societies expectations, partly because of the different ethnicities involved in these two stories. The societal demands on the characters in the Joy Luck Club are very different from the ones expressed in Twain's novel. While the characters in The Joy Luck Club are Chinese immigrants, the characters involved in Twain's novel are White Americans, with the exception of Jim, the Black slave Huck learns to befriend. In critiquing these two novels, one notices that these two novels are in fact very different from each other, especially so in the aspects of societal expectations.

In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, the main conflict that comes up is that of the issue of slavery. The society in this novel does not even consider slavery to be wrong, while Huck Finn continues to shun slavery more and more, as the book unfolds. This very belief Huck Finn beholds is evident, with his ever growing friendship with Jim, a slave in the novel. While society sees Jim as property, Huck can discriminate, and sees past the societal ploy for ethical mistreat on another human being, more specifically on an entire race. In this same novel, other societal expectation are present, and noticeable. This is evident through Huck's education. Society expects him to be educated, while Huck resents this all the while (Twain 20,21). In this expectation of Huck by society, there can be found no wrong.

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