Comparing Tradition and Change in Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club

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Tradition and Change in The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club Throughout the novels The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club, author Amy Tan conveys the message of tradition and change. Each novel contains sections about mothers talking and relating their stories to their daughters. The daughters in The Joy Luck Club hear stories about loss and happiness, and joy and hate. Each of the four mothers tell these stories to their daughters as lessons, or offerings for their futures. They tell the stories to show how lucky their daughters have been, yet how their lives will never be the same as their own lives have been. They try to help their daughters on some level with these stories. Yet they comprehend the fact that they could never understand their mothers. The main character, Pearl, in The Kitchen God's Wife talks about her life and her mother. Pearl, and her mother Winnie, the other half of the mother/daughter pair attend a funeral as Pearl narrates. They then go to Winnie's home, as Winnie dotes on Pearl and her two daughters. Pearl's heart breaks as she notices all the small intricacies of her mother, and all the little things that her mother does to illustrate her love. As Pearl and her family drive away from her mother's house, Winnie begins to narrate, to her daughter about her life, her hardships, and her loves. Through these two novels, the five mother/daughter pairs and the perception of mother to daughter, the theme of mother daughter relationships is distinctly portrayed. Pearl views her mother in many different ways. Often, through her mother's movements, or appearance, she will view her mother as fragile, yet strong and knowing, "...I imagine my mother's parchment like skin, furious... ... middle of paper ... ...ire. "Amy Tan." The Bloomsbury Guide to Womens Literature. Pg1065 Great Britian: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1992. Cheng, Scarlet. "Amy Tan Redux." Belles Letters. Fall, 1991, pp 15, 19.(on GaleNet) Davidson, Cathy N. and Linda Wagner-Matlin. "Amy Tan." The Oxford Companion to Womens Writing in the United States. Pg 869. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Graham, Judith. "Amy Tan." Current Biography Yearbook. pg559 New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1992. See, Carolyn. "Drowning in America, Starving for China." in Los Angeles Times Book Review. March 12, 1989, pp1, 11.(on GaleNet) Shear, Walter. "Generational Differences and the Diaspora in The Joy Luck Club." in <>Critique. Volume 34, No3, Spring 1993 pp 193-99.(on GaleNet) Willard, Nancy. "Tiger Spirits." in The Women's Review of Books. Vol.6, Nos. 10-11, July 1989, pg12.(on GaleNet)

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