Kenzie Kress English 10 Sem. 2 The Joy Luck Club The difficult struggle of finding true identities ate the energy of these young women. “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan is about a group of young mothers and their daughters having issues with their identities as Chinese women in an American world. The establishment the women created became The Joy Luck Club. Throughout everyone’s stories, many lessons were learned.
Throughout The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan inserts various conflicts betweens mothers and daughters. Most of these relationships, already very fragile, become distanced through heritage, history and expectations. These differences cause reoccurring clashes between two specific mother-daughter bonds. The first relationship exists between Waverly Jong and her mother, Lindo. Lindo tries to instill Chinese qualities in her daughter while Waverly refuses to recognize her heritage and concentrates on American culture.
Ying-ying helps her daughter by telling her about her own marriage and the struggles she went through. Lena is able to understand that she needs to do something about her marriage through the representation given by her mother. The mothers really struggle to transform their daughters, but the daughters finally realize that they want to be Chinese, not because it is cool, but because they come to understand who they really are. All four daughters are able to learn something from their mother that can be used to further their relationship and bond. Despite the differences first presented, the girls each find ways to bond with their mothers and make a happy connection between their American lifestyles, and their Chinese backgrounds.
Jing-mei admits that she has trouble understanding her mother’s meaning. "See daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English" (Tan 40).
The mother’s firmly believed that if you were obedient to your mother you would grow up a good Chinese woman – but that was the problem. "One of the major conflicts between the mothers and their daughters is the desire of the young generation to become more Americanized" (Ballantine Teacher’s Guide on The Joy Luck Club). The daughters were raised in America, which meant that they were influenced a great deal by American ways. There was no preventing that. The significance of the relationships between mother and daughter were a result of a clash of culture between Chinese belief and American tradition.
Very rarely do we see cases of women wanted to be like their mother but it usually happens even if they do not want it to. In the book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan tells stories of four Chinese immigrant mothers and their relationships with the American born daughters. In this novel, Tan shows us the struggle these mothers face in teaching their American daughters about their heritage. Throughout the novel it becomes evident that the daughters feel it is important to learn about their history and develop stronger relationships with their mothers Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to the characters one by one learning about their past and their present lives. Each chapter deals with individual stories of relationships between husband and wife, mother and daughter, and even daughter and daughter.
Chinese mothers try to pass on their values, instincts, and intuitiveness on to the second generation. Great fortune has come to the members of the Joy Luck Club through their hardships, and they only want their daughters to understand what it takes to succeed in life. The Joy Luck Club ladies were all friends who over time have formed blissful lives for themselves in America. All of the daughters in this book were raised with high expectations, even the mothers while they were in China. This is contrary to an overall idea that girls in China were not a great commodity to their parents.
The daughters can not understand the reasoning behind their mothers’ decisions. However, the mothers realize their daughters are so much like them and they do not want this to happen. The daughters grow up being “Americanized,” but as they grow older they begin to want to understand their Chinese culture. All of the characters learned many valuable lessons that will be passed on to their own children. Work Cited Chinese-American Women in American Culture.
They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. (Tan 40-41) Amy Tan frames The Joy Luck Club with Jing-mei Woo's search for identity. When Jing-mei's mother's friends tell Jing-mei that her sisters have at long last been found and insist that she tell her sisters about their mother's life, Jing-mei emotionally replies that she does not know her mother. However, her mother's friends' generosity helps Jing-mei to realize how much she wishes that she had understood her mother, how desperately she would like to question her if only she could. It is in this moment that Jing-mei recognizes the necessity of understanding her mother's life in order both to figure out who her mother was and to understand herself.