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Joy Luck Club

Satisfactory Essays
Growing Up In A New World

“`Then I wish I wasn’t your daughter. I wish you weren’t my mother,’ I shouted.”
“`Too late change this,’ said my mother shrilly.”
“`Then I wish I’d never been born!’ I shouted. `I wish I were dead!’” (p. 153)

In the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, many conflicts arise between the mothers and their daughters. Problems arise from the high expectations from Chinese mothers, the mothers’ pride in their daughters, and the daughters’ disrespect towards their mothers. Two very similar problems grow and resolve in the novel. The problem between June and her mother reflects the problem between Waverly and her mother.
The conflicts between the mothers and daughters of the novel come from the mothers’ high expectations for their daughters. Suyuan expects her daughter June to be a prodigy at something. This idea of a prodigy came from Auntie Lindo, Waverly’s mother. Lindo takes pride in her daughter’s skill in playing chess. Suyuan expects something to be proud of about her daughter as well. “Of course you can be prodigy, too… You can be best anything. What does Auntie Lindo know? Her daughter, she is only best tricky.” (p.141) She begins to give June piano lessons. June practices for two hours everyday in preparation for a talent show a few weeks later. Suyuan wanted to show the whole Joy Luck Club her daughter’s talent. She expected a lot from June, exacerbated by Auntie Lindo’s pride in Waverly. In Waverly’s situation, Auntie Lindo watched closely to her practice playing chess. She gave her tips that she never listened to because her mother never played chess before. Both mothers are very tight on their daughters, hoping to boost their skill and talent. In the end, their encouragement ends everything in their daughters.
Problems only worsen as the mothers brag about their daughters having their talents. The traditional Chinese mothers have expectations for their daughters so they can show them off to everyone. Their daughters having a special talent gives them an augmented appearance, being the mother of that special gift. It gives the mothers a feeling of being higher in society; being able to brag. One incident of their bragging back and forth is a few weeks before June’s piano talent show. Auntie Lindo talks about her daughter being a celebrity in Chinatown as the chess champion. “Our problem worser than yours. If we asked Jing-mei wash dish, she hear nothing but music.
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