History, Culture and Identity of Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club is a novel that deals with many controversial issues. These issues unfold in her stories about four Chinese mothers and their American raised daughters. The novel begins with the mothers talking about their own childhood’s and the relationship that they had with their mothers. Then it focuses on the daughters and how they were raised, then to the daughters current lives, and finally back to the mothers who finish their stories. Tan uses these mother-daughter relationships to describe conflicts of history, culture, and identity and how each of these themes are intertwined with one another through the mothers and daughters.
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.
Although Rose believes that she has "no hope," inside she has a nengkan as powerful as her mothers, which makes her wish her marriage would last, just as her mother wishes Bing would still be alive. Overall, each mother in The Joy Luck Club went through something emotionally exhausting and saddening in her life. The mothers use their experiences to try to direct the course of their daughters' lives, to make them simpler and more carefree. Initially, however, the daughters only see that their mothers want to make decisions for them, not to help them. Ultimately, the daughters realize their mothers' intentions, but not all accept them.
In China she lost her family, her spouse, and she had to abandon her twin baby girls (Tan 1208). This implies that her mother had a difficult life and wanted to start a new life in America. Unfamiliar with the customs of America, she had been brought up in a strict Chinese culture. Her mother probably raised her the same way, and therefore, that is where she learned her parenting skills. The Chinese life is strict, more so than the American life, and that was the only way the mother knew how to raise her daughter.
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.
Works Cited Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Random House, 1989.
Understanding the Mothers in The Joy Luck Club In America, it is common to take mothers for granted and reject the advice they try to give. Generally, their attempt to give advice is considered as an intrusion into our lives and our privacy. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan tries to get the reader to take a step back and see the good intentions behind our mother's actions. In the stories told by Jing-Mei, Tan weaves in flashbacks and memories of Jing-Mei's own childhood experiences, including stories she has heard of her mother Suyuan's early life in China. These stories help to explain why she teaches her daughter the v alues of optimism and determination.
Power of the Mother and Daughter Relationship Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, the author, Amy Tan, intricately weaves together the roles and experiences of Chinese mothers with their American born daughters. During a time of war, the mothers flee from China to America, leaving behind a past filled with secrets that unravel as their daughters mature. While sharing their difficulties, these mothers must be able to teach Chinese beliefs and customs to their daughters in a way that relates to American society. However, this is difficult because the daughters seek to identify themselves with their own American culture. A lack of understanding and knowledge amongst these societies exists between the mothers and daughters, making it difficult for the two generations to connect with each other.
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.
She is confronted by many obstacles, which cause problems with not only her mother, but also with her attempt to discover her personal identity. Although the narrator’s assimilation to the American culture causes numerous conflicts with her mother, she is able to overcome adversity and come of age as a Chinese-American with the help of her mother’s stories. In Kingston’s first story, “No Name Woman,” the reader is first introduced to the stories of the narrator’s mother. This particular tale involves an aunt that the narrator never knew, who was shunned from her family for having an affair. It was through this story that the narrator learned how careful a young woman must be when growing up in the Chinese culture.