Power of the Mother and Daughter Relationship Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club

Powerful Essays
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. Nonetheless, these mothers have "a legacy that they wish to bestow on their daughters," ( The Joy Luck Club ). A cultural clash and a generation gap are the roots to the problems the mothers and daughters must overcome in order for their relationship to be stronger. One such example is the relationship between Lindo and Waverly Jong.

While in China, Lindo’s life takes a complete turn around as she escapes a prearranged Chinese marriage. In "The Red Candle," Lindo obeys the typical female role of being obedient at the beginning of her marriage to Tyan-yu, but later goes against these expectations and flees to America. She listens to her mother-in-law by doing household chores and by being a submissive individual. Asian society says their women "value marriage. They do not believe in divorce. They marry for life…in good times and bad," ( China Bride ). However, Lindo manages to outwit her new family and escape the m...

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...standing their mothers’ viewpoint on an issue. Despite a lack of cultural knowledge, the mothers have good intentions for their daughters. Even though the daughters do not want to admit it, they have inherited more from their mothers than they thought because "each daughter…becomes a stronger person through her mother’s past," ( "Analysis of Literary Merit" ).


Analysis of Literary Merit. 27 Mar. 2004.

China Bride. 30 Mar. 2004.

Roles of Women. 27 Mar. 2004.

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Ivy Books. 1989.

The Joy Luck Club. 30 Mar. 2004.
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