The Joy Luck Club Analysis

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In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, four Chinese born mothers and their four American born daughters tell stories from their own point of view about their relationships with one another. These four mothers demonstrate the finest parenting by trying to keep their heritage alive and educate their daughters, while being immigrants. Through the mothers' actions, they are able to teach and influence their daughters about their Chinese heritage, about everyday life and situations, and how to stand up for themselves all while being in an overwhelming American society. In the beginning, the Joy Luck Club members discuss the different types of mah jong. While Jing Mei listens, she realizes how differently she and her mother live, speak and function together. While the club members are explaining the differences in Chinese and Jewish mah jong, Jing Mei thinks back to the conversations that she and her mother used to have regarding the same topic. During their talks, her mother constantly tries to keep her Chinese culture a part of her daughter's daily lifestyle. One way is how Suayan describes Jewish mah jong, which Suayan thinks is the less desirable style. She describes it using a very harsh tone. Jing Mei assumes that her mother is so mad because the game is not like the Chinese way. Despite her mother's wishes, Jing Mei plays Jewish mah jong with her friends. Another annoying trait is that Suayan constantly tries to keep the Asian tradition in her daughter's lifestyle by Suayan's refusal to speak to her daughter in English. Jing Mei rebells; however by also continuing to speak in English while her mother speaks in Chinese. Later on in the novel, Waverly and her mother, Lindo, fight with each other over a silly haircut. Lindo is annoyed by... ... middle of paper ... has many problems. Ying-ying helps her daughter by realizing her own flaws in her marriage and also seeing how unhappy her daughter is. 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.
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