Lindo tries to instill Chinese qualities in her daughter while Waverly refuses to recognize her heritage and concentrates on American culture. The second bond is that of Jing-Mei Woo and her mother, Suyuan. In the beginning of the book Jing-Mei speaks of confusion in her recently deceased mother's actions. The language and cultural barrier presented between Jing-Mei and Suyuan is strong enough to cause constant separation and misunderstanding. The first and most important conflict in the novel is heritage.
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.
It was through this story that the narrator learned how careful a young woman must be when growing up in the Chinese culture. Years after hearing of her aunt’s misfortune, the narrator realizes that she has carried on this ostracism and is equally as guilty as the others who participated in this punishment of silence. However, the narrator feels an intense connection with the outcast of her family. “My aunt haunts me—her ghost drawn to me because now, after fifty years of neglect, I alone devote pages of paper to her…” (16). Perhaps the narrator feels this bond because she herself feels completely alienated from the family and could never be fully connected to her Chinese heritage.
Chinese Cinderella is a compelling autobiography by Adeline Yen Mah, a struggling child, yearning for acceptance and love in her dysfunctional family. In this novel of “a ‘secret story of an unwanted daughter”, Adeline presents her stepmother Niang, as a violent, impatient, biased, domineering and manipulative demon. Analysing the language used by the author, we can discover how effectively she does this. Although Niang explicitly demonstrates her blatant favouritism towards her actual birth kids, shunning the likes of her stepchildren, some of her nasty traits cannot be avoided by even the most loved of her children. In this case, her violence and impatience.
Another example of a strong female character is seen in Suyuan Woo. During her escape from China, she is forced to abandon her twin daughters on the roadside. She leaves her daughters with the hope of someday returning to them. As the women of the Joy Luck Club tell June, "She walked down the road, stumbling and crying, thinking only of this one last hope, that her daughters would be found by a kindhearted person who would care for ... ... middle of paper ... ... At this moment, Winnie's life takes a turn for the better, for she now knows that she can endure anything that life has to offer. According to critic Susan Dooley, "Amy Tan's brilliant novels flit in and out of many realities but all of them contain mothers and daughters....Each story is a fascinating vignette, and together they weave the reader through a world where the Moon Lady can grant any wish, where a child, promised in marriage at two and delivered at twelve, can, with cunning, free herself; where a rich man's concubine secures her daughter's future by killing herself and where a woman can live on, knowing she has lost her entire life."
I’m not You, I’m Me For many of us growing up, our mothers have been a part of who we are. They have been there when our world was falling apart, when we fell ill to the flu, and most importantly, the one to love us when we needed it the most. In “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, it begins with a brief introduction to one mother’s interpretation of the American Dream. Losing her family in China, she now hopes to recapture part of her loss through her daughter. However, the young girl, Ni Kan, mimics her mother’s dreams and ultimately rebels against them.
At first, the reader may perceive the mother as the villain in the story; however, the mother just wants her daughter to have the life that she never had. Jing-mei does not understand her intentions. Jing-mei's mother thought opportunity was everywhere in America, "America was where all my mother's hopes lay" (Tan 1208). The mother lost everything when she moved from China to San Francisco in 1949. In China she lost her family, her spouse, and she had to abandon her twin baby girls (Tan 1208).
Ann-Mei's family disowns her mother because by becoming a third wife she has brought shame to her family. "When I was a young girl in China, my grandmother told me my mother was a ghost". Ann-Mei is told to forget about her mother and move on in her life. The fact that Ann-Mei is told to forget her mother because she has become something she could not control, is preposterous. She was raped and forced into concubinage.
Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club "Imagine, a daughter not knowing her own mother!" And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English.
Americanization in The Joy Luck Club Oftentimes the children of immigrants to the United States lose the sense of cultural background in which their parents had tried so desperately to instill within them. According to Walter Shear, “It is an unseen terror that runs through both the distinct social spectrum experienced by the mothers in China and the lack of such social definition in the daughters’ lives.” This “unseen terror” is portrayed in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club as four Chinese women and their American-born daughters struggle to understand one another’s culture and values. The second-generation women in The Joy Luck Club prove to lose their sense of Chinese values, becoming Americanized. The Joy Luck Club daughters incontestably become Americanized as they continue to grow up. They lose their sense of Chinese values, or Chinese tradition in which their mothers tried to drill into their minds.