Maxine Hong Kingston is a Chinese American woman whose first book won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976. Her follow-up China Men won the National Book Award (biography.com, 2016, para. 1). Most of Kingston’s books relate to her life. For instance, is her book ‘The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts’, The Chapter “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe” was about her experience in school and the other chapter was “No Name Woman” which was about her aunt.
The Joy Luck Club and The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club describes the lives of first and second generation Chinese families, particularly mothers and daughters. Surprisingly The Joy Luck Club and, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts are very similar. They both talk of mothers and daughters in these books and try to find themselves culturally. Among the barriers that must be overcome are those of language, beliefs and customs. The novel The Joy luck club starts with a story that right away suggests the importance of family and language.
Mothers and the Chinese Spirit in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club is the telling of a tale of struggle by four mothers and their four daughters trying to understand the issue of gender identity, how they each discover or lose their sense of self and what they mean to one another. Throughout the book each of the mothers works hard at teaching their daughters the virtues of Chinese wisdom while allowing the opportunities of American life. They try passing on a piece of themselves despite the great barriers that are built between the women. Each of the stories gives a wonderful glimpse into the Chinese culture and heritage that the mothers are trying to reveal to their daughters through the use of festivals, food dishes, marriage ceremonies, and the raising of children, essentially their past experiences. Living with their traditional Chinese culture in American society, these eight Chinese-American women suffer the problems of cultural conflicts in compliance with their gender.
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. New York: Vintage International, 1976. Soderstrom, Christina. "Maxine Hong Kingston." Voices From the Gaps: Women Writers of Color.
In examining Tan’s work, it is clear that she has adapted the Chinese talk story in story telling between daughters and their mothers as a matrilineal reclamation trope. The story, A P... ... middle of paper ... ... China went through, and how these experiences shaped their characters, and influenced the lives of their daughters. Tan uses storytelling and talk story to provide an avenue through which these mothers could express themselves. The Chinese mothers who were silent for a long time decide to break their silent and tell their daughters their experiences. In other words, the Chinese women are trying to recover their lost authenticity and reconstruct their cultural wholeness and feminism.
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 Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston is a collection of memoirs, a blend of Kingston’s autobiography with Chinese folklore. The book is divided into five interconnected chapters: No Name Woman, White Tigers, Shaman, At the Western Palace, and A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe. In No Name Woman, three characters are present: Kingston, Kingston’s mother, and Kingston’s aunt. This section starts off with Kingston’s mother retelling the story of her aunt and her shameful past where her aunt took part in an adulterous relationship and expressed her sexuality openly, then Kingston’s interpretation of this story, and later what the story ultimately means to Kingston - the act of the family forgetting this aunt entirely. In White Tigers, it tells of the myth of Fa Mu Lan.
Search for Identity in Joy Luck Club Each person reaches a point in their life when they begin to search for their own, unique identity. In her novel, Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan follows Jing Mei on her search for her Chinese identity – an identity long neglected. Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother, Suyuan, imparts her knowledge on her daughter through stories.
In The Joy Luck Club, the novel traces the fate of the four mothers-Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair-and their four daughters-June Woo, Rose Hsu Jordan, Waverly Jong, and Lena St. Clair. Through the experiences that these characters go through, they become women. The mothers all fled China in the 1940's and they all retain much of their heritage. Their heritage focuses on what is means to be a female, but more importantly what it means to be an Asian female. In the short story "Waiting for Mr. Kim," the main female character Gracie understands what it means to be an Asian female, but she does question the meaning because of her sisters.
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.