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.
The choices that we make everyday greatly define the type of person we are. Everyone has their own opportunity costs, but what is someone willing to give up to achieve more of something else? This is exactly what Maxine Kingston does in her essay “No Name Woman.” She openly defies her traditional Chinese culture in order to write about her aunt, which would normally be extremely taboo in her family. She wishes to achieve a greater understanding of her aunt and the struggles she had to face being a defamation to her entire family. The opportunity cost Kingston faces with this is going against her family’s word and betraying their rule.
(pg. 291). Lindo is hurt because her daughter Waverly, is talking to her like she is a child. Waverly does not do this on purpose, she just has a hard time understanding her mother and her background, like the other daughters in the book. "Living with their traditional culture in American society, Chinese-American women suffer the prob... ... middle of paper ... ...ying to save their daughters from the cultural barriers, and identity crisis’ that they had to face.
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.
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.
Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman A person's identity cannot be given to her, instead a person must achieve a sense of her character through personal experience and self-reflection. In "No Name Woman", Maxine Hong Kingston recalls the events of her aunt's life in the vague world of her Chinese roots. The story of her aunt is told by her mother and Kingston recreates the events into an exploratory story to help herself figure out what part of her identity is Chinese and help her better understand the Chinese culture. In retelling her aunt's story, Kingston seeks to reconcile both her Chinese and American identities and mold her own identity as a result. Kingston, a first generation American, finds that as a result of her cultural heritage and current surroundings, it is extremely difficult in resolving her identity.
Instead of beating around the bush Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club exposes the not so chipper relationships between Chinese mothers and their polar opposite Chinese-American daughters. The mothers struggle to express the importance of their Chinese heritage while also keeping balance with “good” American characteristics to their daughters; while the daughters struggle with their identities and relationships with others. The Joy Luck Club is written as a collection of flashbacks told by the Chinese mothers and their American daughters. The book ventures through time via the memories of the mothers and daughters and contrasts are made to show comparisons between the mothers’ lives versus their American daughters. The mothers constantly try to instill Chinese teachings, morals, and ways to their daughters but their daughters turn a deaf ear and disregard their mothers’ preaching.
Though, things do not turn out exactly as planned for the young woman. Her lovely swan is confiscated by customs officials, and her treasured daughter, now an adult, does indeed speak only English and cannot understand her mother at all. Without a common language, “the expected loving link between mother and daughter is broken. Communication becomes impossible.” (Kim 37) This story sets the stage for conflict between the Chinese mothers and their American daughters. The issue of the language barrier is a constant theme in both The Joy Luck Club and The Woman Warrior.
I think she says this because she didn’t understand her aunt’s ways. I don’t think that she was actually haunted; I think that she was just really confused. In Kingston’s book, the myths, talk-stories, and memoirs she puts together help her to understand her own life on her own terms. Whether she is trying to understand the Chinese culture that her mother teaches her or to understand the American culture she is growing up in, the stories are her way of accepting the life that she is born with. Kingston uses the negative influence on her life from her mother to help her understand what her mother expects and an insight into the Chinese traditions.
In every society there are certain gender roles that men and women meet either because they are forced or because it is tradition. Mulan and Brave both show two very different teenage girls who are being forced into gender roles. Mulan seems to want to comply with her gender role within the Chinese society; however, Merida makes her point clear about not wanting to accept her gender role within the medieval Scottish society. Mulan is story about a young Chinese girl, Mulan, who runs off to join the army in place of her father and then brings honor to her family without following the traditional gender role she was almost forced into. Similarly, Brave is the story of a Scottish girl, Merida, who is forced into her traditional gender role.