Chinese Traditionalism in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

Chinese Traditionalism in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

Length: 3500 words (10 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

A bleak, ominous cloud quite often hovers over the hopeful heads of immigrants, and
waits surreptitiously to downpour at the most inopportune moments. Challenges can never be
perfectly avoided for immigrants fervently seeking to find freedom, security, and acceptance in
the lands and cultures of those who are vastly different from themselves. Barriers between
diverse, contrasting cultures can never be completely obliterated, therefore immigrants must
assimilate as successfully as they can into countries in which they have chosen to live and raise
their children. However, the obstructions separating immigrants and their cultures from the
inhabitants of their new residence can also serve a much more deprecating purpose. They often
impede upon immigrants’ relationships with their offspring. The children of immigrants
habitually accept and adopt the ways of their birthplace, leaving their parents exasperated and
bewildered. What immigrants feel to be the most significant aspects of their culture have been
whisked away by a merciless monsoon and distorted or rejected by their children. Thus is the
case with the Chinese mothers in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. Because the immigrant women
in this novel are Asian, as opposed to being English-speaking Europeans, they face great
difficulties in completely acclimating into the American setting. In addition to attempting to
assimilate, the women must also face bitter memories of Chinese society. However bitter these
memories may be, the women utilize their traditional Chinese beliefs in order to try to balance
their new homes and even gain their own freedom. They also attempt to confront some of their



assimilating tribulations by creating talk-stories,...


... middle of paper ...


...Pasadena,
CA: Salem Press, 2010. 48-63. Print.

Foster, M. Marie Booth. “Voice, Mind, Self: Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s The
Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife.” Critical Insights: The Joy Luck Club by
Amy Tan. Ed. Robert C. Evans. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010. 173-194. Print.

Hamilton, Patricia L. “Feng Shui, Astrology, and the Five Elements: Traditional Chinese Beliefs
In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.” Critical Insights: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
Ed. Robert C. Evans. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010. 196-220. Print.

Hsu, Francis L. K. Americans and Chinese: Passage to Differences. Honolulu: The University
Press of Hawaii, 1981. Print.

Xu, Ben. “Memory and the Ethnic Self: Reading Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.” The Joy Luck
Club by Amy Tan. Ed. Robert C. Evans. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010. 93-111. Print.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Chinese Culture vs. American Culture in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

- Chinese Culture vs. American Culture in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club An author's cultural background can play a large part in the authors writing. Amy Tan, a Chinese-American woman, uses the cultural values of Chinese women in American culture in her novel, The Joy Luck Club. These cultural values shape the outcome of The Joy Luck Club. The two cultural value systems create conflict between the characters. In The Joy Luck Club, the chapter "Waiting Between the Trees" illustrates major concerns facing Chinese-American women....   [tags: Amy Tan The Joy Luck Club]

Research Papers
690 words (2 pages)

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

- Amy Tan's “The Joy Luck Club” The “Joy Luck Club,” by Amy Tan, is a collection of short stories about the relationships between Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters. The story called “Four Directions” is about a woman named Waverly Jong. The story is about Waverly trying to tell her mother that she is getting married to a American man named Richard. Waverly was a chess champion as while she was a young girl and she remembers the strategy that she used in her matches, and in her life, as she tries to tell her mother about a marriage to an American man....   [tags: Amy Tan Joy Luck Club Essays]

Research Papers
997 words (2.8 pages)

Altercation Amidst Disparate Cultures of American Born Chinese, Depicted in Tan's Joy Luck Club

- Conflict emerges between Chinese and American cultures when Chinese parents try to discipline their American children. The “Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, portrays the clash between Chinese and American cultures thoroughly. There are four mothers and four daughters, each mother emigrated from China and each daughter was born in the United States. Each daughter has a hard time understanding their mothers and how and what they want to teach them. Their mother’s presuppose them for eminence but they fail and chagrin their mothers....   [tags: joy luck club]

Research Papers
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

- Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, a famous novel about the relationship between two generations, mother and daughter. Tan is an American-Chinese woman, whose parents are both Chinese immigrants. In order to meet the high expectation of her mother, Tan had to go through many hardships. Around five years old, she already knew the taste of pressure when her mother was displeased at her just because her picture was not hanged in the Principal’s Office. Growing up in America, Tan also realizes the differences between two cultures....   [tags: two generations, chinese women]

Research Papers
1889 words (5.4 pages)

Chinese Mothers and their American Daughters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

- Chinese Mothers and their American Daughters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club ““No choice. No choice!” She doesn’t know. If she doesn’t speak, she is making a choice. If she doesn?t try, she can lose her chance forever. I know this because I was raised the Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people?s misery, to eat my own bitterness. And even though I taught my daughter the opposite, still she came out the same way. Maybe it is because she was born to me and she was born a girl....   [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]

Free Essays
1576 words (4.5 pages)

Mothers and the Chinese Spirit in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Essay

- 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....   [tags: Joy Luck Club]

Research Papers
2111 words (6 pages)

Mother-Daughter Communication in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

- Mother-Daughter Communication in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club       Of the many stories involving the many characters of "The Joy Luck Club", I believe the central theme connecting them all is the inability of the mothers and their daughters to communicate effectively.    The mothers all have stories of past struggles and hard times yet do not believe their daughters truly appreciate this fact.  The mothers of the story all want their daughters to never have to go through the struggles they themselves had to go through, yet they are disappointed when their daughters grow up and do not exhibit the respect or strength of their mothers.  This is the ironic paradox of the story.    T...   [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays Amy Tan Papers]

Research Papers
2562 words (7.3 pages)

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan Essay examples

- Traditions, heritage and culture are three of the most important aspects of Chinese culture. Passed down from mother to daughter, these traditions are expected to carry on for years to come. In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, daughters Waverly, Lena, Rose and June thoughts about their culture are congested by Americanization while on their quests towards self-actualization. Each daughter struggles to find balance between Chinese heritage and American values through marriage and professional careers....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]

Research Papers
772 words (2.2 pages)

Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club Essay examples

- 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....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]

Research Papers
1075 words (3.1 pages)

Mother Daughter Relationships - Daughter Pushed to the Brink in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

- A Daughter Pushed to the Brink in Joy Luck Club      In Amy Tan's novel, Joy Luck Club, the mother of Jing-mei recognizes only two kinds of daughters: those that are obedient and those that follow their own mind. Perhaps the reader of this novel may recognize only two types of mothers: pushy mothers and patient mothers.  The two songs, "Pleading Child" and "Perfectly Contented," which the daughter plays, reinforce the underlying tension in the novel. These songs represent the feelings that the daughter, Jing-mei, has had throughout her life....   [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays Amy Tan Papers]

Research Papers
1194 words (3.4 pages)