In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, Four pairs of mothers and daughters embark on the journey that is life. Each young woman comes to realize how valuable the relationships with their mothers are. As each daughter learns from her mother, she goes through the sometimes-painful process of trying to understand her enigmatic mother. To finally unravel the mystery surrounding their mothers is to understand who they, themselves, really are.
Suyuan Woo started the "Joy Luck Club" the year she left China. She began the club as a relief from the heartache that she and her friends experienced "My mother could sense that the women of these families also had unspeakable tragedies they had left behind in China and hopes they couldn't begin to express in their fragile English" (1Tan 6). Jing-Mei Woo, the daughter of Suyuan, recalls a story told by her mother, "Over the years she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine"(1Tan 7). Jing-Mei comes to realize that the story she thought was a fairy tale was actually an event in her mother's life. As she learned more about her mother's past by her stories of China:" There were things so strange and beautiful you can't possibly imagine them...We were a city of leftovers mixed together"(1Tan 8) she comes to respect her mother. When she faces trials of her own she is able to take her mother's advice. When Jing-Mei is thirty-six her mother dies of a brain aneurysm, her memory of her mother gives her strength, she realizes that her mother felt the same during her life. Suyuan's voice echoes in her head "Can you imagine h...
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Each woman through many trials and tribulations learned who they were and where they came from. No matter what happened they had the love of their mothers. Many lessons were learned and relationships strengthened. Throughout their lives they had one constant: the love of their mothers.
Huntley, E. D. Amy Tan: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 1998.
Schell, Orville. "Your Mother is in Your Bones." The New York Times Book Review. 19 March 1989: 3,28.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Ivy Books. (1989).
Liu, Ping (1997). Adjusting to a New Society: A Study of Educated Chinese Women: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~tdo/ea/chineseWomen.html
Interview with Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club Lady: http://detnews.com/menu/stories/23098.htm
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