Alice Walker calls Amy Tan's novel, The Joy Luck Club, "honest, moving, and beautifully courageous." Publisher's Weekly describes the novel as "intensely poetic, startlingly imaginative and moving ... deceptively simple yet inherently dramatic." Not only has Amy Tan's fiction been praised for its literary merit, but it also has been included in anthologies of multicultural literature for its portrayal of Chinese and Chinese-American culture.
However, critics such as George Tseo vehemently disagree with these and other accolades, particularly regarding the cultural details of Tan's fiction and Mandarin Chinese dialogue. "I take umbrage at Amy Tan's confused rendition of Mandarin not only because the true beauty of the language is obscured but because by doing so the Chinese culture is misrepresented." He argues that Tan uses "phony" and "stereotypically wooden and metaphorical" Chinese dialogue, a one-sided over-emphasis on Chinese superstitious practices, and culturally implausible plots (339).
Sau-Ling Cynthia Wong, an associate professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Berkeley, corroborates Tseo's challenge of Tan's cultural accuracy. Wong points out errors such as Tan's misuse of the term "tang jie" or "sugar sister" in The Hundred Secret Senses, Tan's third novel. Not only has Tan confused the word "tang" with its Chinese homophone--which does not mean "sugar"--but she has ascribed a metaphorical use, meaning a friend as close as a sister, to a term which only refers to a blood relative in the Chinese kinship system (180-82). Wong acknowledges that "errors of the 'sugar sister' type [lin...
... middle of paper ...
Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997. 85-7.
Schell, Orville. Critical Extract. Asian-American Women
Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House,
Shear, Walter. "Generational differences and the diaspora in
The Joy Luck Club." Women Writers. 34.3 (Spring 1993): 193.
Expanded Academic Index.
Souris, Stephen. "'Only Two Kinds of Daughters:'" Inter-
Monologue Dialogicity in The Joy Luck Club." Melus 19.2
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Ivy Books, 1989.
--------- The Hundred Secret Senses. New York: Ivy Books, 1995.
Willard, Nancy. Critical Extract. Asian-American Women
Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House,
Xu, Ben. "Memory and the Ethnic Self: Reading Amy Tan's Joy
Luck Club." Melus 19.1 (Spring 1994): 3-17.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Mother and Daughter Relationships in The Joy Luck Club and A Hundred Secret Senses In life, many things can be taken for granted - especially the things that mean the most to you. You just might not realize it until you've lost it all. As I walk down the road finishing up my teenage days, I slowly have been finding a better understanding of my mother. The kind of bond that mothers and daughters have is beyond hard to describe. It's probably the biggest rollercoaster ride of emotions that I'll ever have the chance to live through in my lifetime.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1676 words (4.8 pages)
- Amy Tan is an American Born Chinese, daughter of immigrants, and her family shares many features with the families depicted in her novels. Tan's novels offer some glimpses of life in China while developing the themes of mother-daughter relations, cultural adaptation and "women with a past". Tan’s novels share many themes and elements, but this paper will focus mainly on two episodes of the novel The Joy Luck Club: "The Joy Luck Club" and "Waiting Between the Trees"; and will make references to The Kitchen's God Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
2467 words (7 pages)
- A Motherly Role A reoccurring theme in Amy Tan’s novels is mother-daughter relationships. In each of her three novels she represents different roles of the mother and the effects of each; The Joy Luck Club depicts mothers living through daughters, The Kitchen God’s Wife portrays mother teaching daughter through past experience, and finally The Hundred Secret Senses displays non-existence of the mother in the relationship. This excerpt from The Joy Luck Club shows what kinds of things, from real accomplishments to the uncontrollable features of nature.... [tags: essays research papers]
1665 words (4.8 pages)
- Amy Tan would always read to escape what she was feeling, but not realizing that her parents had wanted her to be a doctor . Amy had other ideas of what she wanted to do with her life, she wanted to become and artist . Amy began written books at the age of 33. Amy Tan was born in the united states in 1952 both her parents immigrated from china. At the age of fifteen Amy lost her father an brother to brain tumor. After the lost of her father and older brother Amy mother took the away from the united states and move them to Switzerland.... [tags: Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, The Joy Luck Club]
843 words (2.4 pages)
- Deception binds the characters of the Joy Luck Club together. In the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan depicts deception at almost every turn in the novel. Mothers often help their daughters through deceptive comments; husbands hide secrets from their wives through deceptive acts. Even best friends deceive each other as they struggle for one reason or another. Throughout the story, deception is an irreplaceable tool for parenting; for attempting to keep marriages together, or maintaining friendships. From time to time, it grows out of control from a benign lecture to a life changing scam.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
876 words (2.5 pages)
- The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan shows a group of families and their difficulties throughout their lives. In a section of the novel Lindo Jong, a Chinese mother, is reflecting and explaining the past that she endured; especially one specific experience that had a severe impact on her life. She, like many other characters in novels, is eventually pulled into a situation where there are two possible choices which will affect the life of the character in an important way and in that scenario the character much make a difficult choice between the two.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
664 words (1.9 pages)
- The American Dream can mean a number of different things to number of different people. Over the years this ideal has evolved and its definition will continue to change for many more years to come. What has not changed is the desire to achieve this dream. For decades now, people from all over the world have immigrated to the United States with hopes of obtaining this dream. However it seems that, to many immigrants the American dream has a very different and more modest definition. To many foreigners it means having the basic necessities in life and giving their children opportunities and life they ever had.... [tags: Essays on The Joy Luck Club]
1800 words (5.1 pages)
- The Joy Luck Club By Amy Tan Is it fair to judge someone by their sex. In traditional Chinese culture, many judgments were made about a person just by observing their sex. The woman was looked upon as an inferior being. They had little or no status in society, and little was expected from them. They were discriminated against when they tried to stand up for themselves. Chinese culture was customarily male dominated. The male was expected to do most of the work, and the woman was expected to stay at home with their mouth shut.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
1051 words (3 pages)
- The Joy Luck Club retold the lives of four women who came from China and their four Americanized daughters. The protagonist, Jing Mei Woo (June) took over her mother’s place at the meetings of a social group called the Joy Luck Club. As its members play mah jong and feast on Chinese delicacies, friends of Jing Mei’s mother spin stories about the past and lament the barriers that exist between their daughter and themselves. In this paper, I will discuss briefly on cultural studies and the Chinese Immigrant Experience and Individual Identity that is very evident in this novel.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
732 words (2.1 pages)
- It is true that all people are created different, and thus no two cultures will ever be the same. Throughout Asian American literature there seems to be a struggle between the Asian culture and American culture. More specifically, there is a struggle between Asian women and their Asian American daughters, and what it means to be feminine, and how a woman should act. The main struggle is between how the American woman should act and how the Asian woman should act. However, the behavior of the Asian woman seems to be dominant through out the story because although the daughters and the mothers may not get along all of the time, the mothers to receive a lot of respect from their daughters.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
1715 words (4.9 pages)
- America Must Awake from the Nightmare of the Past to the Light of a New Day
- Man and Nature in Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel and The Open Boat
- The Pagan Faith and Christian Holidays
- Evolution: Just More Proof of God
- Role of Parents in Morrison's Recitatif and O'Connor's The Artificial Nigger
- Loss of Innocence in Hamlet