Mother and Daughter Similarities in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Essay

Mother and Daughter Similarities in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Essay

Length: 1951 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mother and Daughter Similarities in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club


“Here is how I came to love my mother.  How I saw her my own true nature.  What was beneath my skin.  Inside my bones.” (Tan 40)

    The complexitities of any mother-daughter relationship go much deeper then just their physical features that resemble one another.  In Amy Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club, the stories of eight Chinese women are told.  Together this group of women forms four sets of mother and daughter pairs. The trials and triumphs, similarities and differences, of each relationship with their daughter are described, exposing the inner makings of four perfectly matched pairs.  Three generations of the Hsu family illustrate how both characteristics and values get passed on through generations, even with the obstacles of different cultures and language.

    The Joy Luck Club was formed while the four mothers were in Builica  during the time of war.  “Each week we could forget past wrongs done to us.  We weren’t allowed to think a bad thought.  We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, and we told the best stories.  And each week, we could hope to be lucky.  That hope was our only joy.  And that’s how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck.” (Tan 12)  These small gatherings consisted only of the same four women, one for each corner of the mah jong table.  While bombs were going off outside, these women would keep their happiness alive with this blissful get together once a week.  Later, when these women moved with their husbands to America, they naturally continued the tradition.

    Each mother had high expectations for their lives as they came towards America, and especially their daughter’s lives.  “In America I will have...


... middle of paper ...


...bowen/314fall/novels/lit.html)  Each in their own way has learned a lot from their mothers and can see over the gap that divides them.  In the Hsu family especially there is a strong sense of loyalty that is based on through each generation. “You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother before her.  Until there is nothing.  No scar, no skin, no flesh.”  (Tan41)  It is most important in Chinese culture to remember who you are and where you came from.

Work Cited

* Tan, Amy.  The Joy Luck Club. New York. Ivy Books. 1989.

* Tavernise, Peter.  “Fasting of the Heart: Mother-Tradition and Sacred Systems in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.” 23 March 2000. <http://www.mindspring.com/~petert/tan.htm>

* Amanda Matthews.  “Structural Analysis…Thanks to Amanda Matthews” 1995.
<http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~sbowen/314fall/novels/lit.html>

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Amy Tan’s Search for Self-Identity: Intertwining Fiction and Biography

- Nearly two decades after Amy Tan was born, she began to uncover information that her family previously withheld from her. As time went on it, it started to consume her every thought, she found writing as an escape and used it as a tool to discover who she was individually. Many speculate as to whether Tan’s literature is a direct reflection of her personal experiences, there are countless similarities between the two. Tan and her mother had many barriers to overcome throughout the course of their relationship, and most of Tan’s work reflects distressed mother-daughter relationships....   [tags: joy luck club, amy tan, self identity]

Powerful Essays
1415 words (4 pages)

Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

- Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club "Imagine, a daughter not knowing her own mother!" And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. (Tan 40-41) Amy Tan frames The Joy Luck Club with Jing-mei Woo's search for identity....   [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]

Powerful Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

The American Dream in The Joy Luck Club Essay

- 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]

Powerful Essays
1800 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

- 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....   [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]

Powerful Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan Essay

- ... However, like their mothers, they are struggling to find true love or themselves in their marriages. Instead, they must break up their marriages to find themselves. The only one love that remains constant in the novel is that between the mothers and daughters. No matter how strained it is by cultural and generational differences, it is indestructible, a bond that nothing can be broken. Love, like heritage, goes through generations of females, much like the sacrifices that go through the generations as well....   [tags: asian americnas, identity]

Powerful Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Story-telling in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and Mother Journeys Essay

- Story-telling in The Joy Luck Club and Mother Journeys        "Beginning with Gussie," Maxine Kumin's short story from the anthology Mother Journeys, has a central issue similar to that in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club: the need for transference of stories from mother to daughter. These two works have quite a few similarities, despite the fact that they are tales about very different cultural traditions. Is the cultural difference important. Or do these works reflect a universal truth about story-telling between mothers and daughters....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

The Everlasting Bond between a Mother and a Daughter Essay

- ... Sophia always impressed anyone that heard her play the violin. Yet again, Chua was not surprised because she knew all along that her daughter had the ability and potential to exceed in the performing arts. In The Joy Luck Club, Waverly Jong is having a hard time telling her mother that she is going to marry a man named Rich. This is because Waverly believes that her mother does not think anyone is good for anything. After pondering and worrying, Waverly realizes that she must tell her mother that she is getting married....   [tags: The Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother, Amy Chua]

Powerful Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on A Pair of Tickets by Amy Tan

- Amy Tan is a Chinese American writer, whose short stories portray the theme that finding the balance between heritage and culture is not always easy. This is seen through Amy Tan’s own life experience and through a couple of the many short stories she has written, for example, “Two Kinds”, “Rice Husband”, and “A Pair of Tickets”. In the following short stories, the daughter becomes everything the mother wished for, but meanwhile, the daughter becomes more American like and loses her Chinese values....   [tags: biography, two kinds, rice husband]

Powerful Essays
1674 words (4.8 pages)

Conflicting Personalities in Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay

- The story two kinds by Amy Tan is a motivational story and somewhat heartbreaking. It’s a powerful example of conflicting personalities and needs that cause a struggle between the parent and child. This story relates to most family’s today such as parents trying to push their kids to become something they were not meant to be. The title of this short story “Two Kinds” is describes the theme of this story itself. The mother had previously stated that there are only two types of daughters. “Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind”....   [tags: parent, child, struggle]

Powerful Essays
712 words (2 pages)

The Color Purple vs. The Joy Luck Club Essay

- The Color Purple is a biased, unbalanced view into the life of black women during the early to mid-nineteen hundreds. While it is obvious that a woman who in her own right is racist, chauvinist, and ignorant to the way that the world really works wrote the novel, it has been requested that the class write a paper on the story. Whilst this writer does not agree with this novel or anything that Alice Walker thinks or feels, obligingly this paper is been written. The Color Purple and the Joy Luck Club had many similarities, the most notably the presence of weak, ill bred, and quite frankly embarrassing male characters....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)