Conflicts in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

Conflicts in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

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Joy Luck Club Conflicts

Many Misconceptions and Delusions

Conflicts play a crucial role in novels. Without conflict, novels would be uninteresting and very dull. Conflicts are seen in many different forms, as internal conflicts, when a character must deal with private problems, and external conflicts, when a character must deal with problems originating from an external source, like another person or society in general. Some common conflicts seen in other novels are person versus society, as in The Scarlet Letter when Hester is forced to face her mistake of adultery due to the obsession of the unforgiving town. An example of an internal conflict is present within Animal Dreams, when Cody must decide where she belongs and must also deal with the pain of her lost baby. These types of conflicts and more are visible within the novel entitled The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan. Three prominent conflicts seen in The Joy Luck Club are between Waverly and Lindo, Lindo and Suyuan, and between June and Waverly.

The first prominent conflict within this novel deals with Waverly and her mother Lindo. Waverly feels as though her mother is attempting to ruin her life by causing her to "see black where there once was white" (Tan 186). Lindo, Waverly believes, is attempting to influence her daughter for the worse. She does not want to be influenced by her mother's opinions, her criticisms of everything that she loves, yet Waverly fears that even if she "recognized her sneak attack, [she] was afraid that some unseen speck of truth would fly into [her] eye, blur what [she] was seeing and transform [it]" (Tan 181) into the thing that her mother saw, into something full of faults, something that is not good enough for her. Waverly resents this, yet Lindo believes that it is for Waverly's own good. She does not want Waverly to accept something just because it was a gift, like the fur jacket that Rich gave Waverly. Lindo believes that she has taught Waverly to grow up with values, with goals that everyone and everything must meet. As Waverly shows Lindo the jacket, Lindo inspects it, finally reporting, "This is not so good" (Tan 186). Waverly protests, "He gave me this from his heart" (Tan 186), to which Lindo replies, "That is why I worry" (Tan 186). Lindo simply wants Waverly to strive for the best. Lindo believes that her daughter deserves th...


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...ruin everything that she holds dear, while Lindo is just trying to make her see that she deserves better. I relate to the essence of that conflict. I too
look for flaws in people and situations, just as Lindo does for her daughter. Yet, I do it to sabotage my own happiness, as though I feel subconsciously as if I do not deserve to be happy. I would see flaws in people that I liked, or in my own work, thinking that I could do better each time with everything that came my way. I think that, because of this scrutiny that I put myself through, it has helped me to become a better student. I am able to see little details that require changing, that need to be improved. Also, I have recently come to realize that I deserve to be happy, that I am a good person, that I deserve what everyone else seems to have: pride in themselves and in others. I am gradually learning to accept others for what they are and have stopped looking for flaws in people. I now let them be what they are. I have accepted myself, and now am able to accept them. This book has helped me to see what qualities I have inside of myself and how pointless it really is to be so scrutinizing of myself and of others.

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