The dominant theme of The Joy Luck Club is the clash between Chinese, American cultures, and how it affects the relationship between mothers and daughters. All of the mothers in the book were born and raised in China. All of their daughters were born and raised in the United States. Because of the differences in family traditions and values between the way the mothers had been raised in China and the way their daughters were growing up in America, there was bound to be a clash between the two generations. Perhaps the most dramatic example of how East-West conflicting traditions and values affected a mother-daughter relationship was that of Suyuan Woo and her daughter, Jing-mei.
When the book opens, Suyuan has been dead for two months. Her daughter, who prefers to call herself by the American name of "June" rather than her Chinese name, has been asked by her father to take her dead mother's place. She was to take Suyuan's place in a club Suyuan started when she moved to America. June was to be the fourth member of this club, which was hosted at one of the member's homes each session and the group played mahjong and provided strength for each other in their transition to becoming Americanized. Over the course of the next few months, through the conversations and stories told by her mother's old friends at the mahjong table, June learns a great deal about her mother, and, ultimately, about herself as well.
One of the conflicts between East and West is clash between the hard work ethic of Asian parents and the easier-going standards that Western parents have for their children. Watching a little Chinese girl playing the p...
... middle of paper ...
Heung, Marina. "Daughter-Text/Mother-Text: Matrilineage in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club." Feminist Studies (Fall 1993): 597-616.
Hagedorn, Jessica. "Asian Women in Film: No Joy, No Luck." Signs of Life in the USA. 2nd. ed. Ed. Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon.
New York: Bedford, 1997. 306-14.
Huntley, E. D. Amy Tan: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 1998.
Ling, Amy. Between Worlds: Women Writers of Chinese Ancestry. New York: Pergamon, 1990.
Shear, Walter. "Generational differences and the diaspora in The Joy Luck Club." Women Writers. 34.3 (Spring 1993): 193
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Vintage Contemporaries. New York: A Division of Random House, Inc., 1991..
Wong, Sau-ling Cynthia. Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
690 words (2 pages)
- Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Parents always want what is best for their children, regardless of culture or ethnicity. In The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, and in "Life With Father" by Itabari Njeri, the parents express their parental methods upon their daughters. Children will all react differently to their parent's methods, as do Waverly, June, and Itabari, but they still share a common resentment for their parents. It is shown in the two stories how parental methods expressed to children can be misinterpreted, thus influencing the child's behavior.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
1249 words (3.6 pages)
- 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]
772 words (2.2 pages)
- Understanding the Mothers in The Joy Luck Club In America, it is common to take mothers for granted and reject the advice they try to give. Generally, their attempt to give advice is considered as an intrusion into our lives and our privacy. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan tries to get the reader to take a step back and see the good intentions behind our mother's actions. In the stories told by Jing-Mei, Tan weaves in flashbacks and memories of Jing-Mei's own childhood experiences, including stories she has heard of her mother Suyuan's early life in China.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1038 words (3 pages)
- Biculturalism Exposed in Joy Luck Club America does not have a culture. The established American society is made up of multicultural peoples that are forced into assimilation by social pressure. Webster's dictionary defines biculturalism as the existence of two distinct cultures in one nation. I am a prime example of biculturalism in America. My mother was born and raised in another country and her daughter was raised far away in the United States. The novel "Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan illustrates biculturalism in America and the profound impact it had on the main character's life and is paralleled, in many ways by my own.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
2154 words (6.2 pages)
- 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... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1951 words (5.6 pages)
- Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club In the Joy Luck Club, the author Amy Tan, focuses on mother-daughter relationships. She examines the lives of four women who emigrated from China, and the lives of four of their American-born daughters. The mothers: Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-Ying St. Clair had all experienced some life-changing horror before coming to America, and this has forever tainted their perspective on how they want their children raised. The four daughters: Waverly, Lena, Rose, and Jing-Mei are all Americans.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1520 words (4.3 pages)
- Achieving Understanding in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club the daughters are too young and naive to understand their mothers and the hardship they faced. But by the end on the novel the daughters are able to understand where their mothers came from through stories and experiences the mothers tell the daughters their background. This shows that the daughters overall understood the mothers better because through time they were able to experience some of the same conflicts giving them a better understanding.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1113 words (3.2 pages)
- Amy Tan, an accomplished Chinese-American author, is well-known for her incorporation of her Chinese heritage into her works of literature. Amy Ruth Tan was born to John and Daisy Tan on February 19, 2952 (“Amy Tan Biography”). Although Amy Tan’s parents were both born in China, she was American born. Daisy Tan was born to a wealthy family in Shanghai, China. John Tan, on the other hand, was an electrical engineer and Baptist minister. Amy Tan’s parents met in a dangerous decade of the 1940’s in China while battles were being fought on all fronts.... [tags: Biography, Chinese-American Author]
1456 words (4.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1607 words (4.6 pages)