In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan focuses on several mother-daughter relationships. One of the relationships explored is that between an immigrant Chinese mother and her American born daughter Jing-mei. The mother expects Jing-mei to be a prodigy child - while pursuing this dream she unintentionally creates a serious conflict between her and her daughter.
To fulfill her unrealistic expectations, the mother pushes Jing-mei to be the best in anything and everything. At first, the reader may perceive the mother as the villain in the story; however, the mother just wants her daughter to have the life that she never had. Jing-mei does not understand her intentions.
Jing-mei's mother thought opportunity was everywhere in America, "America was where all my mother's hopes lay" (Tan 1208). The mother lost everything when she moved from China to San Francisco in 1949. In China she lost her family, her spouse, and she had to abandon her twin baby girls (Tan 1208). This implies that her mother had a difficult life and wanted to start a new life in America.
Unfamiliar with the customs of America, she had been brought up in a strict Chinese culture. Her mother probably raised her the same way, and therefore, that is where she learned her parenting skills. The Chinese life is strict, more so than the American life, and that was the only way the mother knew how to raise her daughter. The mother seemed to be the villain in the story, but she was only trying to be the caring parent the best way she knew how. She only wanted her daughter to be the best, but a conflict started when the daughter failed to meet her expectations.
In the beginning Jing-mei, th...
... middle of paper ...
...he wanted to see her daughter become something better than what she had become. Instead of encouraging her daughter to become someone who she wanted to be, she ends up pushing her in the wrong direction. I think that Jing-mei finally realized why her mother did what she did. I agree with Ghymn when she states that "Jing-mei does care deeply what her mother thinks of her" (84). It is obvious that even though they were two kinds from two different cultures they still found forgiveness in the end.
Souris, Stephen. "'Only Two Kinds of Daughters:'" Inter-Monologue Dialogicity in The Joy Luck Club." Melus 19.2 (Summer 1994):99-123.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Vintage Contemporaries. New York: A Division of Random House, Inc. 1993.
Willard, Nancy. Asian American Women Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Amy Tan's “The Joy Luck Club” The “Joy Luck Club,” by Amy Tan, is a collection of short stories about the relationships between Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters. The story called “Four Directions” is about a woman named Waverly Jong. The story is about Waverly trying to tell her mother that she is getting married to a American man named Richard. Waverly was a chess champion as while she was a young girl and she remembers the strategy that she used in her matches, and in her life, as she tries to tell her mother about a marriage to an American man.... [tags: Amy Tan Joy Luck Club Essays]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- 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)
- Mother-Daughter Communication in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Of the many stories involving the many characters of "The Joy Luck Club", I believe the central theme connecting them all is the inability of the mothers and their daughters to communicate effectively. The mothers all have stories of past struggles and hard times yet do not believe their daughters truly appreciate this fact. The mothers of the story all want their daughters to never have to go through the struggles they themselves had to go through, yet they are disappointed when their daughters grow up and do not exhibit the respect or strength of their mothers. This is the ironic paradox of the story. T... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays Amy Tan Papers]
2562 words (7.3 pages)
- 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]
1415 words (4 pages)
- A Daughter Pushed to the Brink in Joy Luck Club In Amy Tan's novel, Joy Luck Club, the mother of Jing-mei recognizes only two kinds of daughters: those that are obedient and those that follow their own mind. Perhaps the reader of this novel may recognize only two types of mothers: pushy mothers and patient mothers. The two songs, "Pleading Child" and "Perfectly Contented," which the daughter plays, reinforce the underlying tension in the novel. These songs represent the feelings that the daughter, Jing-mei, has had throughout her life.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays Amy Tan Papers]
1194 words (3.4 pages)
- Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club uses much characterization. Each character is portrayed in different yet similar ways. When she was raised, she would do whatever she could to please other people. She even “gave up her life for her parents promise” (49), I the story The Red Candle we get to see how Tan portrays Lindo Jong and how she is brought to life. Tan likes to show Lindo through indirect characterization. Lindo would always try to make things right. She would be polite to her new mother in law and when she was with her mother in law she would hold out a treat and say “ For you, Mother” (53).... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
505 words (1.4 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)
- Throughout The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan inserts various conflicts betweens mothers and daughters. Most of these relationships, already very fragile, become distanced through heritage, history and expectations. These differences cause reoccurring clashes between two specific mother-daughter bonds. The first relationship exists between Waverly Jong and her mother, Lindo. Lindo tries to instill Chinese qualities in her daughter while Waverly refuses to recognize her heritage and concentrates on American culture.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
1075 words (3.1 pages)
- Amy Tan's Mother Tongue In Mother Tongue, Amy Tan talks about how language influenced her life while growing up. Through pathos she explains to her audience how her experiences with her mother and the Chinese language she came to realize who she wanted to be and how she wanted to write. The author, Tan, has written the books The Joy Luck Club, and The Kitchen God's Wife. She is Asian-American, her parents are originally from China, but moved to Oakland, California. The audience in Tan's essay is people 20-35 years old who are culturally diverse.... [tags: Amy Tan Writing Chinese Essays]
851 words (2.4 pages)