Essay PreviewMore ↓
A vivid portrait of the struggles, as well as the joys, of three generations of Asian American families is painted for us on the off white canvas used by Amy Tan in 1989, the pages of her book, The Joy Luck Club. In this portrayal of Chinese immigrants and their American born children, four family stories are brought to light, through a series of vignettes told from the view points of eight women, as they change and grow in their lives. Lives that become the pigment that, along with Tan’s taintless brush strokes become a painting fit for a museum. As the stories are unveiled to us, we begin to find the connection between mothers and daughters, as well as ties between friends. These connections, however, often turn out to be lacks of connections, as the generations find themselves having a hard time relating to one another. One family in which misconceptions occur throughout the entirety of the daughter’s life is the Jong family, whose story leads us through generations of women, who, by living their out their lives, look at things instead as simply, playing the game.
The mother of the Jong family, Lindo, is a member of the Joy Luck Club, and an American immigrant who, throughout her life, as always tried to keep a balance between her Chinese self, and her new American self. Lindo fears that she may have given her daughter, Waverly, too many American opportunities, and therefore denied her of her Chinese heritage. With the Americanization of her daughter, she feels she may have closed the doors on part of her own self as well, and become herself, too American.
Before Lindo came to America, she learned at an early age the power of invisible strength, of hiding ones thoughts until the time is right to reveal them. She discovers these values while in an unhappy relationship to a man she was betrothed to at an early age. “ I wiped my eyes and looked in he mirror. I was surprised at what I saw. I had on a beautiful red dress, but what I saw was even more valuable. I was strong. I was pure.
I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could ever take away from me. I was like the wind. I threw back my head and smiled proudly to myself, and then I draped the large embroidered red scarf over my face and covered these thoughts up.
How to Cite this Page
"The Joy Luck Club - Playing the Game." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Concession in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club "Sometimes you have to lose pieces to get ahead," explains the narrator of "The Rules of the Game," a lost piece from Amy Tan's novel The Joy Luck Club that has arguably achieved greater readership through its appearance in numerous anthologies (505). "The Rules of the Game" pivots around the concept that one may triumph in a win-lose situation through a concession. Narrator Waverly Jong recounts applications of this idea as she grows into adolescence in her Chinese-American community.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1437 words (4.1 pages)
- Imagine a relationship between a coach and a player. The job of the coach is to make his student better at the sport; therefore, he puts pressure upon the player and expects him to show off the skills that he teaches him. This pressure and expectation can lead to the player winning or losing depending on the player’s motivation. Also, depending upon the result of the competition, the coach and the player can have a strong relationship or a weak one with growing distances and irritation if the two do not get along.... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
1198 words (3.4 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)
- The Power of Love in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, Four pairs of mothers and daughters embark on the journey that is life. Each young woman comes to realize how valuable the relationships with their mothers are. As each daughter learns from her mother, she goes through the sometimes-painful process of trying to understand her enigmatic mother. To finally unravel the mystery surrounding their mothers is to understand who they, themselves, really are. Suyuan Woo started the "Joy Luck Club" the year she left China. She began the club as a relief from the heartache that she and her friends experienced "My mother could sense that the wome... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1458 words (4.2 pages)
- The Complexity of Mother and Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club Since the beginning of time the mother and daughter relationship has been complex. The book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan is a great example of the mother and daughter relationship. In the book Amy Tan writes about four women who migrate to America from China. All of the women were in search of a better life since the lives they had in China were not what they wanted for themselves. Even though all of the women did not know each other until they met in America, they all share the same horrible memories of their past. The book mainly focuses on the expectations, hopes, and dreams that the women and their... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1329 words (3.8 pages)
- The Joy Luck Club is a representation of the persistent tensions and powerful bonds between mother and daughter in a Chinese American society. The book illustrates the hardships both the mother and daughters go through in order to please the other. Also, it shows the troubles the daughters face when growing up in two cultures. This book reveals that most of the time mothers really do know best. In "Rules of the Game" we see a mother daughter conflict. Waverly's mother is always showing her off because she is a national chess champion. Waverly takes this as being exploited by her own mother because she was raised in a society with more American influence than Chinese. In a Chinese socie... [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
462 words (1.3 pages)
- Improving Mother/Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club One day everything is going great, in fact things could not be better and then you say something and your friend turns to you and says “oh my god, you sounded just like your mother”. That is when you freak out and think to yourself it is true I am turning into my mother. This is every daughters worst nightmare come true. When a young girl is growing up her mother always says and does things that the girl vows she will never say and do but she does. Very rarely do we see cases of women wanted to be like their mother but it usually happens even if they do not want it to. In the book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan tells st... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1213 words (3.5 pages)
- "A mother is best. A mother knows what is inside of you," said An-Mei Hsu to her daughter Rose (188). And this is true for all four of the mothers in the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. Unfortunately it was much more complicated than that, because the daughters had minds of their own, to a certain extent, minds that were part American. "The emphasis on honor, obedience, and loyalty among women are immense in this novel" (The Joy Luck Club: An Overview). In America, these characteristics were not emphasized nearly as much – and that is what caused tension between mother and daughter.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1329 words (3.8 pages)
- Similar Roles of Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club, a novel by Amy Tan, is structured in an unusual way. It is divided into four different sections. Each section has four stories told by four different women. In the first section all the mothers, in the Joy Luck Club, talk about their childhood. In the next two sections the daughters talk about their childhood and their experiences through life. In the last section the four mothers speak about the stories of when they were younger, around their daughters' age. This novel explores countless topics. Not only does it deal with gender identity and the relationships between Chinese-American c... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1023 words (2.9 pages)
- Relationships Between Mothers and Daughters in Tan's The Joy Luck Club “Now the woman was old. And she had a daughter who grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow. For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her, “This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions.” And she waited, year after year, for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English (Tan 3).” The American culture focuses more on the individual. Typical Americans always want to be independent. Traditionally, they never appreciate anything that they have, are selfish, an... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1460 words (4.2 pages)
Waverly was named after the street she lived on when she was born. Her mother did this to make an attempt of Americanizing Waverly from the beginning, something I believe Lindo regretted later. After Waverly had been raised most of her life as an American, Lindo realized that she had made a mistake, and tried to inst. some Chinese values in her, but it was too late. Even though Waverly believes she very Chinese, she doesn’t realize that it is only what is on the outside of her that is Chinese. Waverly expresses interest in visiting China, but jokes that she will blend in so well, they might not let her back into the country. Lindo is upset with this, because she sees how American Waverly really is. “How can she think she can blend in? Only her skin and her hair are Chinese. Inside- she is all American made. It’s my fault she is this way. I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these two things do not mix? I taught her how American circumstances work. If you are born poor here, it’s no lasting shame… If the roof crashes on your head, no need to cry over this bad luck. You can sue anybody- you do not have to sit like Buddha under a tree letting pigeons drop their dirty business on your head… In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you. She learned these things, but I couldn’t teach her about Chinese character. How to obey parents, and listen to your mothers mind. How not to show your own thoughts, to put your feelings behind your face so you can take advantage of hidden opportunities.. Why Chinese thinking is best.” (Double face, page 289) Waverly’s American attitude is the thing that separates her from Lindo the most, and what separates their ways of thinking when analyzing their next moves in their life long game.
The relationship between Lindo and Waverly really is that of a life long chess game, where battle after battle take place, but in the end, it is bound to end in a stalemate. Waverly lives her whole life as if it is a chess game, and her all time opponent was Lindo. After Waverly and her mom had gotten into a fight, and Lindo had won the battle by staying calm when Waverly ran away, Waverly said that “I closed my eyes and pondered my next move”. As it turns out, her next move was to pretend to be sick, so that her mother would be compassionate towards her again. Waverly saw this as sneak attack, that she would later use against her mother. The thing that upsets Lindo the most about Waverly, is her lack of respect for Chinese culture. For example, when Lindo promised her parents she would not disgrace them, and she went through a lot of hardship to honor this promise, as she was forced to be in an unhappy marriage for a long time. It upsets Lindo that her daughter’s ideas of a promise are much different, they are much more American. “ A daughter can promise to come to dinner, but if she has a head ache, or is in a traffic jam, if she wants to watch her favorite movie on TV, she no longer has a promise.”
When Waverly brings her mother to a restaurant to let her know about her plans to marry her fiancé, it is by no accident that she brings her to the restaurant called “four directions”. All of her life Waverly has learned to come from all directions, as the wind, to distract her opponent. By trying to distract other people all her life, so that she can win, I think she has blindly guided herself into a stalemate with her mother, and a checkmate with society. For Lindo and Waverly to reconcile their differences, they need to put aside their “American and Chinese faces”, and learn to put the stale mate behind them, shake hands, and walk side by side through the park, watching others sit across from each other in their own games of chess, waiting till they to can reach across the table, shake hands, and know that more can be accomplished when two people’s winds blow from the same direction.