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An Analysis of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club - Essay Example

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Name of Professor An Analysis of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club is an intricate depiction of mother-daughter relationships and compound generational differences. The four sets of mother-daughter relationship, alongside their confusion rooted in generational differences, give the narrative a sense of warmth, gentleness, and diversity…
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An Analysis of Amy Tans The Joy Luck Club
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Download file to see previous pages Four sets of mothers and daughters, namely, (1) Ying-Ying St. Claire and Lena, (2) Suyuan Woo and Jing-Mei, (3) Lindo Jong and Waverly, and (4) An-Mei Hsu and Rose, are divided along the lines of culture and generation. The mothers, or the older generation, are still attached to the ancestral tradition of their native soil. In contrast, the daughters, or the younger generation, caught between their ancestral background and their Westernized education, are having a great difficulty integrating into Western culture. However, Jing-Mei is compelled to take on a ‘different mindset’ when she is summoned by the Joy Luck Club to continue the membership of her deceased mother. Jing-Mei is anxious that she may not possess the character to take the place of her mother, but the other mothers view her ‘being there’ as a chance to restore their ties with their own daughters. The mothers help Jing-Mei rediscover her heritage and her ties with her mother by guiding her in recreating her mother’s memoirs. Jing-Mei, in the end, accomplishes the dying hope of her mother to locate the children she abandoned in China, and her personal hope to restore her ties with her half-siblings and her ancestral identity. So what does this say about Jing-Mei’s relationship with her mother? The mother-daughter relationship between Jing-Mei and Suyuan is burdened with disagreement, mostly due to generational gap, but in the end founded on empathy, affinity, and devotion for one another. Due to major disparities in their upbringing, cultural backgrounds, and experiences, this mother and daughter have plenty of clashing beliefs and values. These problems, besides their severed connection, brought a lot of problems throughout their relationship. Jing-Mei even admits: “My mother and I never really understood each other. We translated each other’s meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more” (Tan 2006, 37). These gaps are bridged when Jing-Mei rediscovers the life story of her mother and appreciates their generational differences. Likewise, An-Mei Hsu and Rose have opposing perspectives on life. This clash can be attributed to the fact that Rose has been reared in a totally different culture from that of her ancestral tradition. She does not have sympathy for her mother’s beliefs and life perspective. Rose thinks her mother is not being true to herself when she expressed resentment against her impending divorce. She believes this because she witnessed when her mother became distrustful of religion. Nevertheless, when looking at this mother-daughter relationship, it becomes apparent that their connection is sustained by the strength of An-Mei. She tries to instill in her daughter the strength of facing one’s own problems and fears. Rose and An-Mei confront generational differences as well because Rose chooses an American husband. Thus, when her mother tries to persuade her to keep her marriage, Rose says, “think[s] it’s that my mother wants me to fight divorce” (Tan 2006, 117). Evidently, this mother-daughter relationship is burdened with conflict because of cultural differences and generational gaps. As illustrated, they would attempt to accomplish totally different answers to the same issues. Rose only wants happiness for herself—a Westernized attitude-- whereas An-Mei tries to persuade ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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