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Amy Tan's The joy Luck Club - Essay Example

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Author’s Name [Author’s Name] [Class] Date Amy Tan's "The joy Luck Club" The Joy Luck Club is a novel of four Chinese families, consisting of sixteen short stories. The monologues of four mothers, Chinese women who emigrated from China, after the Revolution of 1949, to America, and their four daughters, the first generation of American women, take us from the wealthy houses of pre-revolutionary China to modern San Francisco…
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Download file to see previous pages At first it seems that these disparate stories have nothing in common, except the conflict between two cultures - they are just a figment of some not very happy ladies’ experiences. However, during the process of reading, the pictures complement one another and stories, which were supposed to be autonomous, are connected by a thin thread. The author also concerns “the nature of mother-daughter relationships, which are complicated not only by age difference, but by different upbringings. The issues of self-respect, personal identity are also highlighted in the novel” ("BookRags Book Notes on") . The young mothers who arrived to America create a club for meeting and communication. At these meetings, they eat Chinese food, play board game mahjongg, talk. Each of them experienced some heavy losses in the past. But instead plunging into the painful memories of those losses, they prefer coming together for mutual support, material and spiritual. They all share a hope for the future, so they called themselves The Joy Luck Club. It is obvious, that is extremely difficult, and even impossible for the senior generation, to get accustomed to new American culture, to leave behind their usual Chinese lifestyles. “American circumstances but Chinese character… How could I know these two things do not mix?” (Tan 15: 254), - this question bothered not only Lindo, but the rest of mothers. The women of older generation, “Old World fossils” (Tan 2: 89), are in the state of permanent cultural shock. The gap between the American and Chinese cultures is supposed to be insurmountable. When one of the women dies, her daughter Jing-mei was invited to take mother’s place at the mahjongg table. The daughters know only about their mothers’ lives in America, but they never told about what kind of life their parent had in China. As one of the young girls states, -"Over the years, she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine."(Tan 1: 21). And if the main task for the older generation was to assimilate into the new environment, for American-born children it was a problem to overcome feelings of shame for their parents being immigrants. Jing-mei feels uneasy in the company of all these Chinese “aunties”; the young girl taking her mother’s place at the table, which is contrary to her own desire, “symbolizes the very generation and cultural gap between children and parents” ("BookRags Book Notes on"). Conversations of June and Suyuen testifies to the fact that it was a torture to come to understanding. “My mother and I never really understood one another. We translated each other's meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more” (Tan 2: 27) Thus, a reader understands that “there is also a communication barrier between mothers and daughters” ("BookRags Book Notes on"). The mothers are eager to raise their daughters according to their traditions and worldviews, -“…Only two kind of daughters. Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!" (Tan 8: 142)” The young girls rebel against such intentions; they do not want to be oppressed and do not want their ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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