Lindo Jong, the mother of Waverly, says, “But inside I am becoming ashamed. I am ashamed that she is ashamed. Because she is my daughter and I am proud of her, and I am her mother and she is not proud of me”(The Joy Luck Club 255). The shame the daughters feel causes the mothers to feel shame. However, the shame the daughters felt because of
As discussed in the previous chapter, cultural and language barrier have caused serious obstacles for the mothers and daughters. Not being able to see and think from each other’s perspective blocks the path to effective communication which result in silence between them. The focus of this chapter is to analysis in details of Jing-mei’s change after her mother’s death and her trip to China to meet her lost sisters, which symbolizes that her split identity is healed and her relationship with her mother is reconciled as well. The mother-daughter relationships between the other mothers and daughters in The Joy Luck Club will also be studied When Jing-mei is young, she is the same as the other three daughters - an outsider of their mothers’ world. She laughs at her mother’s “fractured English” and she “[grows] impatient” when her mother speaks Chinese (40).
Yolanda travels to her homeland in order to find her cultural and personal identity. Leaving her native country to America at a young age she “…was losing her Spanish…”(Alvarez 1300) and culture that forms her family background and national heritage. For this reason, she approaches situations differently than the rest of her extended family, and there is a gap between their cultural perspectives and her own. This gap leads to a certain distance between her and the other members of the family. Yolanda “…never felt at home in the States…”
Most likely the basis of Lena’s character and the other daughers’ characters, Amy Tan’s relationship with her mother (discussed in an article by State University of New York at Buffalo) further explains the conception and meaning of The Joy Luck Club’s message. In the article, the author states that Amy Tan found it difficult to communicate with her mother for the reason that Amy Tan “grew up trying to please a mother who could not be pleased” (Longenecker 1). Obsessed with her superstitious beliefs, Amy Tan’s mother often created tension between her and her daughter with her “high suspense” manner of acting, threatening suicide or returning to China at times (Longenecker 1).
In Amy Tan’s short story, Two Kinds, there are not just two kinds of conflict but many.. These include; American versus Chinese cultural differences, a parent’s wishes versus a child’s wants, and the pursuit of material success versus personal contentment. However, the most obvious is the conflict between Jing-mei and her unnamed mother’s personalities. Jing-mei is a young Chinese-American grade school girl with a modern independence. Her mother on the other hand, is a old-world Chinese immigrant who left everything behind in order to make a better life for herself and her only child.
Jing-Mei then decides to reunite with her sisters in China, anxiously stating, “I lay awake thinking about my mother’s story, realizing how much I have never known about her, grieving that my sisters and I had both lost her“ (271). At this point in the story, it becomes evident Jing-Mei no longer despises her mother for her distasteful tendencies. Instead, she aspires to see her mother one last time. Remorseful of her incapacity to connect with her mother on a deeper level, Jing-Mei feels inept to fill in for her mother at the mahjong table.
Lost in Translation For first generation Americans, finding belonging in a new country can feel impossible. They are often caught between the traditions and ideals of the two differing countries. Raising a family in the new home with different values can lead to miscommunications or even a significant disconnect between parents and children. This is modeled well in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, particularly in the relationship between Ying Ying Saint Clair and her daughter Lena.
In both the stories, in which both families include a mother who is the first generation immigrant and the daughter who is an American citizen, their relation is very complex because of their distinct thinking. Jing-Mei’s mother has always had a very high expectation for Jing-Mei. Her mother
The story states “... Rosaura’s eyes had a cold, clear look that fixed itself on Senora Ines’s face.” Instead of receiving a gift from the party, Rosaura received two dollars for all her hard work as an employee at the party. Rosaura learned the real reason why her mother was right, and why she was invited. This shows her trait as an innocent girl.
Karlea Belsey Mrs. Ham English 1302 23 February 2016 “Two Kinds” of Girls “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, written by Joyce Carol Oates in 1970, the main character, Connie, is put in the shadows of her older sister, and she feels as though her mother does not care for her as much as her sister. Connie acts and dresses different when she was away from her family; she tried to fit in with her friends whenever they went to the shopping mall, movies, or to the restaurant across from the mall. On the other hand, in “Two Kinds”, written by Amy Tan in 1989, the main character, Jing Mei, was a Chinese-American whose mother wanted her to be a prodigy in something, and believed that she could be anything that she wanted to be since she was in America. Both of these characters, Connie and Jing Mei, had someone pushing them to do something, but in the end, Connie agreed to her persuasion, while Jing Mei refused.
The Affect of Americanization Migration affected one of the characters in “Caroline’s Wedding”. Ma, Caroline’s mother, was impacted by the changes that America made to her daughter. Caroline was born as an American child, and being American was the only lifestyle that she knew. Ma felt as if her daughter was slipping away from her, since she was marrying an American man and having a non-traditional wedding. Caroline was even trying to change her appearance by dying her hair to look the American part.
“A sense of inadequacy often informs the question around ‘Who am I?’”. An article written by Mel Schwartz for Psychology Today explores the idea of identity and what it means to an individual. The information presented in this article can be connected to characters in the novels The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. In each of these stories, characters are faced with a lack of sense of self, not knowing who they are because they think that they mean nothing to the world and are even worthless at times. This lack of identity due to the feeling of inadequacy affects Max in The Book Thief relationally and Lily in The Secret Life of Bees emotionally, while also creating better character development.