Ancestra In The Joy Luck Club Analysis

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Tan sets all her novels within the circle of the Chinese American family and inside the minds and psyches of the family members. Tan takes her readers into pre-Communist Chinese society in which the aristocratic family is the visible evidence of unwritten rules that require absolute filial piety, that sanction hierarchies based on gender and class, that condone concubinage and the virtual enslavement of women within arranged marriages, and that stress above everything else the importance of saving face rather than self. The interior landscapes are connected, for in Old China lie the seeds of the conflicts that threaten to rend the fragile bonds holding the immigrant family together and only when the second generation recognizes and understands the…show more content…
This sense of careful design enhances Tan’s portrayal of traditional china with its rigidly structured hierarchies and social structures, its codified rituals, and its established protocols governing the lives of its people. By contrast, the American settings pulse with life, energy, and chaos. Whereas in China, the Joy Luck mothers had centuries of established convention dictating their behavior and America’s cultural practices are strange and unfathomable and these women who have left china specifically for the chance to start afresh in a new country far from the stultifying tradition of the old, find themselves reverting to the familiar customs of their faraway homeland. Barred for a variety of reasons from achieving the dreams of success that brought them to America, the mothers transfer their ambitions to their daughters in whom they hope to combine the best of Chinese and American culture. On those daughters, who grow up in Chinatown but attend American schools, rest the hopes of their immigrant
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