Joseph Campbell's definition of a hero’s journey can be seen across many characters in the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. In order to meet this definition, one must overcome three stages: the department, the fulfilment, and the return. Tan depicts Jing-mei Woo as a shell of a woman who is forced to take up the footprints of her late mother. She then learns the meaning of family and is able to fulfil her mother’s dying wish by resurrecting her past life in China, which allows her to complete Campbell's definition of a hero’s journey. Jing-mei’s call to adventure is different from others in the novel; Jing-mei is thrown into her journey by losing her mother and learning her long lost twin sisters, Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa, from China are still alive.
Silence and storytelling are pivotal themes that run throughout in Maxine Hong Kingston’s ‘The Woman Warrior.’ They are themes that coincide with each other in a major impactful way on both Maxine as the author, the characters she writes about and the audience who reads her stories. Kingston shows the important consequences of being silent in society and how telling stories can break through these moulds that patriarchal societies once set up for women not only in Chinese culture but relating all over the world in a way that also helps readers gain an insight into their own cultural legacy. Telling stories is a tradition that has been around for centuries and the passing on of family stories is of extreme importance for our own sense of identity. It also leaves a person with a cultural identity as seen in ‘The Woman Warrior’ by Maxine Hong Kingston. Maxine’s mother, Brave Orchid, tells her many stories in her native tongue, Chinese, and these stories show patriarchal interdictions and warnings.
Neel Khanna Mrs. Meahl IB English III August 11, 2014 Beginnings in The Woman Warrior The Woman Warrior is a collection of memoirs in which Maxine Hong Kingston writes about the people and events which help shape her thinking and her girlhood growing up as a Chinese-American. Kingston discusses these most salient events and idols in five separate chapters, including the first chapter in which Kingston reveals the fate of her father’s sister to place the reader in the midst of things, effectively grabbing the reader’s attention. The chapter progresses forward with the introduction of the themes of fear, bravery and the Chinese culture, all of which resound throughout the book. By beginning her book with an important moment in Kingston’s
The woman warrior was an interesting novel of memoirs that gave her audience a new perspective on feminine values, and while there might have been various themes throughout this book, the main focus revolved around Kingston's femininity and struggles of finding one's own, personal voice. Throughout its five chapters there are numerous references to her everyday emotional and physical struggles of growing up as a chinese woman. Kingston's implementation of literary devices, such characterization, metaphors, and symbolism are used in order to brilliantly set the theme in The Woman Warrior. At the beginning of this novel, Kingston’s first chapter “No Name Woman”the entire family is silenced with secrecy, because of an aunt who had not only disgraced her family, but the entire village, when she became pregnant by someone other than her husband, who has been absent in her life for years. This shameful deed drives the woman into committing suicide soon after childbirth by throwing
Tan's mother tongue is a combination of Chinese and English, which was taught to her by her mother. In Tan's opinion, one's mother tongue plays a significant role in defining them and makes them unique. The title "Mother Tongue" is also significant because it was the language Tan's mother spoke which played a major role in
Bi, Zijian Thu. 3/5/2015 English 2B Ms. Freeland 2° WHEN THE DREAM COMES TRUE What is your American Dream? “The Joy Luck Club”, a novel by Amy Tan, talks about how four mother-daughter pairs have fulfilled their American Dreams. Suyuan and Jing-mei was one of the mother-daughter pair who wants to fulfill their dreams in America. Suyuan’s American Dream starts in her heart when she decides to escape from the chaotic China and find a better life by immigrating to America.
She finally finds her inner Chinese that she described is “in your blood waiting to be let go” (Tan 306). This shows that although immigrants of the time period often struggled with self identity, deep down they wanted to find acceptance in their
The Woman Warrior is a “memoir of a girlhood among ghosts” in which Maxine Hong Kingston recounts her experiences as a second generation immigrant. She tells the story of her childhood by intertwining Chinese talk-story and personal experience, filling in the gaps in her memory with assumptions. The Woman Warrior dismantles the archetype of the typical mother-daughter relationship by suggesting that diaspora redefines archetypes by combining conflicting societal norms. A mother’s typical role in a mother-daughter relationship is one of guidance and leadership. Parents are responsible for teaching a child right from wrong and good from evil.
Diana Lu, born in the time of a dark and confused period MaoZeDong’s Cultural Revolution in China was forced to leave their comfortable homes and middle class life in the city. She is a person who inspires others through her life story that she shared in this book “Daughter of the Yellow River, passionate and determined to create a better life for herself after all the struggles she’ve been through in her childhood days she had decided to have a life based on her own talents and dreams. She describes herself as a daughter of the yellow river, considered the mother river of China, being born, raised, and educated in CHina, she was shaped by the culture and traditions of that great land. Chapter Summary Chapter 1 ( Coal Mining Village) In the time of MaoZeDong’s Cultural Revolution in China, families like Diana Lu’s were being uprooted from their homes and were forced to relocate long distances away into a remote rural place filled with poverty and despair. It was a devastating experience that their family had been through, her parents fought constantly because of the result of fear, hopelessness, and paranoia they were experiencing.
This also shows that the author knows well about what she is writing about and the way of life for the Chinese families. As well as this Amy Tan uses the different main characters in the book to explain their experiences and opinions, meaning the narrator of the book changes throughout the novel as well as the story that is told in the book depending on which character is the narrator. In the first chapter, told by Jing-Mei Woo it talks about what is currently going on in the Joy Luck Club, everything is changing due to the narrator’s mother death such as how now Jing-Mei Woo is expected to replace/take the position that her mother took at the Joy Luck Club, which is very important to Jing-Mei but may not have been mentioned if the story was told by another character. Whereas in the second chapter, which is told by one of the Joy Luck Club mothers, An-Mei Hsu, is mainly about her childhood and past experiences before moving to America, which could not have been told by any of the other main characters. This allows the reader to look at the different opinions of the different
When Jeannette’s mom gives birth to her fourth child; named Maureen, Jeannette says to her, “I promised her I’d always take care of her” (46). She promises to take care of Maureen, and to take care of her Jeannette has to keep motivated and hope for the best, but also remain dedicated and try her hardest. Making that promise shows Jeannette is mature and she will accomplish whatever is possible for Maureen. As life moves on, Jeannette wants to feel like she knows what is going on in the world, “But a newspaper reporter… I decided I wanted to be one of the people who knew what was really going on” (204). When she talks about wanting to be “one of those people,” she uses diction.
Hope and Sadness define Esperanza’s name, her name is a feeling of expectation, a promise that something life changing will happen in the future. A person’s name means everything, it represents identity, reputation and self worth. Esperanza’s name is her future, it is the hope that her name provides that will help get her out of Mango street. In The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisnero shows that Esperanza needs to escape Mango Street in order to live her life but she needs to go back to help the others live theirs. Esperanza shares her name with her grandmother who spent her life looking out her window watching her life go by.
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” illustrates Dee’s struggle for identity by placing her quest for a new identity against her family’s desire for maintaining culture and heritage. In the beginning, the narrator, who is the mother of Dee, mentions some details about Dee; how she “...wanted nice things… She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts… At sixteen, she had a style of her own: and (she) knew what style was.” Providing evidence to the thesis, she was obviously trying exceptionally hard to find for herself a sense of identity. She wanted items her family couldn’t afford, so she worked hard to gain these, and she found a sense of identity from them, but it also pushed her farther away from her family. As the story progresses,
The parts in the mother’s point of views are most likely all of Daisy Li’s memories of her life that she had told Amy Tan. The parts in the daughters point of views are more recent memories Amy Tan has of her times as a young adult and lessons learned from her mother. A great deal of the book is based off of Daisy Li’s life. For example, An-mei Hsu, said “I know this, because I was raised the Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people’s misery, to eat my own bitterness.” (Tan, Page 215) Tan’s mother taught her to be strong and independent that is really what that quote is all about. To be strong and independent you have to be able to take care of not only yourself, but the people you care for.