Joy Luck Club Analysis

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What effects do different cultures take on mothers (Chinese) and daughters (American) throughout the book?

The book “The Joy Luck Club” takes on an interesting way to present it’s plot to readers. It consists of the telling of the stories of four Chinese mothers (before they immigrated to the United States) in the first four chapters. Following this is the stories of these mother’s daughters (again, in four chapters). This “organization” of the first half of the story is key to allow the reader to really delve into each character’s story, personality, traits, and their cultural aspects. Now, what this essay will focus on will be the effects that these character’s different cultures take on each other (mothers versus daughters, Chinese culture versus American, respectively), something that a reader might understand and accept as a legitimate question, seeing as all mothers were born and raised in Chinese culture and all daughters had the same experience but with American ways.

In the first chapter, “Jing-Mei Woo: The Joy Luck Club”, of the first section of the book, “FEATHERS FROM A THOUSAND LI AWAY”, the reader can identify a not-so-crucial but still noticeable clash between cultures. This is found in a line said by Jing-Mei Woo about her mother Suyuan Woo. “She said the two soups were almost the same, chabuduo. Or maybe she said butong... It was one of those Chinese expressions that means the better half of mixed intentions. I can never remember things I didn’t understand
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