Leonardo Da Vinci once stated, “The greatest deception men suffer from is their own opinions.” For eras on end, stereotypes and misconceptions have stood as obstacles preventing individuals from sharing experiences, perspectives, and ideas with one another. Amy Tan further exhibits an individual’s tendency to form preconceived opinions in her novel The Joy Luck Club. The pairing of Chinese mothers and daughters throughout Tan’s novel proposes that deception has a drastic effect on a woman’s life and the manner in which she is perceived.
Mother knows best. And yet so many daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club feel slighted by what the matriarchal figures in their lives have in mind for them, or rather, what they believe their mothers have in mind for them. A perfect storm of expectation, true and false, about love, about success, about being Chinese. The souring of mother-daughter relationships in The Joy Luck Club stem from unrealistic or ill conceived expectations that both parties hold for the other.
The Rebellious Daughter: Analyzing the Theme of Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” The story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan explores the deep familial emotions between a mother and her daughter. Jing-Mei’s mother had left China to come to America after losing her family, and had been raising Jing-Mei in America with her second husband. Despite her mother’s grand hopes for Jing-Mei to become successful in America by becoming a child prodigy, Jing-Mei did not share the same opinions.
The story “Two Kinds” is from the book The Joy Luck Club. The story mainly focuses on the relationships between mothers and daughters. Internal conflict means that it is a conflict a character has with his or her self. Throughout every storyline there is either an internal or external conflict. Two Kind by Amy Tan has a variation of both. Both Jing-mei and her mother faces each form of conflict and they are revealed throughout the story.
In The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, we are introduced to Suyuan and her daughter Jing-Mei “June” Woo. As with any relationship, there is conflict between Suyuan Woo and her daughter, as it seems that Jing-Mei doesn’t understand her mother’s Chinese culture and ambitions. In the Chinese culture, women are seen as inferior and often lack basic rights such as the right to marriage or financial holdings, thus deprived of their potential. This is why the rights in the U.S. are seen as privileges to Chinese women, among other minorities, and why Suyuan endeavored for her daughter to become a prodigy and excel in anything and everything. Yet as Jing-Mei was forced into this ideal, and the more her mother tried to enforce this idea, the further she begun to despise her mother for attempting to turn her into a “fraud”.
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.
Research shows that up to 70% of people who have gone through something traumatic, have shown positive psychological growth in their lives (Gregoire). Life after trauma can be hard to regain due to the instability we experience throughout that hard time in our lives. But having a strong, and satisfying relationship or relationships can help to bring people to peace in a slightly more uncomplicated way. This example of dealing with grief is brought to attention in Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club. Due to the turbulent times in Shanghai, China, and then coming together in San Francisco, California, these four women and their daughters rely on each other to get through it all. Each conflict the characters go through, relates back to how they
The mother shows her strictness towards Jing Mei for her to follow and obey. For Jing Mei, her belief of being herself stands out to her. The two character's point of view on the world are very unlike, Jing Mei believes of being herself nevertheless what the mother forces her to
Joy luck only exist among these mothers is because they 've all went through certain tough experience to finally get to where they are today, where they finally have happiness. Unlike June Woo and the other daughters, they were born in America, they did not need to go through what their mothers have went through. Maybe the word joy luck does not exist in the exact form to these daughters but joy luck does certainly exists in a similar form to them. This is because these daughter grew up with the American culture dominating over their Chinese heritage. As a daughter to an Chinese mother that migrated to America, I understand this tale very well. I on the other hand grew up with the Chinese heritage dominating over America 's culture due to me growing up in Chinatown and went to a Chinese dominated elementary school.
“Communication is the key to a successful relationship, attentiveness, and consistency. Without it, there is no relationship,” (Bleau). The Joy Luck Club is a novel written by Amy Tan. Set in the twentieth century, this novel depicts the life of four Chinese immigrant women escaping their past and their American-grown daughters. The novel reveals the mothers’ hardship-filled past and motivations alongside with the daughters’ inner conflicts and struggles.
Jing Mei, while portrayed as an obedient child, is only willing to listen to her mother to a certain extent. Throughout the story, it is consistently hinted that Jing Mei would eventually explode against her mother as an attempt to free herself from her mother’s chains. In addition, after the fiasco at the piano recital, she eventually derives further from her mother’s wishes as she “didn 't get straight A...didn 't become class president...didn 't get into Stanford...dropped out of college.” (54). On the flip side, Jing Mei’s mother is a stereotypical Chinese parent who is fully determined to ensure her daughter’s success in a new environment.
Jing-Mei comes from China and Chinese background has to adapt comfortably with being in American culture. “Only two kinds 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.” What I interpret from this text is that the obedient daughter in Jing-Mei's mother’s case is the Chinese daughter, while the daughter who follows their own mind is the American daughter. The mother wants Jing-Mei to be the obedient daughter. Culture can detrimentally change a
“After losing everything in China…She never looked back with regret. ”(Chunk 1 ¶3). Jing-Mei’s mother is a Chinese immigrant with the typical ‘everything is better in America’ mindset. Jing-Mei, being raised in America, had more of an American mindset. “You want me to be someone i’m not…I’ll never be the daughter you want me to be!”
Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club is an amazing representation of what Chinese immigrants and their families face. The broad spectrum of the mothers’ and daughters’ stories all connect back to a couple of constantly recurring patterns. These patterns are used to show that how the mothers and daughters were so differently raised affected their relationships with each other, for better and for worse.