The American Literature consists of artists from various cultural and social background who devoted their life in literary works. There are number of female authors who are known for their magnificent writings. Sarah Winnemucca, Zora Neale Hurston and Amy Tan are some of the famous female American authors. They belong to different racial and cultural backgrounds but share a common ground when it comes to expressing their life experience and opinions through their literary art works. Moreover, they are thought to be the public figures who have contributed to American literature over the past decades. The authors mentioned above have their own writing
Amy Tan is an American writer who has written several bestselling novels, non-fiction essays, and children’s books. Amy was the second-born out of three children to Chinese immigrants, Daisy and John, who was an electrical engineer and a Baptist minister. She was born in Oakland, California. John, Amy’s father and Peter, Amy’s older brother both died of brain tumors within a month of each other which made her mother decide to move her and her younger brother to New York, Washington, Florida, Germany, Netherlands, and finally to Switzerland, where they eventually settled down and where she graduated high school. After so, they moved back to the United States and they settled in San Francisco. Amy Tan had her fair share of painful life experiences,
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. The prejudice Ying Ying Saint Clair feels for American culture causes her to have a difficult time understanding and communicating with her daughter.
The ability to see the world as others do occurs only once. This is before the instance of any stimuli, any thought or experience; before the first breath. Culture is a foundation of beliefs and morals that are specific to one’s ethnicity. This is the distinct quality that everyone has based on their abstract views and varying backgrounds. The foundation of how people identify themselves and others is shaped by their experiences and interactions throughout life. Family and social norms are the two most prominent factors of how perception is influenced by culture.
To begin, the strained relationship between Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo signifies the misinterpretations that frequently occurred between mother-daughter pairs during the novel. Initially viewed as hypercritical
In Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club, the different stories show how the different characters develop and progress. Rose Hsu Jordan begins “Half and Half” as someone who clearly lacks of conviction as she allows everyone but her to make decisions. Throughout “Without Wood”, however, Rose Hsu Jordan begins to learn, with the help of her mother, how to speak up. In both stories, Rose Hsu Jordan’s development transforms her from a timid and passive girl, to an assertive woman who doesn’t allow others to step on her. Nonetheless, this change was brought upon not by an event, but rather, it was brought upon by Rose’s mother. An-Mei is responsible for transforming Rose from a timid and passive woman into one with an actual “voice”.
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.
In the book, Sara paints a vivid description of conditions with living in poverty. The struggle of working was described by the sister Bessie, and the struggle of being true and being “American” was felts and described by all. Each sister seems to reach solace while living in America. However the angle or path they try to take towards Americanization, they seem to feel unfulfilled. Whether it is Bessie who lives comfortably in her marriage, or Sara who lives comfortably with her independence. These two characters seemed to feel lost, unsatisfied, and seemed to only be unhappy due to their economic circumstances. It seemed that societies only made these groups of immigrants unhappy due to the fact of them being “different”; in turn, them being ethnically different pushed for them to be impoverished, because the general public had a distaste towards
The difference in language leads to miscommunication but the overlying consequence of it is lack of understanding and empathy for one another which leads to conflict. “Language takes on a metonymic relation to culture in Tan's portrayal of the gap between the mothers and daughters in The Joy Luck Club.” (Hamilton). The language barriers between the daughters and the mothers create the cultural barriers. Language barriers emphasize and directly influences cultural barriers. Cultural barriers prevent communication between people from all around the world, especially between the mothers and the daughters, and not necessarily figuratively. The language barrier between the mothers and the daughters can be symbolic.The lack of understanding and comprehension for one another creates a language barrier between the mothers and the daughters. “These kinds of explanations made me feel my mother and I spoke two different languages, which we did. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese.” (Tan 84). Peoples' communicating leads to the spread of different ideas. Language connects societies figuratively and literally. Culture and language influence people extensively which allow people to be susceptible to miscommunication when a barrier is too vast. Familial relationships disrupt from language barriers. “Divergent perceptions and absence of a common language of communication ...they fail to fathom each other’s feelings and likes and dislikes” (Priya). Miscommunication between people creates rifts and lays pretense for tension and dispassion. Without communication, people become impatient and disassociate. “They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English”(Tan 31). Apprehension creates misunderstanding. Apathy negates relationships and destroys any chance of understanding.
In The Spirit Catches You and You Fall down, Anne Fadiman reflected on ways in which cultural dissonance can have detrimental consequences for those who are caught in the midst of two cultures. In this influential story, the cultural and language barriers between Lia Lee’s family and her doctors caused Lia’s life to be negatively impacted due to improper diagnosis and treatment. The Lees preferred traditional and spiritual treatment that clearly differed from the doctors’ Westernized treatment. Through a constant battle between proper treatment and the Lee parent’s compliance, this caused Lia to live in a persistent vegetative state for the majority of her life.
A young college graduate, Skeeter, returns home to be with her ailing mother, and in her ambition to succeed as a writer, turns to the black maids she knows. Skeeter is determined to collect their oral histories and write about a culture that values social facade and ignores the human dignity of many members of the community.Two maids, Aibileen and Minny, agree to share their stories, stories of struggle and daily humiliation, of hard work and low pay, of fear for themselves.It is a time of change, when
“What is beneath my skin. Inside my bones?” (Tan 40). This is a familiarly asked question by many Asian immigrants, and many find it difficult to answer. The rich historical culture of Asian assimilation is a complex and intriguing subject. The experiences related and recorded in the novels The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao, and Obasan by Joy Kogawa give great insight to the internal and external struggles East-Asian immigrants face in the Western World, specifically Chinese-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, and Japanese-Canadians. Although the situations have certainly improved since the mid twentieth century, many of the issues and struggles the characters in the novels face are still real and ever-expanding for over five percent of the U.S. population. To
In her novel, The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan focuses on the fact that the bond between a mother and daughter can overcome any ethnic barrier. Despite there being many disagreements and arguments about the ways to live their lives, Tan defies this issue by creating a bond that is unbreakable even though the experienced different upbringings. Certain disagreements keep the novel interesting and create a conflict depicting the problems stemming from this barrier. Through her use of similes, metaphors, and flashbacks, Tan shows how the bond between a mother and daughter can withstand even the strongest cultural differences.
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.
This essay discusses the definition of culture, cultural encounters, and the representation of this issue in the story.