Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club explores the conflicts between two generations and two different cultures. Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club is a novel that touches upon the relationships and conflicts of Chinese mothers and their American raised daughters. As my essay will prove the split from one generation and the other relates to the process of Americanization that the daughters undergo, as well as the values and Chinese heritage that the mothers refuse to let go off. These factors will cause mutual suffering and in the end a generational gap between the two groups. The resulting generational gap animates the narrative, as mothers and daughters seek to appreciate each other, and their individual efforts diminish and contain the traumas depicted as precise of the maternal, Chinese culture.
Such distinctive features are depicted in Amy Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club, where four mother characters are described in varied ways, depicting the possibility of them being classified as part of a literacy archetype- The Mother. Of these four mothers, it was decided to analyze Suyuan Woo, as she may be considered the “main” mother of the novel, creator of The Joy Luck Club. As Suyuan passed away before the narrative starts, everything told of her characteristics is remembered by her daughter in flashbacks, increasing the interest to investigate on
Aren’t words being used to describe a blockbuster war film, instead they describe just some of the experiences underwent by the Jong family. In the book Joy Luck Club, the Jongs are one of the multiple families such as the Woos, Hsus, and the St. Clairs, who’ve migrated from China. The Joy Luck Club chronicles the family’s struggles assimilating into the United States, with their ordeals in China looming over them. The Jong family consists of Lindo the mother, Tin the father, Waverly the daughter, and Vincent and Winston the two sons. Lindo’s experiences in an arranged marriage deeply transformed her thought process, and eventually influenced the way her daughter thinks too.
As discussed in the previous chapter, cultural and language barrier have caused serious obstacles for the mothers and daughters. Not being able to see and think from each other’s perspective blocks the path to effective communication which result in silence between them. The focus of this chapter is to analysis in details of Jing-mei’s change after her mother’s death and her trip to China to meet her lost sisters, which symbolizes that her split identity is healed and her relationship with her mother is reconciled as well. The mother-daughter relationships between the other mothers and daughters in The Joy Luck Club will also be studied When Jing-mei is young, she is the same as the other three daughters - an outsider of their mothers’ world. She laughs at her mother’s “fractured English” and she “[grows] impatient” when her mother speaks Chinese (40).
Jing-Mei then decides to reunite with her sisters in China, anxiously stating, “I lay awake thinking about my mother’s story, realizing how much I have never known about her, grieving that my sisters and I had both lost her“ (271). At this point in the story, it becomes evident Jing-Mei no longer despises her mother for her distasteful tendencies. Instead, she aspires to see her mother one last time. Remorseful of her incapacity to connect with her mother on a deeper level, Jing-Mei feels inept to fill in for her mother at the mahjong table. Michelle Gaffner also notes the tension put on relationships due to cultural indifferences in her article “Negotiating the Geography of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club” when she writes, “The mother-daughter relationships in both China and the United States represented in The Joy Luck Club not only provide a link between the past and the present but also suggest how the ability, or the inability, for mothers and daughters to share geographically informed cultural stories influences both mother-daughter relationships and individual and cultural identity” (83).
A protagonist whom others may view as a pushover is introduced by the name of Ruth. A widowed, Chinese-immigrant whom Ruth loathes to call ‘mother’, raised her in the 20th century in California. While Ruth was born and raised there, her mother, Luling, was born and raised in Beijing, China. The two extremely large cultural differences caused both mother and daughter to clash. In The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Amy Tan explores how humans who grow up with culturally diverse environments overcome their differences and learn to accept and adapt to each other's needs.
Guilt begins with Suyuan Woo, who had to abandon her two daughters in Kweilin, China, before coming to America. “And that's why you can understand why a mother like this could never forget her own daughters. She knew they were alive and before she died she wanted to find her daughters in China”(The Joy Luck Club 39). Suyuan always had her daughters in the back of her mind, and could never let go of the guilt she had over them. The most prominent example of shame and guilt occurs between the mothers and daughters.
In the chapter, “ The Red Candle” Lindo Jong was forced into an arranged marriage at a very young age and was treated horribly. Arranged marriages portrayed in Amy Tan’s “The Red Candle” clearly exemplifies the culture of early 20th century China and its negative impacts on the lives of women. Lindo Jong was two years old when she was forced into a marriage that she had no idea of. “ Instead, the village matchmaker came to my family
She felt drawn back to the place where this woman lived with her total of eleven children, all on the verge of starvation and death due to work and food shortages and set about taking a series of photos that led to the final version of Migrant Mother. Lange intended to invoke feelings of empathy from her subject, but the response ended up being far more than expected, with over $200,000 in contributions for the migrant community at Nipomo after the photo was printed by the San Francisco News. This photograph went on to be used for many purposes, including a postage stamp and as propaganda; it has been debated by scholars for decades, even by Lange as to why it was so popular. She was simply trying to show that regardless of how far down it seems a woman has been pushed, she can still be a pillar of strength for those around her. As Gordon points out about the artist herself, "she was exquisitely sensitive to embodied emotion, but she also probably felt the complexity of Thompson 's [the migrant mother] anxiety because it was hers, as well.
For many poor people the only way they can get out of poverty is through education. The movie “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story,” based on Liz Murray’s experience of growing up with heroin addicted parents. Her parents would used their welfare money to buy heroine which Murray led to dropping out of school. She filled her mind with rubbish until one day her mom died which led Murray to pursue a better life since her mom died without changing her situation. At the age of 17 she was able to finish four years of high school work in two years.