The Joy Luck Club Symbolism Analysis

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Tan’s narrative style involves giving the symbols and allusions in all her novels. She emphasizes the symbols such as food, dreams, orchids, silence, ink, fate and paintings to carry the weightage of the themes in all her novels. In case of The Joy Luck Club, the symbols and allusions are interwoven with food, dreams and Chinese language. Through these devices, Tan explores the layers of palimpsest that is her text, her narrative of the immigrant experience in America, her exploration of the bond between mother and daughter. A crucially important symbol in the novel is the Joy luck Club with its mah-jong table as a center piece that links past and present and codifies place and identity for club members. During the war years in Japanese-occupied…show more content…
Orchids can live without being taken care of all the time. Similarly, Ruth lived without the love and nurture from her mother and this is why Ruth and the orchid have resemblances. Also flowers in general represent sadness to LuLing because flowers are at funerals and LuLing had to suffer through many loved ones dying. Also for much of LuLing's life she had to be strong and live without the help and love of others to get her through many tough situations in her life. Lastly Ruth tries really hard to be independent and doesn't accept the help she needs from others because just like orchids need water Ruth ends up needing the help she had denied. Also, Tan shows ‘silence’ as a symbol in The Bonesetter's Daughter because after Precious Auntie's incident she is unable to speak and leads a life in silence. Also for a week each year Ruth loses her voice for an unknown reason. Finally, when Ruth breaks her arm on the playground she is given the love and affection she wants from her mother. Ruth is afraid that if she starts talking she will lose the care she wants. Silence also contributes to the lack of communication which was evident throughout the novel. Another symbol which is effectively used by Tan in The Bonesetter's Daughter is ‘ink’ because the ink making represents LuLing's childhood because that is what she spends most of her time doing. The
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