All of Tan’s novels have parallel narratives, one related to the past which is retold by mothers, and in one case a step sister who has come back from China; and the other is associated with the present stories of daughters about the cultural conflicts and alienation, they feel regarding the ancestral heritage of their home which has been transmitted to them by means of past memories. Hence, storytelling is the only possible means of communication for alienated mothers and daughters. Surprisingly, in the exchange of secrets, located at the end of the novels, characters obtain an impeccable insight about themselves and their Chinese identity. Sharing memories, in the form of oral histories, has been always considered a feminine act of breaking the silence and marginalization. The structure of the narratives demonstrates the individual tragedies of mother’s life in China, as well as, the obscurities of cultural transformation.
Throughout the course of Amy's life, she learned more about her mother’s past in China and with this information, she created The Joy Luck Club. This Chinese-American novel tells the story of eight individuals, four Chinese mothers and their American daughters who have approximately two chapters each. The book begins and ends with the Jing-Mei Woo's story who reflects the life of Amy herself. Jing- Mei's mother dies in the book allowing her to discover the past her mom left behind including her three abandoned daughters. The second
Gish Jen’s “Who’s Irish” is a story of a Chinese family in America and narrated by a sixty eight year old Chinese Immigrant. Speaking in “broken English” the grandmother is keen to narrate the events surrounding her daughter, her granddaughter and her son-in-law who is Irish. The story is based on how a woman’s granddaughter is growing up in a different way than how she raised her daughter, which brings conflict between the two, mother and daughter. This mainly takes place in the park or the home of the daughter. The grandmother who is a typical first generation Chinese woman, always have difficulty understanding her daughter who is Americanized style of raising her child.
The inspirational civil rights activist Marcus Garvey once stated that, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without its roots.” Garvey’s words perfectly describe the themes of cultural loss and family conflict that appear in the novels The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya. Both of these novels use a fictional story inspired by the author 's life to analyze the larger issue and theme of cultural loss. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan writes sixteen vignettes about the four Chinese mother-daughter families that struggle with the cultural and generational gap that arises between first generation immigrant mothers and their contrasting Americanized daughters.
I read the book, Bound, written by Donna Jo Napoli. The book is about a young chinese woman, who is bound to her father’s second wife. This is because he passed away and, back in 17th century china, young woman had very little power or say in situations. Also woman were thought to less value of worth then their livestock. Throughout the day’s of dealing with her step mom she, loves to do poetry and calligraphy.
These qualities fit the standards of a good mother. First, Amy, a stubborn Chinese “tiger” mother, is willing to make changes for her daughters. Those really unreasonable parents can always insist on very strict rules they believe are beneficial and never make a compromise. Amy indeed is strict to her daughters, but she is not unreasonable and sometimes she would break her rules for her daughters. The most obvious change she mentions in her book is allowing Lulu to give up practicing violin.
Amy Tan’s autobiographical novel employs four different stories where mothers and their daughters retell in meetings their personal experiences on their relationships with one another. In this way, all mother characters are portrayed with their distinctive characteristics as the text follows. Suyuan Woo is one if the mothers and the most important one, as she created “The Joy Luck Club”, to which the tittle of the novel is attributed to. Tan depicts her typical human experiences of being good, terrible and a good-bad mother. Archetypical “characters display stereotypical personalities, behaviors and characteristics regardless of how unique they may appear at first glance as, character archetypes are used by many writers as devices to help present a story” .
When Jing-Mei started her journey to China she remembers a time where she had rejected her culture. Afterword, when she arrived she was linguistically challenged. Later when she understood a bit about her culture she asked her father to tell her mother’s story in their native language. “Your mother running away’- begins my father ‘No tell me in Chinese’ I interrupt ‘Really I can understand” (157) After hearing her mother story Jing-Mei understands what she meant when she was fifteen, “Someday you 'll see…It is in your blood, waiting to be let go.” (149) Jing-Mei has a much better understanding of her family history and Chinese roots than she did when she started her
"Two Kinds" by Amy Tan is a personal essay that was written about a mother and daughter. Daughter named Jing Mei was born Chinese prodigy with an high expectation from her mother. "America was where all my mother's hope lay" (18). The mother viewed her daughter with an high hope of prosperous. Seeking only through her own thought, it started to become transparent of mother's cultural identity on having a thriving child for her generation.
Some information about the author: She was born in China and studied in a local Chinese school for a few years before switching to an International school. It provided her the chance to experience first hand the real meaning behind "broken English", and understand how non-standard varieties of English have their own rules and shape a community 's sense of identity. In this article, she shares her views on Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue" and talks about the power of language. I was reading Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue" when I came across the idea of language being "fractured and broken". She gave examples of how her mother’s limited English caused her to be given poor service at department stores, banks and restaurants.