The Joy Luck Club Hero's Journey Analysis

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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.
Jing-mei’s call to adventure is different from others in the novel; Jing-mei is thrown into her journey by losing her mother and learning her long lost twin sisters, Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa, from China are still alive. Before her journey began, the relationship between
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Campbell describes the return stage as a “life-giving elixir” and recovering “what has been lost.” The “life-giving elixir” in this case is for the twin sister to meet their half sister and be able to have closure after a long search for their mother. In addition, Chwun Yu and Chwun Hwa are able to learn the true story of their mother’s journey and how she never gave up hope of them being alive. The recovering of “what has been lost” is the experiences they were not able to have due to the circumstances. Upon meeting her sisters for the first time, Jing-mei takes a picture with them using a Polaroid and then the “sisters and [her] watch quietly together, eager to see what develops” (Tan 288). Jing-mei alludes to the future life and memories the sisters and she will form as a result of this overdue family reunion. In addition to completing her own journey, Jing-mei also completes her mother’s journey. By sharing all the stories and memories from her mother’s life in China, her mother was in a sense, right aside her in
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