Joy Luck Club and Chinese Discourse Styles

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Chinese Discourse Styles in The Joy-Luck Club

The movie, The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, features many of the traditional Chinese literature discourse styles. Chinese symbolism, physical and philosophical development of stories, juxtaposed complements, among the many Chinese styles of writing, encompass the screen play of The Joy-Luck Club.

The swan's feather, introduces the viewer to the importance of symbolism in Chinese culture. This feather represents "hope" and "good luck" in the film. Because June's mother, Suyuan, gave up her hope and transferred all her hope to her children, she could only have the hope that was in this feather. At the end of the film, the hope in the feather carried all June's good intentions.

Dragons are an important symbol of the Chinese culture, however, in this film, there were no direct symbols of a dragon. There were no pictures, no statues… nothing. However, we can look at the birth of An-Mei's brother, who is the bi-product of rape, as being a little dragon.

The story of Lindo, Waverly's mother" displayed two very distinct color symbols. Lindo's arranged husband wore black to their wedding. The color black represents honor, darkness and death. Her husband is very honored in this film, yet he also represents darkness and death for Lindo. Her life is sad, lonely and obedient. Additionally, Lindo wears white to the wedding. This color symbolizes, the color of mourning and purity. Indeed Lindo is in a state of mourning when she must marry this man. However, because nothing is pure, there is always some white in black and some black in white, this film does not follow traditional standards as neither Lindo nor her husband have the opposite colors in their wedding attire.

There is also a very subtle view of the swastika in the film. During the scene of Lindo telling her mother-in-law about the signs from the ancestors, the chairs in the room are decorated with swastikas. Not surprising then is the...
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