The Joy Luck Club

Topics: Overseas Chinese, Chinese language, Chinese character Pages: 4 (1308 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Question: In the "Joy Luck Club", Amy Tan touches on an obscure, little discussed issue: the divergence of Chinese culture through American children born of Chinese immigrant parents. With close reference to at least two stories in the book, discuss the truth of this statement.

To a certain extent, I agree with this statement. A person's environment in which he/she grows up is a large factor in moulding his/her thinking, character and behaviour. Going by their titles and genes, the four daughters are Chinese, yet there is more to it than it meets the eye. First of all, the daughters speak in English, not their language, Mandarin. Second of all, they are addressed by their English names, Jing-mei as June, or they do not have a Chinese name at all. They have American thinking and have completely no remembrance or memory of their Chinese thinkings, customs and traditions.

" In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have bought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds ‘joy luck' is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from one generation to generation".

Chinese mothers were "taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people's misery, to eat my own bitterness". Yet, the daughters do not have this blind obedience to their mothers. After the piano talent show fiasco, a quarrel broke out between June and Suyuan. June did not have this blind obedience like a Chinese daughter, " I didn't have to do what my mother said anymore. I wasn't her slave. This wasn't China" and refused to be the best, perfect, as what her mother wants her to be. Her mother only hoped and wanted the best for her daughter, which is the...
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