An Mei And Rose Relationship

The two main themes of The Joy Luck Club are mother/daughter relationships and the conflict between individual desires and family obligations. It is a novel that deals with topics common to most families, including divorce, remarriage, death, illness, sibling rivalry and resentment toward parents. The book explores these universal experiences and examines how the struggle to find a balance between an individual’s needs and the family unit is complicated by cultural differences.

The mothers in The Joy Luck Club were raised with traditional Chinese values, while their American-born daughters have adopted Western customs. The generational gap, language barrier and mix of old world views and new world realities often create misunderstandings. The mothers cannot understand why their daughters must break tradition to achieve success; the children feel betrayed when they discover that their parents withheld information about their pasts or lied in order to protect them; and many daughters believe that they could never live up to their parents’ expectations (Young).

The book deals with these conflicts in a clear way: “Amy reveals her plot like the unfolding of a fan, or like pieces of a puzzle. The Joy Luck Club is made up of 16 linked stories that rotate among the characters’ voices while advancing through time in linear fashion” (Young). The Joy Luck Club is told from both mother’s and daughter’s points of view. The four mothers are Lindo Jong, Ying-ying St. Clair, An-mei Hsu and Suyuan Woo; The daughters are Jing-mei (June) Woo, Rose Hsu Jordan, Lena St. Clair and Waverly Jong.

Amy Tan has stated that The Joy Luck Club was not intended to be an “Asian” book but rather tells the story of what it means to be American (Larson). The young women in The Joy Luck Club want both to honor their heritage and to pursue the American dream, but they struggle with how much of themselves they should sacrifice for each. The mothers wonder how much independence their daughters really need and what will happen if tradition is lost. The book deals with many serious issues: loss of identity, abandonment by one’s mother and unrequited love.

However, The Joy Luck Club also explores the lighter side of life such as maternal superstitions, childhood memories and family celebrations (Larson). The novel was released in hardback in 1989 and enjoyed several reprints until 1993 when it was first published in paperback (Larson). It has been translated into 30 languages; there are over two million copies in print around the world (Larson). The Joy Luck Club is often required reading in schools, colleges and universities.

The book was made into a feature film starring Ming-Na, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, France Nguyen and Kieu Chinh (Young). Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God’s Wife, which received much praise from The New York Times Book Review, continues the stories of The Joy Luck Club characters 20 years later (Tan). The portrayals of mother/daughter relationships are complicated but real. The mothers’ sacrifices for their children are affecting; at times they come across as selfish or overbearing.

The Joy Luck Club is an autobiographical novel written by Amy Tan that follows the story of four Chinese women who leave China to meet their American-born daughters in San Francisco. The book discusses The Joy Luck Club, a group formed by these mothers who play Mahjong and tell stories about their lives through their mother-daughter relationships. The main characters are Suyuan and Ying-ying, June and Lena, Lindo and Waverly Jong , An-Mei Hsu and Rose Hsu Jordan.

The novel follows these four mothers as they grow older but continues to follow their daughters as well. Themes of The Joy Luck Club include mother/daughter relationships, cultural identity, The American Dream, racism, immigration, female empowerment, decisions vs . fate, The Chinese Exclusion Act, feminism and assimilation. In The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan explores the relationship between a daughter and her mother through the perspective of each individual woman.

The four mothers in this book all share different levels of conflict with their American-born daughters because the women have ideas on how to live life that do not match with their daughters. The mothers were raised with The Joy Luck Club , a group that met to play Mahjong and tell the stories of their lives, while the daughters grew up in The United States where they had little knowledge of The Joy Luck Club or Chinese culture.

The mothers’ upbringing was vastly different than the way they raised their American-born children who did not grow up learning about The Joy Luck Club. Instead this club brought them closer together but also caused many conflicts because each member came from a different background. There are several mother-daughter relationships explored in “The Joy Luck Club”. Each relationship facing its own struggles and circumstances.

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