The Joy Luck Club


Length: 1715 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

It is true that all people are created different, and thus no two cultures will ever be the same. Throughout Asian American literature there seems to be a struggle between the Asian culture and American culture. More specifically, there is a struggle between Asian women and their Asian American daughters, and what it means to be feminine, and how a woman should act. The main struggle is between how the American woman should act and how the Asian woman should act. However, the behavior of the Asian woman seems to be dominant through out the story because although the daughters and the mothers may not get along all of the time, the mothers to receive a lot of respect from their daughters. Therefore, the mother's opinion on how they should act, which is behaving like the Asian woman, is most evident. This is the case in The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan and also in the short story "Waiting for Mr. Kim," written by Carol Roh-Spaulding. These two stories have very different meanings, however they are similar in the aspect that they are all Asian women with Asian American daughters trying to get their daughters to keep and use their Asian heritage. There are certain behaviors that Asian women are expected to have, and the mothers feel that their daughters should use these behaviors. In The Joy Luck Club, the novel traces the fate of the four mothers-Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair-and their four daughters-June Woo, Rose Hsu Jordan, Waverly Jong, and Lena St. Clair. Through the experiences that these characters go through, they become women. The mothers all fled China in the 1940's and they all retain much of their heritage. Their heritage focuses on what is means to be a female, but more importantly what it means to be an Asian female. In the short story "Waiting for Mr. Kim," the main female character Gracie understands what it means to be an Asian female, but she does question the meaning because of her sisters. Her sisters ran away from home before their marriage could be arranged and eloped. This is totally against Asian culture, and it causes Gracie to question her heritage and her Asian femininity. In both of these stories there are certain characteristics of females that are the same, they are inner strength, obedience, honor and respect, the good of the whole is better than the good of the individual, and finding things out for yourself.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Joy Luck Club." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jan 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=162549>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on The Joy Luck Club - The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan shows a group of families and their difficulties throughout their lives. In a section of the novel Lindo Jong, a Chinese mother, is reflecting and explaining the past that she endured; especially one specific experience that had a severe impact on her life. She, like many other characters in novels, is eventually pulled into a situation where there are two possible choices which will affect the life of the character in an important way and in that scenario the character much make a difficult choice between the two....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
664 words
(1.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The American Dream in The Joy Luck Club Essay - The American Dream can mean a number of different things to number of different people. Over the years this ideal has evolved and its definition will continue to change for many more years to come. What has not changed is the desire to achieve this dream. For decades now, people from all over the world have immigrated to the United States with hopes of obtaining this dream. However it seems that, to many immigrants the American dream has a very different and more modest definition. To many foreigners it means having the basic necessities in life and giving their children opportunities and life they ever had....   [tags: Essays on The Joy Luck Club] 1800 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan - The movie, The Joy Luck Club, focuses around the lives of four Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American daughters. The story takes place a few months after Junes mother, Suyuan has died. The mothers and daughters hold very different principles, where the mothers are still very traditional to their Chinese upbringings the daughters are much more “American.” The movie can be viewed from the Feminist Literary Theory, since the 8 main characters are female. The women’s life stories are told through a series of flashback scenes that deal heavily with female gender roles and the expectations of women....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1002 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Gender in The Joy Luck Club Essay - The Joy Luck Club By Amy Tan Is it fair to judge someone by their sex. In traditional Chinese culture, many judgments were made about a person just by observing their sex. The woman was looked upon as an inferior being. They had little or no status in society, and little was expected from them. They were discriminated against when they tried to stand up for themselves. Chinese culture was customarily male dominated. The male was expected to do most of the work, and the woman was expected to stay at home with their mouth shut....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 1051 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Joy Luck Club Essay - It is true that all people are created different, and thus no two cultures will ever be the same. Throughout Asian American literature there seems to be a struggle between the Asian culture and American culture. More specifically, there is a struggle between Asian women and their Asian American daughters, and what it means to be feminine, and how a woman should act. The main struggle is between how the American woman should act and how the Asian woman should act. However, the behavior of the Asian woman seems to be dominant through out the story because although the daughters and the mothers may not get along all of the time, the mothers to receive a lot of respect from their daughters....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 1715 words
(4.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Joy Luck Club Essay - The Joy Luck Club retold the lives of four women who came from China and their four Americanized daughters. The protagonist, Jing Mei Woo (June) took over her mother’s place at the meetings of a social group called the Joy Luck Club. As its members play mah jong and feast on Chinese delicacies, friends of Jing Mei’s mother spin stories about the past and lament the barriers that exist between their daughter and themselves. In this paper, I will discuss briefly on cultural studies and the Chinese Immigrant Experience and Individual Identity that is very evident in this novel....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 732 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay - Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Parents always want what is best for their children, regardless of culture or ethnicity. In The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, and in "Life With Father" by Itabari Njeri, the parents express their parental methods upon their daughters. Children will all react differently to their parent's methods, as do Waverly, June, and Itabari, but they still share a common resentment for their parents. It is shown in the two stories how parental methods expressed to children can be misinterpreted, thus influencing the child's behavior....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 1249 words
(3.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan Essay examples - Traditions, heritage and culture are three of the most important aspects of Chinese culture. Passed down from mother to daughter, these traditions are expected to carry on for years to come. In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, daughters Waverly, Lena, Rose and June thoughts about their culture are congested by Americanization while on their quests towards self-actualization. Each daughter struggles to find balance between Chinese heritage and American values through marriage and professional careers....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 772 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club Essay examples - Throughout The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan inserts various conflicts betweens mothers and daughters. Most of these relationships, already very fragile, become distanced through heritage, history and expectations. These differences cause reoccurring clashes between two specific mother-daughter bonds. The first relationship exists between Waverly Jong and her mother, Lindo. Lindo tries to instill Chinese qualities in her daughter while Waverly refuses to recognize her heritage and concentrates on American culture....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 1075 words
(3.1 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about The Joy Luck Club - On a train in China, June feels that her mother was right: she is becoming Chinese, even though she never thought there was anything Chinese about her. June is going with her father to visit his aunt, who he hasn't seen since he was ten. Then, in Shanghai, June will meet her mother's other daughters. When a letter from them had finally come, Suyuan was already dead--a blood vessel had burst in her brain. At first, Lindo and the others wrote a letter telling the other sisters that Suyuan was coming....   [tags: The Joy Luck Club Essays] 667 words
(1.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




In the chapter "Scar" the characteristic of honor and respect is first noticed. In this chapter An-mei finds out how her mother basically deserted her, her mother did leave for a good reason, which was to maintain the honor of her family, but either way her mother left her. Her grandmother had to raise her, and she learned much about the Asian woman from her. An-mei was showing some disrespect towards on of her aunts, and her aunt told her that she was being disrespectful. Her grandmother then interjected and said, "When you lose your face, An-mei…it is like dropping your necklace down a well. The only way you can get it back is to fall in after it." She was talking about A-mei's mother, and how she left because she had disrespected the family and she was dishonorable to the family name. The only way for her mother to regain respect and honor was to leave and do it on her own, which is a characteristic of an Asian woman. Another feminine characteristic that comes from that scene is being able to do things on your own. However, this is an American influence. This characteristic comes from the chapter "Rules of the Game." This is a peculiar chapter in the book because it is a chapter where the woman is not seen as inferior to the man. Waverly's brother, Vincent, received a chess set for Christmas. However, Waverly is the one who took full use of the chess set. She was a natural, she would beat her brothers in chess, which would normally be looked down upon in Asian culture, but she was encouraged. She was even given lessons in chess, and she was a national champion. Unlike An-mei's mother, Waverly was bringing honor to the family name. When Waverly is encouraged to excel in chess she learns something from her mother. Her mother said in her broken English, "This American rules…Every time people come out from a foreign country, must know rules. You not know, judge say, too bad, and go back. They are not telling you why so you can use their way to go forward. They say, don't know why, you find out yourself." This is an American custom, more than an Asian one. She is explaining that in order to succeed as an Asian female in the United States, then there are certain things that you will have to find out on your own. Also in this chapter was the theme/characteristic of inner strength. Waverly says she six when her mother taught her the "art of invisible strength." Waverly was walking by the candy store when she was a young child, and she was begging her mother to take her inside. Her mother refused to take her inside, which angered Waverly. Then her mother went on to explain, "Wise guy, he not go against wind. In Chinese we say, Come from South blow with wind-poom!-North will follow. Strongest wind cannot be seen." This means that the strongest way to win an argument is to keep to yourself, which Waverly used in her chess matches. Waverly goes on to say, "A little knowledge withheld is a great advantage one should store for future use." Another example of invisible strength, inner strength, is the "The Moon Lady." Ying-ying's mother was telling her how a woman should act when she said, "A boy can run and chase dragonflies…But a girl should stand still." The girl would have a better chance catching the dragonfly than the boy; she would catch the dragonfly with inner strength, rather than muscle like the boy. The chapter, "The Moon Lady," has another characteristic of what it is to be female, which is the good of the whole is more important than the good of the individual. They were all on their way to see the Moon Lady, and if you see the Moon Lady, you receive one wish from her. Ying-ying asked what a "secret wish" was, and the answer was that is was on that you cannot ask. Ying-ying was young as this point, so she asked why. Amah's response to Ying-ying was, "This is because…because if you ask it…it is no longer a wish but a selfish desire…Haven't I taught you-that it is wrong to think of our own needs? A girl can never ask, only listen." Here she is telling that by making a wish for herself she is being selfish and forgetting that she is not the important one, but the good of the whole is the important one. Amah is also hinting at obedience when she tells her daughter that she is not to ask questions, but just listen to the men and go along with it. Arranged marriages are a very tough thing to go through. Marrying someone because one has to has to be hard because one is not marrying out of love. This is exactly the case in "Waiting for Mr. Kim." Gracie two twin sisters have already run away from to and eloped with two men. Their marriages were not arranged because they left before their father could arrange them. Now, with her sisters gone, Gracie is the only remaining daughter, and she is somewhat frowned upon because she was the "third daughter." She did not really like the two men that her father was thinking of arranging the marriage with, but it did not matter. It did not matter because as her mother told her, "Girls don't choose." The girls just sit there and look pretty while their fathers choose for them; they have to comply with their father's decision. They are obedient, and at the same time respectful of the decision that is made. Another characteristic that appears in this story is that women made to think that they are second class compared to men. When her Mr. Kang, Gracie's father, would walk, he would sometimes reach back to hold Mrs. Kang's hand, but she would pull away. Not only would she pull away, but she would "stay behind as she cleaned her purse or took forever with her coat, just to have it the way she had learned it, her husband a few places ahead, women behind." Her mother not only believes that this is how women should act and it is a part of their femininity, but she is passing this way of thinking onto her daughter. Her mother is relaying the message to her daughter that no matter what you need to show your husband respect and let him know that he is in charge. Both of these stories have displayed that there are certain characteristics of females and they are inner strength, the good of the whole is better than the good of the individual, find things out for oneself, honor and respect, and obedience. All of these characteristics have displayed not only what it means to be feminine, but also what it means to be female. It is not so much an Asian female, but it is because that is how their mothers were raised and that is how their mothers will raise them. There are really no American females for the daughters, or mothers, to see and mimic. The only way of life that the mothers know is the Asian way of life; therefore that is the only way that can be passed down onto their daughters. Sometimes that is hard for the daughters to understand because the daughters have grown up in American culture, and they know what it is like to be an American woman. No matter how one views this situation, these stories focus on what it means to an Asian female, but more generally what the mothers know best on how to teach their daughters on how to be female.


Return to 123HelpMe.com