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Essay on Chinese Culture vs. American Culture in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

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Chinese Culture vs. American Culture in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club


An author's cultural background can play a large part in the authors writing. Amy Tan, a Chinese-American woman, uses the cultural values of Chinese women in American culture in her novel, The Joy Luck Club. These cultural values shape the outcome of The Joy Luck Club. The two cultural value systems create conflict between the characters.

In The Joy Luck Club, the chapter "Waiting Between the Trees" illustrates major concerns facing Chinese-American women. Chinese culture is a male dominated culture that leaves women little freedom. Their only job is to make their male spouses content. Living with their traditional culture in American society, Chinese-American women suffer a conflict of culture. While their American husbands are active and assertive, they are passive and place their happiness entirely on the goodness of their spouses. In many cases, this passiveness can be seen as a weakness (Chinese-American Women 1-2) . By looking at two characters from the novel, Ying-Ying and Lena St. Clair, a Chinese mo...


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