Americanization in The Joy Luck Club Essay

1963 Words 8 Pages
Americanization in The Joy Luck Club

Oftentimes the children of immigrants to the United States lose the sense of cultural background in which their parents had tried so desperately to instill within them. According to Walter Shear, “It is an unseen terror that runs through both the distinct social spectrum experienced by the mothers in China and the lack of such social definition in the daughters’ lives.” This “unseen terror” is portrayed in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club as four Chinese women and their American-born daughters struggle to understand one another’s culture and values. The second-generation women in The Joy Luck Club prove to lose their sense of Chinese values, becoming Americanized. The Joy Luck Club
…show more content…
The Chinese culture and way of thinking is expertly described by characters in The Joy Luck Club. One character, Lindo Jong, scorns the stereotypical American woman of the 1950s when she states “It’s like those ladies you see on American t.v. these days, the ones who are so happy they have washed out a stain so the clothes look better than new.” (Tan, 56) The Chinese are very traditional and conservative in their values and ideas. In The Joy Luck Club, Lindo Jong describes Chinese character as “How to obey parents and listen to your mother’s mind.” (Tan, 254) “Why easy things are not worth pursuing. How to know your own worth and polish it, never flashing it around like a cheap ring. Why Chinese thinking is best.” (Tan, 254) She truly feels that Americans are not capable of thinking in this manner, or, rather, simply do not think in this manner as Chinese people do. Chinese people and their traditions and values are also portrayed in The Joy Luck Club. Unlike Americans, the Chinese strongly believed in traditional medicinal practices passed down from generation to generation. In The Joy Luck Club, An-Mei Hsu describes one such tradition when she says “And then my mother cut a piece of meat from her arm.” (Tan, 48) “My mother took her flesh and put it in the soup. She cooked the magic in the ancient tradition to try to cure her mother this one last time.” (Tan, 48) The Chinese value each person and his or

More about Americanization in The Joy Luck Club Essay

Open Document