Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club Essay

Decent Essays

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. The second bond is that of Jing-Mei Woo and her mother, Suyuan. In the beginning of the book Jing-Mei speaks of confusion in her recently deceased mother's actions. The language and cultural barrier presented between Jing-Mei and Suyuan …show more content…

"'Why do you have to use me to show off?'" (101). Waverly's bitterness increases the separation between mother and child. Jing-Mei doesn't believe her mother because her stories always change but she doesn't understand as Suyuan does that the details are unimportant. What's important in Chinese storytelling is the message. "I never thought my mother's Kweilin story was anything but a Chinese fairy tale. The endings always changed. Sometimes she said she used that worthless thousand-yuan not to buy a half-cup of rice" (12). Another contributor to the conflicts in these relationships is history. Both Lindo and Suyuan had remarkably different childhoods without most the opportunities their daughters have. The circumstances in which they grew up were much different yea their children have a difficult time understanding that. "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could would for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous. ‘Of course you can be prodigy, too,' my mother told me when I was nine. ‘You can be best anything'" (141). Jing-Mei's opportunities clearly in her mother's mind are much more then what she had as a child. "She had come here in 1949 after losing everything in

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