Chinese and American Cultures Essay example

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Chinese and American Cultures Chinese-Americans authors Amy Tan and Gish Jen have both grappled with the idea of mixed identity in America. For them, a generational problem develops over time, and cultural displacement occurs as family lines expand. While this is not the problem in and of itself, indeed, it is natural for current culture to gain foothold over distant culture, it serves as the backdrop for the disorientation that occurs between generations. In their novels, Tan and Jen pinpoint the cause of this unbalance in the active dismissal of Chinese mothers by their Chinese-American children. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan calls close attention to the idea of unrealization and forgetfulness. Through these two factors, Tan…show more content…
This was expensive to both Suyuan because she could now never tell her daughter about her life and to Jing-Mei because she would never know her mother completely. For all of the aunties, the past was a thing better not talked about because of the amount of loss and pain they had endured. Like all survivors of tragedy, the past was not a subject they reflected upon, but chose instead to move as far away from as possible. The result was their pasts inflating to legendary proportions and influencing them for the worse by going unrecognized. Because they never took the lessons offered from their pasts, they went could not share them with their daughters, drawing a farther line of separation between them. For the daughters, China became a fantasy- land, a place that was not a part of them. Because of this tenuousness, the daughters did not have the real China, nor a fully realized Chinese-side of them. The aunties watched in dismay as their daughters began to lose their ethnicities and stumble through a new, un-Chinese world. Ying-Ying St. Clair is an excellent example of this separation. In “The Moon Lady” she describes the pain of being separated from her family on a trip to see the Moon Lady. The whole theme of the story is being lost and then found again. Interestingly enough, Ying-Ying tells us this story has gone unremembered for so long, that up until now, she had never remembered the end of it: “It is my earliest recollection: telling the
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