Mother Daughter Relationships - The Mother-daughter Relationship in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club

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Daughters and Mothers in The Joy Luck Club   Children, as they become adults, become more appreciative of their parents. In The Joy Luck Club, the attitudes of four daughters toward their mothers change as the girls mature and come to realize that their mothers aren't so different after all.   As children, the daughters in this book are ashamed of their mothers and don't take them very seriously, dismissing them as quirky and odd. "I could never tell my father . . . How could I tell him my mother was crazy?" (p. 117). They don't try to comprehend their culture, which is a big part of understanding their traditional Chinese mothers. On page 6, one of the daughters states, "I can never remember things I don't understand…show more content…
. . How can I leave the world without leaving her my spirit? So this is what I will do. I will gather together my past and . . . see a thing that has already happened. The pain that cut my spirit loose. I will hold that pain in my hand until it becomes hard and shiny, more clear. And then my fierceness can come back . . . I will use this sharp pain to penetrate my daughter's tough skin and cut her tiger spirit loose. She will fight me, because this is the nature of two tigers. But I will win and give her my spirit because this is why a mother loves a daughter. (p. 286)   Things don't exactly turn out the way the mothers hope, though. Their hopes and dreams are shattered when they realize their daughters' misconceptions of them. On page 282, a mother laments, "When my daughter looks at me, she sees a small, old lady. If she had chuming [inside knowledge of things] she would see a tiger lady." One daughter sees the fear of the remaining mothers after she tells them that she doesn't know anything about her dead mother that she can pass on:   They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English . . . They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without
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