Essay Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club

1519 Words 7 Pages
Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club

In the Joy Luck Club, the author Amy Tan, focuses on mother-daughter relationships. She examines the lives of four women who emigrated from China, and the lives of four of their American-born daughters. The mothers: Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-Ying St. Clair had all experienced some life-changing horror before coming to America, and this has forever tainted their perspective on how they want their children raised. The four daughters: Waverly, Lena, Rose, and Jing-Mei are all Americans. Even though they absorb some of the traditions of Chinese culture they are raised in America and American ideals and values. This inability to communicate and the clash
…show more content…
Jing-Mei can not speak Chinese, and Suyuan can only speak broken English, "I talk to her in English, she answers back in Chinese" (23) so Suyuan could never adequately explain why she pushed Jing-Mei so hard. From June’s, or Jing-Mei’s, perspective is an assumed unspoken communication that may never have existed. "I had always assumed we had an unspoken understanding about these things; she really didn't mean I was a failure, and I really meant I would try to respect her opinions more" (27). June felt that her mother saw her as a failure, "and after seeing my mother's disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die" (144). "I hated the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations" (144). June began to resent her mother for pushing her so hard in everything she did. She wanted to give up being a child prodigy. She wanted Suyuan to love her for who she was not what she had the potential to become. June never had the chance to heal that rift between her mother and herself for her mother died abruptly before they could ever make peace. The culture clash can best be examined by taking a look at Ying-Ying's and Lena's relationship. Ying-Ying grew up rich in China, followed tradition and married the man her father chose for her. He left her, and she aborted their child. This caused her so much damage she became a recluse for a while. "I stayed in this country home for ten years. If
Open Document