The Joy Luck Club

1447 WordsMay 4, 20066 Pages
It has been said that America has no single tradition but rather is a melting pot of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. During the 20th century a new wave of immigration to the United States took place bringing with it a new classification of American. However due to the intimidating cultural and social standards of the United States assimilation was inevitable. In reading Amy Tan's thought provoking novel "The Joy Luck Club," I am reminded of what has been termed for many decades as the "American Dream." Based on the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, this dream entails the idea that we are all, regardless of race or creed, entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Every human has the right and…show more content…
The self is seen as more important than the family as a unit, which is the opposite in Chinese culture. Traditionally they are taught to respect and honor their elders. Old translates to wise in Chinese culture. In American, old translates to incapable and there is no place for them, it is considered to be most undesirable in a culture which emphasizes youth and physical beauty. Tan implies that American's will result to falsity rather than truth if the circumstance happens to coincide with personal gain or desires. Lindo Jong tells the story of an American soldier who promises to come back and marry the girl who loves him. He says "my promise is as good as gold," but he in fact does not come back. She tells her daughter," His gold is like yours, it is only fourteen carats. To Chinese people, fourteen carats isn't real gold. Feel my bracelets. They must be twenty-four carats, pure inside and out" (Tan 49). Americans tend to be born with a sense of entitlement or superiority. This idea does not appear to stem from any notion in particular other than the simple fact of being born on US soil. Because of this sentiment, native-born Americans are generally more preoccupied with the materialistic and mundane things presented to them in everyday life. Tan stresses that there is little importance placed on one's overall self worth in relation to
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