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The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan, 1989, Chinese A. Jing-Mei (June) Woo. June is rebellious in nature, always swimming against her mothers dreams for her, not because they were harmful dreams but because she felt she could never live up to them, and she didnt because she thought she couldnt. Her mothers death has brought her face to face with questions about herself, her mother, and both their identities. B. Suyuan Woo. Like any mother Suyuan wanted her daughter to be the best she could be.
She pushed her, to make her proud of herself, to give that one child what the two that were swallowed by her past could not. A. An-Mei Hsu. She is a strong woman, whose strength came form her mothers sacrifice. She wishes her daughter to be strong as well, to break with the Chinese role of swallowing ones own tears, and sorrows. B.
Rose Hsu Jordan. A character drowned in vacillation, Rose has given her life to a dominating husband, until that husband leaves her. This is when after all the confusion in her heart clears and she finds the strength, the voice her mother intended her to have. C. Lindo Jong. Lindo is a brave cunning woman who found a way to change her fate, tied to an undesired husband. As a mother she is controlling if not somewhat possessive, she only wishes the best of both worlds for her daughter, American and Chinese.
D. Waverly Place Jong. Waverlys character is intelligent, calculating yet fragile. She could outsmart any chess opponent and stubbornly believed it was all her merit yet the instant her mother no longer demonstrated how proud she made her, she became weak. Independence from her mothers feelings and actions seems to be her largest desire but she cant, and maybe she shouldnt fight so hard and realize her mother is not her opponent. E. Ying-Yin St.
Clair. Ying-Yin is a dismal character. Scared from her first marriage, empty because her spirit, her joy has fled her body. She waits to give her daughter what shes lacked all her life, what she could not give her, a spirit. F. Lena St.
Clair. Her blood is half American half Chinese; she embodies what all these young ladies feel. Inside she has fears regarding her mothers fears. She is malleable, insecure; she bends to others impositions such as her husbands half and half policy. A. United States (San Francisco).
In The Joy Luck Club the US is a land where four Chinese raise daughters that are American and only externally resemble China. It is a place where hopes and dreams are planted only to be nourished by even more hopes. B. China. This place is the past, ancient yet present in tradition. Where women are taught generation after generation, rich or poor, their place is that of an obedient daughter or wife. Bear many sons to honor your family, oppress any desire you heart may have to soar, accept your fate in silence Swallow your tears. The Joy Luck Club is a novel telling the stories trails and tribulations of four women and their daughters united by Joy luck.
Joy Luck is a game the late Suyuan thought up back in China in order to make a terrifying time of war more bearable. June, Suyuans daughter, will take her place at the board now that shes gone. Throughout the book each daughter and each mother tell their tale, their worries, and their hopes. An-mei whose mother gave her power in a home where she was but another concubine by killing herself has made her strong. She even lost a child to ocean and with him her faith. She chose her mother over her other family, because despite how shameful they said she was, she needed her. Her daughter Rose is getting divorced from a man she gave everything to for more than 15 years.
She lived for him, believed his every decision and gave him the power he always wanted, until one day even that wasnt enough and he left her. However because of it shes found her voice and can now scream and be strong. There is Lindo, a women who was betrothed at the age of two and married at almost twelve to a boy she did not now. Luck helped Lindo make up a story about a mole on her husbands back. She claimed the gods where angry the matchmaker had made a wrong match; the boys true wife was the pregnant servant girl, already carrying his child. So Lindo made her fate and came to America where her daughter Waverly would grow. Waverly is an intelligent girl, China towns chess champion, and although she enjoyed it she hated how her mother used her to show off.
As an adult she has gone through one marriage already and is preparing to marry again, this time to a white man which she worries her mother will not accept. Ying-ying is from a rich Chinese family, however all this wealth could not save her form the pain of being married to a man who didnt respect her and the loss of a child. She married a good white man who gave her what he could never suspecting she had been rich. Her daughter is Lena whose marriage is on the rocks because despite her giving spirit her husband has chosen to account for every morsel of food each one eats. She gave him the strength to start his own architectural firm and yet her position pays seven times less than he. His fairness promotes unfairness.
All these mothers see their daughters troubles and only hope to be able to give them the wisdom to make their lives better, but first their daughters must recognize this help. June can no longer ask her mother her meanings. She must travel to China to tell her twin half sisters about the mother theyll never meet and know, even though she herself is not completely sure to have understood her. Each week one of us would host a party to raise money and to raise our spirits. The hostess had to serve special dyansyin foods to bring good fortune of all kinds- dumplings shaped like silver money ingots, long rice noodles for long life, boiled peanuts for conceiving sons, and of course many food-luck oranges for a plentiful, sweet life. The pain of the flesh is nothing.
The pain you must forget. Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of I wiped my eyes and looked in the mirror. I was surprised at what I saw. I had on a beautiful dress, but what I saw was even more valuable. I was strong. I was pure.
I had genuine thoughts inside that no one could see, that no one could take away form me. I was like the wind. But now that I am old, moving every year closer to the end of my life, I also feel closer to the beginning. And I remember everything that happened that day because it has happened many times in my life. The same innocence, trust and relentlessness; the wonder, fear, and loneliness. How I lost myself.
And even worse, I never asked her what frightened me the most: Why had she given up hope? Chinese people do business, do medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people. This is young jade. It is a very light color now, but if you wear it every day it will become more green. Joy luck was born out of sorrow and desperation. Something to help them endure the war time.
Before you can move past any pain you must remember it, relive all that is sorrow so that you may begin anew, without the pain but with the memory of what once was. your mother, and her mother before her. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh. Despite circumstances with a bit of strength you can maintain what is most important, your soul. Life is a circle, there is no death there is only the closing of that circle.
A cycle with a series of cycles that eventually give you enlightenment or confusion. Ying- Ying must find herself from where she lost herself. Children complain about their nagging parent but noise can be dealt with, silence breaks your heart. Every nationality has an opinion of another, usually not a very good one. Like the jade, which is now pale and not valuable, June must darken, mature and become a better person, a wise person. Lindo to herself Its my fault she is this way.
I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character. How could I know these two things do not mix? And I think, how can she be her own person? When did I give her up? This feather may look worthless but it comes from far and carries with it all my good intentions. Regardless of the hopes people have of raising an extremely virtuous child each virtue comes at a price. To take advantage of American circumstances they must be independent. Independence breeds a rebellious nature eliminating the profound obedience expected in Chinese culture. Mothers, parents for that matter have ownership over your person, they are entitled to it because of the simple reason that they love you, more than themselves. All that she left is nothing compared with what she wants for June, those hopes are the most important thing she has to give her.
A. Perhaps the strongest theme in this novel is that of cross cultural mother daughter relationships. Their mothers are Chinese and continually attempt to give them Chinese advice, stories, wisdom. But there is always a doubt, are they listening, or is it something they can just shrug off. Their American side makes them skeptical, callous, yet they are listening. Perhaps they do not listen with the same intensity their mothers once did their mothers, but they do, they must. A vital connection to their heritage, their mothers, and themselves is always insecure. B.
Another theme, which is crucial, is that of Americanization. All the young women in this novel struggle with a loss of identity. They are American but to outsiders they are Asian, and to Asians they are American. It does not matter if they go back to China and dress like them, even if they speak some Chinese, something gives them away. C. The generation gap is also an evident theme. How mothers look at their daughters ways, how they live theyre lives. Two of the daughters will experience divorces; one has switched careers several times.
They are different, the mothers might have experienced similar trails but it was a different time, even a different continent, a different way of thinking which they have to get over in order to understand each other better. D. Another important aspect of the novel is closure. How do you heal and deal with the death of a mother whose life you never truly understood, how do you gain the understanding to finally comprehend everyone of your mothers words. How do fill them and the void you always felt they had but never stopped to consider. A.
The jade pendent June received from her mother represents her mothers love. She will never understand the reasons behind that pendent or the strength behind her love. B. The feather is a symbol not only for June but also for all the dreams and hopes immigrants have for themselves and their children coming to America. They may have nothing but the will to survive and the hope of a better life with less suffering than they lived. Bibliography:.
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