A Short Summary of the Joy Luck Club

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Amy Tan published her book, The Joy Luck Club in 1989. Within weeks it had reached “Bestseller” status and since has been translated into dozens of languages, it has been made into a successful motion picture and has confronted and touched tens of thousands of students and readers across the globe. The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four mothers that left their native home, China, to move to the United States of America. Each of the Mothers has a daughter and each daughter has a different way of dealing with the duality of their cultural background. The problem of telling the story of eight different people in a single book is tackled with a Mahjong game, the connecting principle for the otherwise detached families. The Mahjong game has become a tradition for the immigrant parents and a chance to meet and share their daily experiences, worries and dreams. It is their attempt to hold on to the past, their native home and their ancient traditions. The mothers named their group that meets for these Mahjong games on a regular basis, The Joy Luck Club. The emphasis of Amy Tan’s work lies on the interpersonal relationships between each mother and her daughter; their differences and their similarities. In an attempt to grasp the entirety and the complexity of the mother-daughter bond, Amy Tan writes some chapters from the view of the mothers, while others build on the thoughts and perspectives of the daughters. To emphasize the different approaches of Chinese-American families in dealing with the immense differences between the cultures and traditions of China and the US and to immerse the reader into her work, Amy Tan skillfully places the characters in ever-day situations that every reader can identify with. There is for example, a scene at a dinner table, one chapter deals with a struggling romantic relationship and another is focused on parental pressures and the

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