Her desire to learn more about her mother’s past and culture, only pushes her to make her mother’s dream come true and to finally get rid of the guilt conscience. By pushing herself into finding her Chinese roots, she finds a part of herself. She realizes her mother was right by telling her, “Once you are born Chinese, you can not help but feel and think Chinese”(Tan 128). The setting plays an important role that helps the story clear on how June May discovers what makes her Chinese and how she came to this discovery.
Suyuan’s most cherished wish was that she could be reunited with her long-lost twin daughters. The friends urge her to go to China and tell her sisters about their mother. Jing-mei doesn’t think that she’s capable of telling her twin sisters about their mother because Jing-mei isn’t sure she knew their mom herself. She travels to China and realizes that she’s more Chinese than she thought. She learns about her own identity while also learning about her mother.
The Daughters in The Joy Luck Club battle the cultural differences between the ancient values of their immigrant mothers and the American way of life they live in. In China, the mothers were taught strength of character was built through obedience. In modern American, the daughters are exposed to a society where women have more freedom of expression. Even clothing is different in each culture. The daughters are being raised on conflicting cultural differences.
TOP CHARACTERS 1. Jing-mei (June) Woo In a way, Jing-mei Woo is the main character of The Joy Luck Club. Structurally, her narratives serve as bridges between the two generations of storytellers, as Jing-mei speaks both for herself and for her recently deceased mother, Suyuan. Jing-mei also bridges America and China. When she travels to China, she discovers the Chinese essence within herself, thus realizing a deep connection to her mother that she had always ignored.
This essay, mainly focusing on Suyuan Woo and her daughter June, is aiming to further analyze the causes and manifestations of this complicated mother-daughter relationship. The relationship is by no means conflicting and it is not hard to understand. First of all, the conflict is due to the daughters’ attitudes towards their Chineseness, which can be normally understood as the Chinese character and traditional culture, in all, it can be understood as the temperament of a Chinese. Different from their mothers, the daughter generation is born and raised in America, what they have experienced is enculturation, and they are trying to get rid of their Chineseness and every influence of the mother generation. Far from knowing Chinese culture and without the awareness to know, the mother generation is alien and ridiculous to them.
Culture was the source of many difficulties between each mother-daughter pair. With few similarities between Chinese and American traditions, mother and daughter had contradicting points of view on the modern world. “‘Chinese people do many things,” she said simply. “Chinese people do business, do medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people.”’(Tan, 91) Lindo Jong showed extreme pride in her home country while shining a stereotypically negative light on Americans.
As an adult, Wong realizes that she had lost an opportunity to become a more complete Individual when she let go Chinese identity. Part 2: Reaction In “The Struggle to Be an All-American Girl.” Wong talks about her cultural experience. It is sad that she denied her Chinese culture and missed the chance to have a mixed culture. She refused to accept her Chinese origins, which her family was intent on keeping. Chinese culture has a long history, and to inherit one’s culture is valuable; Wong should have cherished it.
She describes her mother as a natural story teller (Kramer 48). Her mother had a great impact on her life. As a child Tan was rebellious against her origins and was often embarrassed by her family’s customs (“Amy Tan” 1). Though The Joy Luck Club was not an autobiography, many of the stories are based on her and her mother’s own life experiences. Tan’s first book, The Joy Luck Club, had many influences including her relationship with her mother, the stories her mother told, understanding and becoming comfortable with her culture, and her own life experiences.
ENGLISH STRUGGLES AND ILINGUISTIC IDENTITY Amy Tan, a Chinese-American writer most known for her book “The joy luck club”, who one wouldn’t think would become a writer based on her background. In her article, “Mother Tongue”, she writes about the countless times she had to learn from, cover for, and defend her mother’s interpretation on the English language. One might call it broken English, typical of a Chinese immigrant, but Tan didn’t view it that way, she viewed it as perfect English that she could understand perfectly. Others certainly didn’t understand it all the time and that’s where some of the struggles came in her life. Tan’s audience was experts on language was the audience of English speakers.
She felt that American school would be a better fit for her. Once Elizabeth got older she was given permission to stop attending Chinese school. Elizabeth’s struggles with her own heritage and the heritage of the country she lived in tore her. She so desperately wanted to fit into the American society, as she states “I thought of myself as multicultural. I preferred tacos to egg rolls; I enjoyed Cinco de Mayo more than Chinese New Year.” (Wong ,24) She favored the crisp new smells such as “the soft French perfume that my American teacher wore” (Wong ,24) over the mothball smell that the Chinese school held.