The daughters are being raised on conflicting cultural differences. In China, the mothers were raised to learn by obedience. It was a common belief in Chinese culture that “children must be must be obedient and imitate the elderly because they have learned wisdom through their elders.” (Lee) In chapter 7 Suyuan explains to her daughter, there are “only two kinds of daughters…those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind!” The idea of a woman following her own mind was considered a poor character flaw in ancient China. That is how Suyuan and the rest of the mothers in the joy luck club were raised. In contrast, the same idea of a woman following her own mind is considered normal in American society.
The book taught her the general motions of being a maid including which people to curtsy to, nevertheless Anna decided that everyone was worthy of a curtsy and proceeded to do so to everyone she met (“I shall curtsy to the butler,’ decided Anna…‘And the housekeeper. Definitely I shall curtsy to the housekeeper!” pg 16). In addition to educating herself and being overly polite when she is first thrown into a society much different from the one she is used to, Anna embraces the work and culture of her new residence. For example when she is first being hired, the head butler explains all the hard work she must do (“During this time no formal training would be given and you would be expected to make yourself useful anywhere: in the kitchens, the scullery, even outside.” pg 24). Instead of giving up or complaining about the amount of
Foot binding was something that started being practiced, and the girls who were from four to six years old had to start going through the same pain. Mothers and grandmothers didn’t try to stop this, instead they had to bind their own daughters feet ( Smith, n.d.). This is the age where kids are suppose to be happy and not worry about pain, but China had something else in mind. “Foot binding would occur in a ritualistic ceremony accompanied by other traditions intending to ward of bad luck” ( Schiavenza, 2013). The main reason that their was no one who spoke up, was that this was starting to be more and more widely known, which made it impossible to stop.
1. How did Wellesley College, its faculty and the community reflect the cultural/societal views of women and gender roles at the time? In the film, Wellesley College, it's faculty, students, and community demonstrate what life was like for young women during this time period. Although the students of this school were incredibly intelligent, they did not expect to do anything with their lives besides get married and start a family. This strongly represents the cultural and societal views of the time because they believed being a housewife was their "sole responsibility".
They were also anticipated to marry into a good family with money, most likely arranged ahead of time by the parents. Upper class women were forbidden from work and were strictly protected by their spouse. Middle class women in the same region during the same period were frequently housewives with no probable education. They were often the wives of mill operators and merchants. Depending on the lower or upper level of the middle class, women were able to be work as school mistresses, or not work at all and only take care of the house.
The setting also helps Jing-Mei to understand her mothers past life. Being out of her element causes her to see everything in a different point of view, and causes her to realize the pain and struggle her mom once went through. Through abandoning her newborn twins and escaping a treatorous war zone, being surrounded by the same environment has Jing-mei finally understanding what and why her mother had done such horrific things in her past. Being immersed in this Chinese culture allows Jing-mei to embrace her Chinese heritage as she could not before. It is apparent once she meets her half sisters that her mothers statement on having the culture
Lilly was worried about this because Snow Flower was from a higher class than her. The concept of a lao tong is two women who give each other themselves in friendship. Snow Flower and Lilly write back and forth on a silk fan in Nushu, a secret language that only women knew about. As the story progresses Lily marries a scholar's nephew who belonged to one of the richest families in China while Snow Flower marries a butcher, which was seen as low class. They stay in touch throughout the years by the fans and meetings but their relationship falters when Lily misunderstands a message from Snow Flower.
Julia Alvarez was born in 1950, in a time where most women did not work outside of the home, and woman raised their daughters to be housewives. An interpretation Julia Alvarez’s thoughts and feelings about a woman’s position in a household can be seen in several lines throughout the poem Woman’s Work; first through her eyes as a young girl, then as a grown woman. For example, Julia Alvarez takes the reader through a typical day of cleaning for the speaker with her mother: We’d clean the whole upstairs before we’d start downstairs. I’d sigh, hearing my friends outside. Doing her woman’s work was a hard art to practice when the summer sun would bar the floor I swept till she was satisfied.
During a talk at the annual awards conference, Burns talked about how her mother, who raised Ursula single, in one of the worst New York City Public Housing Projects, loved to give advice. Ursula was the middle sibling among three. Her father was not around, but her mother was a confident woman who always expected great things from her kids. She taught Ursula how to strive and move up. Her mom always knew her way around a good deal and therefore she hustled to put them in private school.
A woman was expected to follow one path, to marry in her early 20s, start a family quickly, and devote her life to homemaking. However, after the Women’s Movement was introduced, women now have access to better jobs and can outlaw the discrimination in pay, hiring, and promotions. The women’ movement sent women free from restriction and allowed them to be more independent (Roiphe pg.496) The women’s movement also launched the era of divorces. Women who are unhappy in their marriages no longer have to stay married out of dire economic need. Ladies no longer have to prove fault to get a divorce, many women whose marriages had been bad for years find it more possible to get a divorce.