Joy Luck Club

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Amy Tan was born in California in 1952; only two years after her parents had emigrated from China. Her Chinese name is An Mei, which means blessing from America (Kramer 10). The Chinese culture was always a major part of her life. Tan most often writes as a storyteller, or in past tense. 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. Tan’s mother took great pride in her Chinese culture; while her daughter often tried to become more Americanized and forget her origins (“Amy Tan” 1). So Tan’s mother further enforced their traditions. Just like all the mothers in The Joy Luck Club, tradition and customs were very important to them. Cooking for the family has meaning in each story of The Joy Luck Club, because cooking is a sign of love in Chinese culture. A main point of the novel was the mothers’ wishes to keep the old traditions, and the daughters’ wishes for them to be more understanding of the American culture. Tan and her mother had the same feelings, but, just as the daughters in the book, Tan learns the value of her heritage and embraces it (Kramer 60). Her mother told Tan many stories(Kramer 48). She told many stories about her own life. She told her about leaving two daughters behind in China (Kramer 52); this story is told in the first chapter of The Joy Luck Club. As every child, Tan’s mother told her fairy tales. Tan’s mother told her the story

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