The Joy Luck Club

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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. 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. June and the rest of the daughters are being raised to think being obedient is best but in a society that encourages freedom. Marriage is another cultural difference the mothers have with their daughters. The mothers were raised to believe they were never to remarry after their husbands have died. The daughters disagree and believe divorce is ok. The Mothers belief stems from old Chinese culture while the daughters belief stems from American culture where divorces are very common. Another chinese belief the mothers believe that every women should be married. That conflicts with the american belief that a woman is not required to get married, this creates conflict among the daughters. The daughters of the members of the joy luck club grow up struggling to balance

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