The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - Reading Guide - index-art.info: Books
stories in each section explore the relationship between the mothers and the daughters friends tell Jing-mei that Suyuan's twin daughters have been found. treachery, the purpose of the necklace becomes evident: to buy An-mei's loyalty. Get everything you need to know about Mother-Daughter Relationships in The June's memory of her mother is complicated by the revelation that Suyuan had. in the Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan's. The Joy Luck Club. Tuija Hast Suyuan and Jing-Mei “June” Woo. Lindo and.
Davis The daughters in this story imparted a huge lesson that many fail to learn until later on in their life. They learned that where they are from is important and they should not try to hide it because it makes them who they are.
Lindo was upset when Waverly lied to her friends about where she came from. She spent her whole childhood trying to run away from her Chinese identity, marginalizing her parents as Chinese and herself as an American.
During the book, they acted as though they completely had forgotten about their Chinese cultural identities. This realization helped create a new identity to help categorize themselves.
The relationship between Ying-ying and Lena is very disconnected. Ying-ying has always been a quiet person, ever since she was young she has learned to not speak so her internal wants could not be heard.
Due to this quietness, her relationship with Lena slowly decreased and she often blames herself for it. Because Jing-Mei was born in America and therefore grew up in a different atmosphere, culture, and environment, the relationship between mother and daughter is tense.
Suyuan Woo would continuously educate Jing-Mei in the Chinese culture; however, Jing-Mei did not care about this part of her background. She did not understand the Chinese tradition and did not care learning about it. Suyuan wanted her daughter to live like an American, but at the same time think like a Chinese.
However, this part of their relationship changes when Jing-Mei goes to China to see her half-sisters. It is so obvious. It is my family. It is in our blood. When Jing-Mei was growing up, her mother had the need for her daughter to be smart, talented, and a respectful Chinese daughter. My intentions in writing stories are always personal.
Before I was published I never felt the self-consciousness that results from an unknown public reading my stories. It did not occur to me that the details of the story might raise questions about what was being represented as a larger sociological phenomenon about mixed marriages. So what I wrote was only based on the familiar. My husband is not Chinese. Among my American-born Chinese friends and relatives, all of them married a non-Chinese.
People might say this is proof that we American-born Chinese believed white people were more desirable. I think the choice of white men or white women as spouses was related more to opportunity, the opportunity to meet a lot of Caucasians and the few opportunities to meet other Chinese people.
The only Chinese boys I knew when I was growing up were my brothers, my cousins, and the boys I babysat while their parents played mahjong with mine. By the time I was in junior high school, we lived in the suburbs where there were no Asians. Even in college, there were only two Asians, and one became a good friend. He and I used to joke that we were supposed to marry one another because we were Asian. I met my future husband in my freshman year, so that was the end of my dating career.
She knew I would not be able to meet too many Chinese boys, and she never voiced disappointment that Lou was not Chinese. As with my mother, the concerns had more to do with whether the man truly respected and cared for the daughter. My mother, for example, wanted Lou to prove his love for me by standing up to his parents when they suggested we break things off.
She told him to buy me a piano so that I could put to work those fifteen years of piano lessons, and also to make Lou think twice about ever leaving me; that would also mean leaving behind a very expensive piano. Her methods of ensuring a long-lasting marriage must work, because Lou and I are still together after thirty-six years.
Like the mothers in the stories, my mother had a suspicious view of all men that was drawn from experience. Her mother had been raped, forced to become a concubine, and she later killed herself to escape.
My mother was married off to a bad man, who lied, gambled, cheated, and flaunted his infidelities by bringing other women home. He also raped little girls. What kind of book would result if Jing-mei, Rose, Lena, and Waverly were telling their stories to their daughters? What are your thoughts on the next generation of Chinese American women coming of age?
Communication and Cultural Identity in the Mother
I have not thought about the first question. But in this new generation of stories, the daughters-now-mothers would realize they have not given their kids what is necessary, especially when their daughters fall into crisis, for example, when they nearly overdose on drugs, or when they drop out of school and fall into depression, or when they are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, or when they are attacked by a sexual predator, or when they, in an instance of road rage, hit a bicyclist and are charged with a crime.
The mothers will then tell their daughters stories about their family—from great-grandmothers to grandmothers to themselves, and the stories will be about those times when we are lost, when we have lost who matters and what matters.
The stories will be about the family and what it has already faced generations ago, how it has survived many times, no matter what the circumstances given or chosen for us.
And the reasons they have survived have to do with a family inheritance of love and hope, and the realization that love and hope are really the same thing. That is a very complex question and it deserves a longer discussion among many people.
Whatever remarks I make here, I hope people will continue with their own thoughts. Some of my past remarks about my discomfort with labels in literature had to do with what was happening fifteen to twenty years ago.
In the past, The Joy Luck Club was included on required reading lists because the stories were different from the mainstream and thus would give young readers exposure to another culture. Those were in the days when communities were not that diverse. The irony today is that educators select my book so that young readers can identify with the story.
The student population is multicultural and the same books once selected to understand others are now chosen to understand ourselves. What is in the canon of American literature now includes many different voices, reflecting that America includes many different voices. There still exists a tendency to evaluate stories with characters from a different culture as being about culture. My biggest fear these days is that some student will see the name of my book on the list and groan with disgust.
But I hope that students will also sense after reading it that I was not just writing about Chinese people or just mothers or daughters.
I was simply writing a story. Maybe the student will feel something unexpected when reading it. There is so much that a story can do that is not required. Before you wrote The Joy Luck Club, you were working as a linguistics teacher.
If you were not a writer today, what other career could you picture yourself in? I can also imagine myself being a composer.
When I played the piano as a child, I saw stories in music.
Suyuan Woo and Jing Mei Relationship
Sonatas contained long stories. Preludes contained short stories. I dream on occasion that I am able to write sonatas effortlessly, with full orchestration and motifs that weave in and out of the sections of the orchestra. I actually do some composing when I am awake as well.
When I sing in the shower, I create brilliant songs, most of them about my dogs, who are staring at me as I shampoo my hair.
The songs are somehow not as brilliant when the water is turned off. I would also like to be an artist. That was my secret childhood dream from the age of seven on. I liked to do pencil renderings. I drew pictures of my cat in different poses, and the pictures had both a precise and soft quality to them. They captured a moment of what my cat was like lying in the sun or watching a fly or lying in my lap. I definitely would not be a watercolorist.
To be a good one, you have to commit brush to paper with a sense of confidence. I once took a class in clay sculpture and, apart from an aversion to getting my hands dirty and sticky, I enjoyed the process enormously. My writing has the qualities of sculpture. I start with a lump and shape it, taking away chunks, slapping on bits, smoothing it out, looking at it from all kinds of angles, then mashing it back to a lump to start over again.
Joy Luck Club: Mother Daughter Relationships – chloetatum
Some people hate revision. These stories read like small myths—in fact there are many mythological elements in this book. What was your inspiration for the four tales?
What about the book as a whole—what kind of allegorical meaning did you intend for it to have? I am ashamed to admit that the mythlike tales were the result of structural retrofitting, an afterthought posed by my editor Faith Sale at Putnam. After I turned in my manuscript, I met with Faith a couple of months later. We went to an old-time New York restaurant with dark wood-paneled booths. We spread the stories across the table, and she told me we needed to reorder them in a way that felt right and made sense.
We tried doing it chronologically, then by family relationship, and later by alternating voices of mothers and daughters.
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Eventually, we settled on an order that was simply intuitive—what felt right. What emerged was an emotional arc spanning the sixteen stories. Those stories naturally fell into four groups of four stories.
I sensed that each group of four had its own emotional arc. Some were more about loss, some were more about hope, and so forth.
Faith asked that I create short vignettes that would delineate the section and suggest the connectedness of the stories within. I went looking for sources of inspiration and found them in a Chinese almanac and a book of four-character sayings. Within those sources were elements that suggested fairy tales: With each, I added some personal aspects to the story.
So I struggled to write those four vignettes and finished my book, hoping my editor would see its worth. Although the women in The Joy Luck Club are Chinese or Chinese American, and their heritage plays an important part in their lives, they also have experiences that all of us face, regardless of culture, even today. They struggle with raising their children, contend with unhappy marriages, cope with difficult financial circumstances, and are disheartened by bad luck.
Which of the eight main characters did you identify with the most? They are taken aback when Jing-mei responds. What can I tell them about my mother? Jing-mei thinks that the reason this upsets the aunties is that it makes them fear that they may not know their own daughters either. How does this exchange set the stage for the stories that follow?
To what extent do you think that Jing-mei is right? How well do any of the mothers and daughters know each other in this book? Discuss the topic of marriage as it is represented in The Joy Luck Club. Each of the women faces difficult choices when it comes to marrying—whether it be Lindo Jong being forced into an early union with a man she loathes, Ying-Ying St.
Clair starting life over with an American man after being abandoned by her first husband, or Rose Hsu Jordan, who is facing divorce from a man whose family never understood her. When she is young, Waverly Jong is a chess prodigy.
It is a common conception in the United States that young Asian children are more driven than their peers and more likely to excel because their parents demand more of them.
What does the dinner scene between Waverly and June say about each of their characters? How is their behavior influenced by family and culture?