The Joy Luck Club Cuture

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The Joy Luck Club Cuture Gap Between Mothers And Dauthers Essay, Research Paper There are numerous conditions in human life that mold people into who they presently are. A person’s identity and way of thinking are influenced greatly due to their family’s surroundings, and relationships they are involved in. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, the characters are generic, in the sense that, although they are from different families, the problems and emotions experienced are similar. The daughters are in an on-going search to discover themselves, who they are and what they represent. With their precious mother-daughter bonds, four immigrants are bewildered at American culture as they struggle to instill in their daughters remnants of their Chinese heritage. Throughout the

course of the novel, the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship is revealed to the reader by various means. First, such a strong connection can only be the product of an essential, timeless, emotion called love: “She loved you very much, more than her own life” (Tan 29). Unfortunately, in Chinese culture, mothers rarely say “I love you” and find little to no time at all to provide for their daughter’s emotional needs. Such attitudes occasionally lead the children to sense that “My mother did not treat me this way because she didn’t love me. She just had a hard time showing her love for me” (Tan 45). As well, the link is also nourished in other ways, such as the swift protection of a mother’s young: “She grabbed my hand back so fast that I knew at that

instant how sorry she was that she had not protected me better” (Tan 111). There are other ways in which the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship isuncovered. Because of a mother’s enduring love, they often put up high expectations that are often hard to meet. As well, in the case of Waverly and June, a mother’s love is expressed in the novel by proudly showing off: “From the time we were babies, our mothers compared the creases in our belly buttons, how shapely our earlobes were, how fast we healed when we scraped our knees…” (Tan 64). In any case, every small act or gesture done out of deep love for one another, strengthens the bond, that is enkindled at birth. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant,just as unmindful of all

the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow up impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation. (Tan 31) Culture gratly influences the youth of today as American circumstances considerably influenced the daughters of the novel. In some instances, the Western culture dominates as the mothers strive on, in its shadow: “…and because I remained quiet for so long now my daughter does not hear me. She sits by her fancy swimming pool and hears her Sony Walkman, her cordless phone…” (Tan 64). Ying-Ying ponders upon the fact that, “She follows my Chinese ways

until she learned how to walk out the door by herself and go to school” (Tan 289). Because of heavy resentment on the mother’s part, in some instances, the American culture is frowned upon and is stereotyped as having “morbid thoughts”(Tan 105). Many problems, especially embarrassment, surface when the younger generation attempts to become absorbed into a new culture, while the parents insist on clinging to their old ways. The daughters experience troubles while trying to cope with their immigrant parents. There is an obvious language barrier that may result in feelings, such as that of Jing-mei: “These kinds of explanations made me feel my mother and I spoke two different languages, which we did. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese” (Tan 23).