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A mothers struggle in the joy luck club by amy tan

Besides being family, the women share hopes, fears and a culture that extends deep for some and not far for others. On the surface, a group that seemingly has so much in common is surprisingly lacking in understanding for the other generation.

  1. Need Help With Your Essay? On the other side are their modern second-generation American daughters.
  2. The mothers were raised in different times with different expectations and they struggle to watch their daughters not conform to the same ways. It is not that the daughters fail to understand the stories but more such that the daughters will regard the stories as foolish or look down on their mothers because of what they have done in the past.
  3. On one side are the mothers, Chinese immigrants who have been gathering together for years at a weekly mahjong party called The Joy Luck Club. Reconciling two different cultures can be challenging for the children of immigrants.
  4. Each of the daughters—June, Waverly, Lena, and Rose—wants to understand their inscrutable mothers. The daughters in the novel also struggle with how their mothers treat them.

The first barrier that seems to make life difficult for these women and in some cases, their spouses, is the language difference. Many of the daughters have a very slim grasp on the Chinese dialect of their mothers and in turn, some of the mothers struggle with English.

In the case of the St.

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Clair family, the group is further splintered because Clifford, the husband of Ying-ying and father of Lena, has never learned fluent Chinese and Ying-ying has never learned fluent English, so the breakdown in communication starts with the parents and moves onto the children. When the mothers and daughters are able to communicate and make an attempt at finding common ground, their attempts are derailed by a lack of English words to substitute the meaning of Chinese words.

Some of the phrases or lessons told by the mothers lose their meaning in a way because there is no English word that means the same as what they are trying to say in Chinese. There appears to be no satisfying English explanation for the sentiment behind the idea of Joy Luck.

What did the daughters in The Joy Luck Club teach their mothers?

How fast would you like to get it? We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. It is tragic to watch some of the relationships fracture because of this type of communication barrier. The second barrier that hinders communication is their generation gap.

  • Even with the best intentions, only a few vague words and phrases ever come across;
  • Monday, December 13, 2004.

The mothers were raised in different times with different expectations and they struggle to watch their daughters not conform to the same ways. The mothers were taught to be strong and silent, to take care of their families and to be good workers when asked to be by their husband or families.

The daughters are from a more liberated mind set and they fail to grasp why their mothers continue to do things that they themselves would never consider doing.

It is not that the daughters fail to understand the stories but more such that the daughters will regard the stories as foolish or look down on their mothers because of what they have done in the past. Waverly wants to show her mother her apartment to help bring her mother to the realization that she and Rich are nearing marriage, but instead all her mother sees is negative things.

Her mother notes the messy condition of the apartment as well as just a general chaos.

Differences like these express the cultural clash between these two cultures. One main difference between Chinese and American cultures is the way in which we communicate with each other. These details are left out because speaker and listener share the same assumptions and knowledge.

This is a huge barrier for communication between the mothers and daughters. The mothers many times speak to the daughters expecting that they will pick up on these underlying presumptions.

The mothers are still very much apart of their Chinese culture and they are upset to see how little their daughters want to have that culture in their lives.

The Joy Luck Club

However, it seems that the daughters are not rejecting the culture as just that they are unsure of how they fit into it. In fact, they resent its influence on their daughters.

They split everything evenly even though Lena makes less, she always is paying what they consider to be her fair share. Her mother is put off by this and cannot imagine such a thing happening between a man and a wife. Instead of vocalizing her objections too much, Ying-ying just makes a point by allowing a misplaced vase to break a table and interrupt an argument between Lena and her husband.

The novel shows two groups of women and their struggle to understand, interact and communicate with each other. The understanding and interaction are severely impaired by the inability of the two groups to communicate with each other. The language barrier, as well as the issues and differences between the generations and cultures, all play a hand in the downfall of the relationships.

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For some, the relationships appear to be forever flawed and destined to remain strained at best. Need Help With Your Essay? Get Help From Professional Writer However, for a few, the unspoken words that pass between them, or in one case, the death of the mother, seems to help to open the eyes of the women to what is seen and heard and what is actually there.

Retrieved on June 3, 2008Brooklyn College. Monday, December 13, 2004. Retrieved on June 4, 2008 from www.