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Mother/Daughter Relationships In The Joy Luck Club

1159 words - 5 pages

Mother/daughter relationships are a significant aspect of the Joy Luck Club. Characteristics of each mother/daughter relationship relate to the four main themes of the novel. These being, parent/child conflict, the discovery of identity, the idea of balance and harmony as well as the use of symbolism. An example of one mother/daughter relationship in the Joy Luck Club, is that of Lindo and Waverly Jong.One of the main themes highlighted in the relationship of between Lindo and Waverly Jong, is that of parent/child conflict.Lindo and Waverly were both brought up in different cultures. Lindo, experienced a rich Chinese upbringing where as Waverly's was a mixture of Chinese and Western culture. ...view middle of the document...

Waverly finds this extremely difficult, as she feels overpowered by her mother.As it can be seen, there are many aspects of Lindo and Waverly's relationship, which significantly reflect with the idea of parent/child conflict.The theme of discovering identity is played on many times by Amy Tan through the relationship of Lindo and Waverly Jong.When Lindo first came to America, she wanted Waverly to have "˜the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character.' Introducing the idea of combining the two cultures in one, the best possible combination.Growing up in a Western society with Chinese up bringing makes it very hard for Waverly to find her true identity. She becomes trapped between the two cultures, Chinese on the outside, yet American on the inside. As Lindo once told Waverly, "When you go to China, you don't even have to open your mouth, they already know you are an outsider." The idea of an "˜inferior western culture' is constantly accentuated through Lindo's behaviour. For example, when she goes out to lunch with Waverly. However, there are some aspects of Western culture, which Lindo does appreciate. As she once told her daughter, "In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you." Mainly expressed through the combining of Eastern and Western cultures, the discovery of identity is a significant aspect of Lindo and Waverly Jong's relationship.The idea of seeking a balanced harmonious life can be particularly applied to the relationship of Lindo and Waverly Jong. Certain aspects of Lindo and Waverly's relationship had always been unharmonious. Mainly due to their lack of communication, their relationship began to fall into a state of disharmony. It led Waverly to create a false, overpowering interpretation of Lindo. This unharmonious relationship was greatly highlighted when Waverly gave up chess.Lindo and Waverly began to develop an unusual relationship based on inferior and superiority. As Waverly once described Lindo, "what she does always comes as a shock, exactly like an electric jolt, that grounds itself permanently in my memory." A great...

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