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The Joy Luck Club Essay

939 words - 4 pages

The Joy Luck Club Essay The Generation Gap in The Joy Luck Club "Hey, Ben, are you Japanese or Chinese?" I asked. His reply, as it seems to be for a lot of minority groups, was, "Neither, I'm Chinese-American." So, besides his American accent and a hyphenated ending on his answer to the SAT questionnaire about his ethnic background, what's the difference? In Amy Tan's captivating novel, The Joy Luck Club, I found out the answer to that question. Through the relationships and experiences of four Chinese mothers and four Chinese-American daughters, I was able to see a massive difference between their corresponding lifestyles. The generation gap of the women born during the first quarter of the ...view middle of the document...

Clair did not believe that a marriage was real unless it was full and without any strings attached. When Ying-Ying found that Lena's marriage was filled with everything but her own visions, she was quite disappointed. She saw the list of items to be split fifty-fifty on the refrigerator, and immediately thought their marriage did not have the purity and honor that it should have contained. Lena's ideas of "eliminating false dependencies, being equals, and love without obligation"(p.176) were far from the views that her mother took on marriage. It was quite easy for Ying-Ying to see how times had changed, and how the lifestyle of American born citizens widely contrasted that of her home country.Toward the end of the book, there is a definite line between the differences of the two generations. Lindo Jong, whose daughter, Waverly, didn't even know four Chinese words, described the complete difference and incompatibility of the two worlds she tried to connect for her daughter; American circumstances and Chinese character. She explained that there was no lasting shame in being born in America, and that as a minority, you were the first in line for scholarships. Most importantly, she noted that, "In America, nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you." (p. 289) For a girl who was raised in America, it was easy for Waverly to accept American circumstances, to grow up as any other American citizen.As a Chinese mother, though, she also wanted her daughter...

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