Altercation Amidst Disparate Cultures Of American Born Chinese, Depicted In Tan's Joy Luck Club

1577 words - 6 pages

Conflict emerges between Chinese and American cultures when Chinese parents try to discipline their American children. The “Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan, portrays the clash between Chinese and American cultures thoroughly. There are four mothers and four daughters, each mother emigrated from China and each daughter was born in the United States. Each daughter has a hard time understanding their mothers and how and what they want to teach them. Their mother’s presuppose them for eminence but they fail and chagrin their mothers. It is similar for Amy Tan, the author of the Joy Luck Club, “born in the US to immigrant parents from China” ( She experiences a personal battle between Chinese and American cultures. Tan’s life is similar to her characters’ life, “[Amy Tan] failed her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She settled on writing fiction” ( Tan’s life is portrayed in the book through the daughters of the Joy Luck Club. Chinese and American cultures are heavily analyzed within the Joy Luck Club.
Culture is important to many families. Chinese Culture is the background culture of each mother and daughter of the Joy Luck Club. In the Chinese Culture, honor and Family are salient, “Culture is the way of living which a group of people has developed from one generation to the next” ( The Japanese invaded China before World War II. After the Japanese infringed in China, aggregation was altered, “The Japanese conquest of the China mainland featured incredible atrocities, the most famous of which was the massacre of thousands in Nanjing” ( Many villages were raided and razed forcing many Chinese to abscond. Some absconded across China, others who were lucky enough or had the money escaped to America to a better life. The Japanese invasion of China was described in The Joy Luck Club. Women played a substantial role in Chinese Society.
¬¬¬¬Women have been the core of the Chinese Society. Women are foreordained to be housewives; the ones who nurture the children. But women were considered to be inferior by men so they did not have any rights. Even in the United States, women were subjacent to men, “In the nineteenth century, a wife assumed the citizenship of her husband” (Brett, 63). The women belong to their families, “…Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people’s misery, to eat my own bitterness” (Tan, 215). Honor was forced upon them. They had to accede to their families all while manifesting the importance of family. They are almost slaves in the Chinese Society. They had no rights of their own. Their class and life was decided by their family. In order to become higher in society, they were put into arranged marriages.
Marriages are arranged to increase family honor and to become higher in society. Women are put into arranged marriages and they were not allowed not deny this marriage. But some refuse, “…young Chinese had virtually no...

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