This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chinese And American Cultures Essay

4381 words - 18 pages

Chinese and American Cultures

Chinese-Americans authors Amy Tan and Gish Jen have both grappled with the idea of mixed identity in America. For them, a generational problem develops over time, and cultural displacement occurs as family lines expand. While this is not the problem in and of itself, indeed, it is natural for current culture to gain foothold over distant culture, it serves as the backdrop for the disorientation that occurs between generations. In their novels, Tan and Jen pinpoint the cause of this unbalance in the active dismissal of Chinese mothers by their Chinese-American children.

In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan calls close attention to the idea of unrealization and forgetfulness. Through these two factors, Tan attempts to explain displacement on the pasts of both mothers and daughters. The daughters, we find, are lost and wandering, and the mothers themselves seem paralyzed by secret pasts of pain and sacrifice. For them, the past is a tenuous, ghostly thing that goes undigested for some time. For many of them, it is not ever talked about. The death of Suyuan Woo is attributed to this:

“ ‘ She had a new idea in her head,’ said my father. ‘But before it could come out of her mouth, the thought grew too big and burst. It must have been a very bad idea.’

“The doctor said she died of a cerebral aneurysm. And her friends at the Joy Luck Club said she died just like a rabbit: quickly and with unfinished business left behind” (Tan 19).

Suyuan had a secret that she had kept from her daughter, Jing-Mei her entire life: two sisters that had been left behind while she fled from China. While it cannot be said that this was what caused her to have an aneurysm, the symbolism of having unfinished business, and unfinished thoughts in her head is too strong to go unrecognized. Suyuan had many secrets she had yet to tell her daughter. This was expensive to both Suyuan because she could now never tell her daughter about her life and to Jing-Mei because she would never know her mother completely.

For all of the aunties, the past was a thing better not talked about because of the amount of loss and pain they had endured. Like all survivors of tragedy, the past was not a subject they reflected upon, but chose instead to move as far away from as possible. The result was their pasts inflating to legendary proportions and influencing them for the worse by going unrecognized. Because they never took the lessons offered from their pasts, they went could not share them with their daughters, drawing a farther line of separation between them. For the daughters, China became a fantasy- land, a place that was not a part of them. Because of this tenuousness, the daughters did not have the real China, nor a fully realized Chinese-side of them. The aunties watched in dismay as their daughters began to lose their ethnicities and stumble through a new, un-Chinese world.

Ying-Ying St. Clair is an excellent example of this separation. In “The...

Find Another Essay On Chinese and American Cultures

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

The Bahamian and American Cultures Essay

2306 words - 10 pages culture and the American culture are highly similar and related in terms of dialects, beliefs and values. However, major differences in language, religion and traditions show that the Bahamian and American cultures are more different than many people believe. Bahamian Creole vs. Standard English According to (Donnelly, 1997, para. 1), “Bahamian Dialect appears to be a dialect of English, it is actually more a creole – though it has decreolized over

Chinese And Chinese American Wedding Celebrations

1472 words - 6 pages In today's society, Chinese wedding ceremonies have been woven into American wedding heritage. Many Chinese have adapted into American's society and changed their traditional practices into more modern ways. Therefore, marriage is an integral part of living and great pains are taken to ensure a good match and bountiful prosperity. This is why traditional Chinese weddings have many complex customs and ceremonies. They serve the important function

Chinese and American Foreign Policy

2874 words - 11 pages Chinese and American Foreign Policy Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War was over, making the U.S. the only superpower left in the world. This has made the international system much more tranquil, and relaxed. The only country potentially powerful besides the U.S., is China. Many Americans fear China, not only because they are communist, but also because of their huge population. Their population is 1.3 billion people

COMPARISON OF JAPANESE AND AMERICAN CULTURES

1100 words - 5 pages COMPARISON OF JAPANESE AND AMERICAN CULTURES As Mahatma Gandhi said, “No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive” (Mahatma). Our culture identifies who we are and how we behave in social environments and provides us with a foundation in which to live our lives and raise our families. Each individual culture has certain customs and courtesies that are important. Exposure to the cultures of others can be intimidating and can leave a

Native American Cultures, Tribes, and Religion

813 words - 3 pages Even though there are numerous Native American tribes and cultures, they all are mostly derivatives of other tribes. For instance, in the southwest there are large number of Pueblo and Apache people including, the Acoma Pueblo tribe, Apache Chiricahua, Jemez Pueblo, and Apache Western. In this section, largely populated groups in certain regions (northwest, southwest, The Great Plains, northeast, and southeast) religious ideas, practices, and

Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture

3814 words - 15 pages Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture There are many different aspects on Ancient Chinese culture that differ from Western and American culture. Many things such as education, marriage, and community type can be different from what we have in our Western civilization. Although Chinese culture has evolved through many, many years some ancient traditions still uphold. There are a wide variety of differences between the Chinese and

Cultural Policy: American and Chinese Culture

2818 words - 12 pages that absolute chaos is the natural state, and existence represents a partial suppression of this chaos. Put simply, anything can happen unless it is prohibited by a natural law. In Chinese religion people also believe that this world is created by a single god, but they worship many things like water, fire and plants. Chinese people are little bit reluctant to make modifications or ask questions about religion. According to the American cultures

Similarities between American-Puritanism and Chinese -Confucianism

1146 words - 5 pages American-Puritanism and Chinese -Confucianism have both played a tremendously important role in the foundation and growth of American and Chinese society respectively. But these two parallels seem to have no point of intersection. Making comparison between them is a hard and daring job. However, it is still worthwhile to study them since their irreplaceable powers have influenced two most wonderful countries in the world. And this article mainly

Differences between American and European Cultures in Daisy Miller

505 words - 2 pages women to talk so openly in public, especially when they did not know each other. Throughout the story, the differences between the American and European cultures are shown through the journeys of the independent minded Daisy Miller in a European society that was refined and full of customs that the American did not want any part of.

Comparison of Turkish and American Cultures from Business Perspective

4037 words - 16 pages were born and that is why people (from different cultures) will have different opinion towards the same question or act. But in management, culture has a slightly different meaning. It can be explained as the set of policies, values, beliefs and attitudes learnt and shared by the organization's member. In this project, I am going to look at how different kinds of management cultures have an impact on Turkish versus American business

Similar Essays

Comparison Of The American And Chinese Cultures

1890 words - 8 pages Comparison of the American and Chinese Cultures Cultural differences are apparent from one group of people to another. Culture is based on many things that are passed on from one generation to the next. Most of the time people take for granted their language, beliefs, and values. When it comes the cultural differences of people there is no right or wrong. People should be aware of others culture and respect the differences that are between

Chinese And Indian Cultures Essay

860 words - 3 pages Chinese and Indian CulturesChina and India have had close connections for many centuries. Similarities and differences can be found in many of their cultural aspects. Both India and China flourished as river cultures in regions surrounded by mountains. They relied heavily on agriculture which was supported by the rich soils of the river basins. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.443) Looking at the areas of religion and philosophy, architecture, and music

The Traditions Of Western And Chinese Cultures

2073 words - 8 pages , the inner general tensile stress of contracts causes losses and breaks of action standards and values, but it has features of reconstruction, regeneration and creation. The entirety theory is contrary. Its breaks and losses cause a whole collapse, but as it is frar from the balance condition, it has a tendency of super-stability structures through the inner adjustment. The two traditions of western and Chinese cultures formed in the axis period

Cuture Comparison: Indian And Chinese Cultures

714 words - 3 pages There are several different cultures and traditions in the world. While some vary widely, others can be quite similar. The comparison between two cultures can be very eye-opening, letting you see the different lifestyles, behaviors, and customs of each. Both Indian and Chinese life, although having many differences, are surprisingly similar in some areas. At a distance they seem to be stark contrasts , but when upon examining them closer you see