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Improving Mother/Daughter Relationships In Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club

1211 words - 5 pages

Improving Mother/Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club

One day everything is going great, in fact things could not be better and then you say something and your friend turns to you and says “oh my god, you sounded just like your mother”.  That is when you freak out and think to yourself it is true I am turning into my mother.  This is every daughters worst nightmare come true.  When a young girl is growing up her mother always says and does things that the girl vows she will never say and do but she does.  Very rarely do we see cases of women wanted to be like their mother but it usually happens even if they do not want it to.  In the book The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan tells stories of four Chinese immigrant mothers and their relationships with the American born daughters.  In this novel, Tan shows us the struggle these mothers face in teaching their American daughters about their heritage.  Throughout the novel it becomes evident that the daughters feel it is important to learn about their history and develop stronger relationships with their mothers

Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to the characters one by one learning about their past and their present lives.   Each chapter deals with individual stories of relationships between husband and wife, mother and daughter,  and even daughter and daughter.  Every story helps the reader learn how important the mother daughter relationship is in The Joy Luck Club.

First, Suyuan Woo who is actually dead but story is told by her daughter Jing-Mei Woo.  Suyuan Woo started the Joy Luck Club when she came to America so she and other Chinese immigrants could talk about Chinese culture and how to carry on traditions and make living conditions better for herself and the others better in America.  Jing-Mei is asked to take her mothers place at the mah jong table which is completely overwhelming and actually this is the point in the novel that she discovers that she did not have a close relationship with her mother and did not feel Chinese.  In the chapter Best Quality we Jing-Mei begins to see she is like her mother.  The reader can see that she has  the same qualities as her mother at the crab dinner.  Jing-Mei takes the bad crab and immediately her mother trades with her.  After dinner Suyuan says to her “only you pick that crab.  Nobody else take it.  I already know this.  Everybody else want best quality.  You think differently”(Tan 234).  This shows that both mother and daughter think alike taking the bad crab and the mother sees the goodness in Jing-Mei’s heart and is very pleased but says so in her own way.

Mothers and daughters possess qualities,(Good Mothers/Bad Mothers) mothers really want their daughters to be like them but do not always say it.  Mothers also hide things from their daughters like Suyuan did because she was afraid of hurting Jing-Mei but when she found out that she had two older sisters she was thrilled.  Not only was she thrilled about having...

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