Language And Cultural Barriers In Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club"

745 words - 3 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

Communication is the heart and soul of our society. We communicate in everything we do from buying a cup of coffee to presenting a project at work or school. Since we express ourselves everyday having one primary language that is used in that particular region is very helpful by reducing and preventing language barriers to an extent. As we express ourselves daily we often use metaphors to explain ourselves. For those of us who are bilingual or trilingual some of these expressions are not correctly translated or they just simply cannot be translated. In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club there is not only a language barrier but also cultural barrier between the mothers and daughters and the meaning of “Joy Luck”. I believe that although it might be hard, anything can be translated if not by words, but through actions and character.
To prove my opinion, the stories prove especially powerful in The Joy Luck Club because of the cultural and language barriers that stand between the storytellers, which often are the mothers, and the daughters. Due to the fact that the mothers grew up in China and all of their life lessons happened in a way that might not be considered “Normal” to their American-born daughters they found an alternative way to still convey the same message that they learned while growing up, just in a different way. They fear that speaking directly of the lessons they have learned wouldn’t understand the true underline meaning. The barriers that exist between the mothers and the daughters are often due to their inability to communicate with one another like the difficulty with translation when Jing-mei relates the story of her mother’s founding of the Joy Luck Club. After attempting to explain the significance of the club’s name, Jing-mei recognizes that the concept is not something that can be translated.
On the topic of translation, the barriers between the Chinese and the American cultures are made worse by imperfect translation of language. The mothers use storytelling to get around these barriers and communicate with their daughters. The stories are not just for fun but they are meant to teach the same lesson to their daughters that they...

Find Another Essay On Language and Cultural Barriers in Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club"

Traversing Through Linguistic and Cultural Barriers: The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan

1037 words - 4 pages >The mothers also depend on story telling as a way to tell their daughters all about life, yet these daughters are Americanized to such a degree that this form of communication may not always be completely effective. Storytelling as a form of communication are very powerful in The Joy Luck Club because of the cultural barriers that stand between the mothers and daughters. All of the mothers have had experiences in China that their ...

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1251 words - 5 pages Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Parents always want what is best for their children, regardless of culture or ethnicity. In The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, and in "Life With Father" by Itabari Njeri, the parents express their parental methods upon their daughters. Children will all react differently to their parent's methods, as do Waverly, June, and Itabari, but they still share a common resentment for their parents. It is shown in the two...

Mother and Daughter Relationships Exposed in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

2422 words - 10 pages Relationships Between Mothers and Daughters Exposed in The Joy Luck Club         Amy Tan's novel, The Joy Luck Club is one that is truly amazing and a joy to read. There are a number of issues at work in the novel, the most obvious one is the exploration of relationships between mothers and daughters. Unfortunately, for these four sets of mothers and daughters, there is not only a generational gap between them, but a cultural one as well...

Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

843 words - 3 pages  Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club    "Imagine, a daughter not knowing her own mother!" And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. (Tan 40...

Identity Crisis in Amy Tan's "Joy Luck Club"

958 words - 4 pages "The Joy Luck Club", through a series of sixteen stories told by four pairs of mothers and daughters, is an intimate look at the lives of immigrant Chinese women and their American born daughters. These stories give us insight into the difficulties that these women have with their identities as the mothers try to give their daughters the best of each...

Comparing Tradition and Change in Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club

3178 words - 13 pages Tradition and Change in The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club               Throughout the novels The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club, author Amy Tan conveys the message of tradition and change. Each novel contains sections about mothers talking and relating their stories to their daughters. The daughters in The Joy Luck Club hear stories about loss and happiness, and joy and hate. Each of the four mothers tell these...

The Roles of Culture, Mothers, and Daughters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1340 words - 5 pages     "A mother is best. A mother knows what is inside of you," said An-Mei Hsu to her daughter Rose (188). And this is true for all four of the mothers in the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. Unfortunately it was much more complicated than that, because the daughters had minds of their own, to a certain extent, minds that were part American. "The emphasis on honor, obedience, and loyalty among women are immense in this novel" (The Joy Luck Club: An...

Essay on Mother as Villain and Victim in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1184 words - 5 pages Mother as Villain and Victim in Joy Luck Club       In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan focuses on several mother-daughter relationships. One of the relationships explored is that between an immigrant Chinese mother and her American born daughter Jing-mei.  The mother expects Jing-mei to be a prodigy child - while pursuing this dream she unintentionally creates a serious conflict between her and her daughter.   To fulfill her...

Essay on Search for Identity in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1111 words - 4 pages . "Daughter-Text/Mother-Text: Matrilineage in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club." Feminist Studies (Fall 1993): 597-616. Huntley, E. D. Amy Tan: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 1998. Shear, Walter. "Generational differences and the diaspora in The Joy Luck Club." Women Writers. 34.3 (Spring 1993): 193 Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Vintage Contemporaries. New York: A Division of Random House, Inc., 1991.. Wong, Sau-ling Cynthia. Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993...

Mother Daughter Relationships - Learning from Mother in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1042 words - 4 pages Learning from Mother in The Joy Luck Club      "I have already experienced the worst. After this, there is no worst possible thing" (Amy Tan 121). Throughout The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan tells stories of how mothers use the misfortunes in their lives, to try to teach their daughters about life. Many of the mothers had bad experiences in their pasts and do not want to see their daughters live through the same types of problems. They try...

Communication Barriers within The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

1123 words - 4 pages In the novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the mothers and daughters share relationships that are complex and unique. Besides being family, the women share hopes, fears and a culture that extends deep for some and not far for others. On the surface, a group that seemingly has so much in common is surprisingly lacking in understanding for the other...

Similar Essays

Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club".

2892 words - 12 pages In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan explores the different mother-daughter relationships between the characters, and at a lower level, relationships between friends, lovers, and even enemies. The mother-daughter relationships are most likely different aspects of Tan's relationship with her mother, and perhaps a figment of her imagination. In this book, she...

The Power of Love in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club

1594 words - 6 pages The Power of Love in Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club      In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, Four pairs of mothers and daughters embark on the journey that is life.  Each young woman comes to realize how valuable the relationships with their mothers are.  As each daughter learns from her mother, she goes through the sometimes-painful process of trying to understand her enigmatic mother.  To finally unravel the mystery surrounding their mothers...

Mother-Daughter Conflict in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

2989 words - 12 pages assimilate into the dominant culture. They courageously leave the past behind except what they carry in their memory. Thus, immigrants often experience shock and resistance in dealing with the new world culture. This is especially true for the second generation Chinese-Americans who resist and are ashamed of their heritage. Amy Tan in The Joy Luck Club dramatizes this conflict which arises between the first and the second generations through...

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

1461 words - 6 pages Joy Luck Club The stories of Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo reveal some of Amy Tan's main themes in the novel. One important theme is that we must get to know and understand our parents in order to fully understand ourselves. June spends the first half of her life believing that she is a disappointment to her mother and has been unsuccessful in life. However, when she learns more about her mother's past and discovers that her mother is proud of her...