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Style Analysis Of Amy Tan In "The Joy Luck Club"

1608 words - 6 pages

Raymond Chandler, a fiction writer, once said, "The most durable thing in writing is style." True, the style is often defined as one of the most important elements in writing. In Amy Tan's novel, "The Joy Luck Club", the style significantly contributes to the development of both the tone and the theme of the influences that a mother can have on her daughter. The author effectively portrays the somber tone and the theme by using a concise style of diction, images, details, language, sentence structure, point of view, and organization.The author emphasizes the tone and the theme of the novel by using a variety of diction words that include repetition of words, archaic words, connotation, and abstract diction. Primarily, the usage of repetitive words reflects on the influences a mother has on her daughter and also on the melancholy tone. In the story, many incidents describe Ying-ying and her daughter, Lena, as "ghosts" and unseen. Ying-ying, after experiencing the pains of her first marriage, willingly gives up the soul that causes her so much pain and becomes a mortal ghost. Lena, having perhaps influences from the traditional Chinese views of her mother, Ying-ying, also experiences similar grieves in her marriage and eventually becomes "a ghost" and the shadow of her husband (Tan 177). The repetition of words relate them together in a sense of lacking recognizability by others and how the daughter seems to act from the awareness of her mother's behaviors; it also indicates the effect of the melancholy tone on the sorrows the characters experience and suffer. In addition, Tan also uses an assortment of archaic words to demonstrate the theme and tone. Occurring in many places of the novel, the usage of early Chinese words illustrates the influences of the mothers to the daughters of growing up in a Chinese family; they are able to share a bond that enables them to understand the meanings of the Chinese words. Specifically, in the story of Rose Hsu, the mother depicts Rose as "hulihudu," meaning that she appears confused in the situation of her marriage. The mother significantly influences her daughter by this word; Rose recognizes the meaning and finally speaks up to her marriage problems. By using this archaic word, the author provides us with the understanding of the somber tone occurring in the story to describe the catastrophic situation of the marriage and also on the theme of the influences the daughter receives. Furthermore, the use of connotation offers insight on the tone of the novel. In Ying-ying's story, the word tiger suggests a non-literal meaning of a double-sided characteristic: the gold side that "leaps with its fierce heart" and the black side, which "hid[es]...between trees..., waiting patiently for things to come" (Tan 282). She does not learn to use her black side until the incident of her first marriage, which causes her numerous laments. This word seems to indicate the miseries that Ying-ying suffers through the use of her...

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