The Importance Of Story Telling Within The Novels: A Gathering Of Old Men By Ernest Gaines And The Joy Luck Club By Amy Tan

901 words - 4 pages

In the novels A Gathering of Old Men and The Joy Luck Club storytelling is a key part of how the characters relate to one another. The sharing of stories helps tell about the character’s past, and even the present. The narrative builds action in both of these novels. The stories told by the characters in these two books are passed from generation to generation, and are filled with their heritage and culture. Accounting the past is an important part of keeping the history alive in a family or community. With the inability to pass a story from generation to generation the history would be lost and children would not know where they came from and how they got to where they are today.In the novel A Gathering of Old Men, storytelling is done by a lot of the older generation characters. Older generations pass stories, legends and old wives tales on to the younger generations, and when they grow older they will do the same. Although a lot of the stories told from the people in Bayonne, Louisiana are important; there are also the stories that are more about gossip than legend. The older men and women from Bayonne, Louisiana, like to gossip and tell stories about the people within the town. Everyone knows everyone’s business and if someone slips up, you better bet on the whole town finding out within a matter of days. That is usually how tight knit communities work. The people in Bayonne were all very supportive of one another and stuck up for each other in the time of trouble. In A Gathering of Old Men the storytelling was very much about the present time and not a lot was told about the characters past. There was a crisis in the town and it was storytelling that got the people of the town together, organized and united. Without the ability to pass this information on from one doorstep to another, the outcome of the novel would have been very, very different. This style of story telling is very different from that in the book The Joy Luck Club.In The Joy Luck Club the storytelling is done through the point of view of the mothers and daughters. Although, most of the stories are told through the eyes of the older generation, the mothers, there is also a lot of information told by the daughters. With the mothers being born in China and the daughters been born here in the United States, there is a huge cultural barrier between the two generations. The mothers are very traditional and take great pride in their Chinese heritage. The daughters, although also proud of their Chinese heritage,...

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