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The Joy Luck Club By Amy Tan

737 words - 3 pages

The Joy Luck Club
One of the central themes in writing of the second generation Asian Americans is the search of identity and individual acceptance in American society. In the last few decades, many Asian Americans have entered a time of increased awareness of their racial and cultural identity built on their need to establish their unique American identity. In the book The Joy Luck Club, which revolves around four mother-daughter Asian American families whose mothers migrated from China to America and raised their daughters as Americans, we see the cultural struggle and differences by looking at their marriages, suffering and sacrifice, and their use of language in the novel.
The fact that ...view middle of the document...

First, she sacrifices flesh from her arm to honor her own mother, Popo. She does this as if the pain cannot be compared to her commitment to her mother. An-mei Hsu's mother also makes sacrifices from her body to Wu Tsing so that she can have at least some status instead of a beggar. She does this in an effort for An-mei to look up to her. Her suicide, while seemingly selfish, is the ultimate sacrifice she can ever make for An-mei. By killing herself, she is showing her that being a second-rate concubine, being used and disgraced, can never be a way to live. In dying, she gives An-mei the strength and opportunity to create her own path in life. All of the mothers make a the greatest sacrifice in leaving China, in hopes of finding a better life for their daughters. Like the duck in the parable, they must stick their necks out in order to become swans.
Since the book is written in English, as a reader we can often forget that the mothers, or anybody for that matter, is speaking in Chinese. This highlights how unimportant the differences of languages are in between them. Both the mothers and daughters can express themselves...

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