Key Words: The Joy Luck Club, cultural values, American, Chinese
Introduction of The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club (1989) is a best-selling novel by Amy Tan. It is composed of four sections, each of which contains four different stories narrated by different people. There are four pairs of mothers and daughters: Suyuan Woo and Jing-mei Woo; Lindo Jong and Waverly Jong; An-mei Hsu and Rose Hsu Jordan; as well as Ying-ying St. Clair and Lena St. Clair. The four mothers are all the first generation of Chinese American immigrants who moved to America during the WWI, while the four daughters are all born and brought up in America. It contains sixteen interwoven stories about conflicts between Chinese immigrant mother and their American-born daughters narrated by the four pairs.
In the first section of the novel, the mothers recollect clearly about their own mothers, and worry that their daughters" memory about them would never be as intensive as their own. In the second four stories, the daughters: Waverly, Jing-mei, Lena, and Rose recall the relationships with their mothers when they were children. In the third group of stories, the four daughters recount their own troubles in marriage and career. Although they believe that their mothers' old-fashioned beliefs do not fit in their own American lifestyles and some of the ideas may contradict with the American ones, the daughters' search for solutions will inevitably make them resort to the older generation. In the last section of the novel, the mothers offer solutions and supports to their daughters. Finally, the four pairs of mothers and daughters come to terms with each other. The book focuses on Jing-mei's trip to China to meet her twin half-sisters to fulfill her mother's unfinished wish.