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Joy Luck Club and American Culture
Section One (1-2 paragraph summary). Introduce and summarize the main plot of the movie. Describe the main story and characters involved. To do this in 1-2 paragraphs, you will need to be brief and focus on the main events in the movie.
The Joy Luck Club (1993) was based on Amy Tan's 1989 novel and deals with issues of culture, assimilation and generation conflicts between a group of four Chinese mothers and their Americanized daughters. All four women in the club had emigrated from China to the U.S. after World War II, and met after church to play Chinese mahjong every week. In reality, they had little joy or luck, and no expectations, only the hope that their children would have better lives than theirs. An-mei Hsu and her daughter ose were often in conflict over her American husband Ted Jordan, who was wealthy,…… [Read More]
She married a Chinese-American and had several sons and a daughter. Of the four women, she had lived the longest time in America. As a result, she was the most assimilated of the four women. She also had the help of her husband, who had been struggling with assimilation for quite some time.
Lindo is on a quest to reconnect with her lost Chinese identity. On a visit to mainland China, she is treated like a tourist by the locals. She struggles to connect with her native Chinese identity and to pass on these traits to her daughter. She realizes that her daughter is more American, than Chinese and fears that she will not remember her Chinese heritage in a positive way. Lindo's struggle serves the purpose of presenting the struggle that Chinese face with issues such as loss of identity. Not surprisingly, Lindo's daughter shows even more independence and…… [Read More]
The reader is poignantly aware of the potential for greater communication and understanding, but only in the reader's mind is the dialogicity between positions uncovered and experienced." (Soulis, 1994, p.6) This potential is never perfectly realized in the narrative of the book, as outwardly experienced, but some internal healing and unity between mother and daughter is clearly achieved at the very end. Although they cannot verbally unite, June sees that she and the twins, together, "we look like our mother. Her same eyes, her same mouth, open in surprise to see, at last, her long-cherished wish." (Tan, 1989, pp.331-332)
Giles, Gretchen. "Amy Tan: Interview." 1994. MetroActive. Sonoma Independent. 30 Nov 2004. http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/12.14.95/tan-9550.html
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Ballantine, 1989.
Souris, Steven. "Only two kinds of daughters: inter-monologue dialogicity in 'The Joy Luck Club.' - Theory, Culture and Criticism." - Special Issue: Varieties of Ethnic Criticism…… [Read More]
Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan
Multiple meanings, multiple experiences: Multiculturalism and mother-daughter relationships in "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan
In the novel "The Joy Luck Club," author Amy Tan delved into the dynamics and nature of relationships between Chinese mothers and second-generation Chinese-American daughters. Illustrating through the relationships of four mother-and-daughter pairs, Tan reflected how multiculturalism had contributed to the strain in the relationships of people exposed to different beliefs, values, and viewpoints in life. The novel centered most particularly on the relationship between Suyuan Woo and Jing-mei "June" Woo, whose antagonistic treatment against each other was the result of misperceptions and misunderstandings from the different cultures they had known and grew up with.
The antagonistic nature and conflict-filled dynamics of Suyuan and June's relationship reflected Tan's objective, which was to portray through their characters how multiculturalism had created a 'gap' between the two characters, straining their…… [Read More]
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Tan's debut novel is arguably one of the most famous works of Asian-American writing. It is one of the few works with an explicitly Asian theme to find mainstream popularity. The novel remained on the New York Times best-seller list for nine months and was later adapted into a hit movie.
To date, no other Asian-American novel has matched the critical and popular success of The Joy Luck Club, not even by Tan's later works.
My interest in The Joy Luck Club stems from the 16 interlocking tales detailing the lives and struggles of four Chinese mothers and their four American daughters. The novel finds resonance with Chinese- and Asian-American families because of Tan's lyrical reconstructions of the immigrant experience, of poverty/fear/persecution in the homeland and of alienation in America. The parts of the novel set in China, in particular, give The Joy Luck…… [Read More]
Some passages from Buddha and Confucius were read by children to start the play. The mothers and other Chinese family members (immigrants) were seated in the first three rows, and the women were all given corsages as they came into the auditorium in the Chinese community center. They did not know in advance what the play was about, only that their daughters were involved. The plot of the play involved a young American female student attending the University of Beijing. She befriended two male Chinese students but they were not willing to listen to her interest in starting a movement to promote multi-cultural understanding. The third young man she met, however, was eager to bridge the cultural and barriers and he forged a relationship with her based on making the world a better place.
The dialogue touched the hearts of the Joy Luck Club mothers. They cried at the end,…… [Read More]
She had come here in 1949 after losing everything in China: her mother and father, her family home, her first husband, and two daughters, win baby girls" (141) America was a place of infinite opportunity for her children, thus she would drive her daughter to compete. She cannot see that there is no way that Jing can compete with the stuck-up Waverly, and by forcing her daughter to do so, she is only making her unhappy. Jing becomes filled with a sense that if she is not a prodigy at something, she is worthless. "I was so determined not to try, not do be anybody different," that she never even realized the talent she may have had for music (148). To spiter her mother's pride, she half-deliberately fails, and when her mother tries to force her to practice, she says she wishes she was dead, like the twins in China.…… [Read More]
However, there are everything from language barriers to misunderstandings and demands between mothers and daughters. In this, it could be the story of any mother and daughter anywhere, because it tells the tale of two different generations with different ideas and different aspirations. The characters reconcile in the end, so as in many myths, the ending is "happy" and gives hope for the future, and teaches a lesson at the same time. It shows that even those with differences can learn to understand and accept each other, and perhaps even appreciate each other's unique differences. June will never be her mother or her mother's friends, but she will have a better understanding of who they are and what they have lived through, which will give her a greater appreciation for their experiences and why they want to hang on to their culture. This film is really the epitome of a…… [Read More]
Amy Tan and the Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
Generation Gaps in the Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan and the Joy Luck Club
On February 19, 1952, Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California, to John Yuehhan, a minister and electrical engineer, and Daisy Tu Ching, a nurse and member of a Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan web site).
Tan's father fled to America to escape the Chinese Civil War and her mother escaped Shanghai prior to the Communist takeover in 1949. Daisy had to escape an abusive husband and lost custody of her first three daughters during her attempts to come to America.
In a recent interview, the best-selling novelist said that when she was growing up, she knew that, deep inside, she wanted to be an artist (Harper Collins). However, she was not encouraged to pursue this dream, and was convinced…… [Read More]
One is virtually provided with the chance to become 'friends' with the narrators as the respective individual realizes that he or she is being told personal things and that it appears that the story-tellers actually go as far as to consider that they are telling their stories to someone that they have a special relationship with.
Amy Tan is putting across averly's personal feelings to readers as she expresses her understanding of her mother's thinking. "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money" (Tan 132). hen looking at things from the narrator's perspective, it almost feels impossible not to sympathize with averly and not to consider that it would be essential for you, as a reader, to support her by using…… [Read More]
Sadly, it takes her mother's death to bring June really close to her mother, and close to understanding her culture and beliefs. Tan writes, "I found some old Chinese silk dresses, the kind with little slits up the sides. I rubbed the old silk against my skin, then wrapped them in tissue and decided to take them home with me" (Tan 212). She finally begins to understand some of the things that were important to her mother, but it comes too late for her to share her findings with her mother, or to even tell her she understands.
In conclusion, the generational differences and cultural gaps between mothers and daughters in this novel are largely universal and represent the gaps that grow between immigrant families and their children. Often, the children do not identify with or understand their parents' ties to their homeland, and they do not appreciate their heritage…… [Read More]
In the same way that she discovered her father's 'human' character, June also discovered, albeit already too late, how her mother had once shown her vulnerable, desperate side, which happened when she was about to make the hardest decision in her life, and that was to leave her daughters in order to survive the war. This story made June realize that she was lucky that her mother did not leave her, and cherished her as her daughter despite her longing for her other daughters in China. Her guilt for treating her mother unfairly was mirrored in her confession, when she said, " They'll think I'm responsible, that she died because I didn't appreciate her."
This statement has a ring of truth in it: it was indeed possible that her mother was gradually dying inside due to emotional hurt because June never understood and never tried to understand her. Suyuan's frustration…… [Read More]
American literature has become much more diverse as authors of different cultures that now in live in the United States write about their heritage or life in this country. One of these authors is Amy Tan.
Both of Tan's parents were Chinese immigrants. One of her first successful books, the Kitchen God's Wife, told of the traumatic early life of her mother, Daisy. She had divorced an abusive husband, had lost custody of her three daughters and was forced to leave them behind when escaping Shanghai before the Communist takeover in 1949. Tan's mother also witnessed Tan's grandmother committing suicide. When Tan's mother reached America, she married John Tan. They had three children, Amy and her two brothers. John Tan had earlier left China when the Chinese evolution became too harrowing (Academy of Achievement).
Tragedy struck when Tan's father and oldest brother both died of brain tumors within a year…… [Read More]
Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston both compose fiction through the lenses of gender and ethnicity. Both authors use symbolism, imagery, and rhetorical strategies to provide unique insight into Asian American experiences and identity. Likewise, both Tan and Kingston show how gender impacts their self-concept and status within the overarching patriarchal society. Their work can and should be read concurrently to best appreciate the gamut, diversity, and breath of the Asian-American female experience. Although Tan and Kingston naturally have different perspectives based on their own personal experiences and also on their different social and political goals, these two authors share much in common in terms of their elucidation of how racism and patriarchy intersect in American society.
Amy Tan’s most famous work is likely The Joy Luck Club, which focuses on mother-daughter relationships within the Chinese American subculture. The emphasis on mother-daughter relationships stresses the significance of gender to identity…… [Read More]
A further stereotype about Asians that cannot be ignored is that regarding the sexuality of the Asian female. "Asian Pacific women have generally been perceived by Hollywood with a mixture of fascination, fear, and contempt....If we are 'good' we are childlike, submissive, silent, and eager for sex or else we are tragic victim types. And if we are not silent, suffering doormats, we are demonized dragon ladies -- cunning, deceitful, sexual provocateurs." (Hagedorn) the pornography industry is highly populated with Asian women fulfilling the male desire for sexual stereotypes. Japanese school girls in short skirts with lollipops and repressed sexual needs are a popular fetish. The subservient Geisha wife in kimonos, pale make-up, and most importantly donning a subservient, unthreatening, submissive sexual attitude is another. Look again and one is certain to find the "dragon lady" as mentioned above: the over-sexed, wild, uninhibited Asian girl looking to please as many…… [Read More]
Morrison is simply showing how race matters even when we think that it might not. e might think that Maggie's race, whether she was partially white or not, would not amount too much in a bunch of children but it matters a great deal. Labels turn out to be very important even at a young age. Stereotypes begin at young ages and simply continue throughout life. The girls hair and clothing, what they eat, and how the speak are the only clues Morrison gives us into figuring out Roberta's and Twyla's race and these are the only things the two girls can remember about Maggie.
In "Two Kinds," racial differences also arise between Jing-Mei and her mother because Jing-Mei is more American than her mother is. Her mother moved to America and must adopt to a different culture. She admits, "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to…… [Read More]
It is more likely that there will continue to be many varied and constantly changing definitions of the American family, and this will continue to confuse those learning English as they attempt to make concrete connections between words and concepts from their own language and those of the new -- and constantly developing -- culture and language they have adopted.
hen making cultural comparisons, it is important to refrain from qualitative judgments, and I do not mean to imply any here. The Korean concept of the family and its responsibilities is more concrete than the American cultural and linguistic definitions, but this does not necessarily make it better. The American ideals of freedom and self-determination lie at the root of the American family, and lead to very different cultural and linguistic perspectives. It is the difference in vantage point, and not in any perceived difference in quality, that proves a…… [Read More]
How likely, for instance, would it be that someone would give up a great job or a new life in a new place just to remain home with a child? Instead, the modern woman would find day-care and attempt to balance both.
his theme of balance is another predominant philosophy from Ning. When Ning was younger, she deferred to the wisdom of the elders and the ideas put upon her as a youth -- namely that tradition and destiny are predetermined. It was interesting to chart the manner in which Ning grew emotionally as she aged to realize that she made her own existence, her own present, and her own future. As Ning turned from a victim waiting for a husband to bring home money for food to a working woman serving many families, she found she had to cast out any dependence upon others for her own welfare and…… [Read More]
While America prides herself on her multiculturalism and acceptance of those from all lifestyles and cultures that is not always the case, as the readings and personal experiences clearly indicate.
America has been multicultural or multiethnic for centuries, white Americans still are the majority in most areas, and their ideals, beliefs, and even prejudices dominate all of society. To fit in, immigrants must assimilate to the predominate way of thinking, acting, and feeling, even if it is against their own cultural values and beliefs. Thus, they may actually have to engage in cultural pluralism, or acting one way with their own ethnic members while acting another way in white society. There are numerous examples of this every day in society, such as the encounter the author of "A Different Mirror" had with the cabdriver. onald Takaki's family had probably been in the country longer than the cabdriver's had; yet the…… [Read More]
Independent Life: Leila's Stubborn Family Ties in Ng's Novel Bone
In Bone: A Novel, by Fae Myenne Ng, the Chinese-American protagonist, a recently-married young woman named Leila Louie, oldest of three sisters, is still torn between looking out more for her own interests, or for those of her mother (Mah) and her stepfather (Leon, who is more like her own father). Leila's Chinese-born mother, who owns her own baby store in San Francisco's Chinatown, is separated from Leon (Leila's biological father left his pregnant wife in San Francisco to seek his fortune in Australia, but (despite promises) never returned or sent for them). Leon has moved into an apartment at the "San Fran" for older men, after Leila's younger half-sister Ona (Leon and Mah's first child together) committed suicide. Leila's feelings of responsibility for Mah and Leon have only increased since then, especially since Leila's only remaining sister, Nina, lives…… [Read More]
I. Thesis -- the convention that the husband fulfills the dominant male provider role while his wife supports him in all of his endeavors, particularly domestic ones, is at the heart of the cultural value of Asian marriages.
A. Asian society, as well as that of Asians in the westernized world, is male dominated.
1. There are numerous films that depict males and husbands in roles in which they are the material provider and principle decision maker in a marriage.
B. In conventional Asian marriages, women are usually relegated to domesticated roles in which they support the efforts of their husbands in conventional manners such as preparing food, cleaning the home, as well as taking care of the children.
1. In a number of movies depicting Asian women and wives, they function as the stereotypical 'princess', providing a need to be rescued or the advice of wise counsel to assist…… [Read More]
Social Media etailing Applications: Opportunities and Threats
How Has Social Media Developed and What are the Benefits and Downsides of Using Social Media for etailers Today?
This study examines social business in general, how it developed and the benefits of using social media in particular. Second, this study provides a discussion concerning the potential positive as well as the effects of social business in the retail sector which is followed by a description of optimal business strategies for social media applications, the pros/cons of using these tools in the industry, and some representative case studies concerning companies that succeeded and some that recently failed in their use of social media. Finally, the study provides a summary of the research and important findings is followed by a series of recommendations concerning how retailers should use social media technologies in their own businesses in the concluding chapter.
Social Media Business Applications
Chapter…… [Read More]
omen in Television
In the late 1960s to early 1970s, as women burned their bras and took to the streets for equality, the female labor force grew three times more than that their male peers (Toossi), increasing numbers of educational opportunities made themselves available to the "fairer sex,"
and a cultural shift was taking place for women within the household and in society as a whole. As is frequently the case, television seized the moment and looked for ways to capitalize on this women's lib movement. As Fiske wrote, "Television often acts like a relay station: It rarely originates topics of public interest (though it may repress them); rather, what it does is give them high visibility, energize them, and direct or redirect their general orientation before relaying them out again into public circulation." Thus, Turner's MTM Enterprises introduced "That Girl" and followed it by the seven-year hit "Mary Tyler…… [Read More]
Nairn sees these Barbies as being tortured to destroy the doll's perfection, but the same children (I have noticed from observing female relatives) may demand a new Barbie, even after treating the old one carelessly.
Additionally, not all Barbies are disposed of. In fact, there is a thriving industry of adults who collect Barbies. These Barbies embody characters from famous old films, new films, or characters from around the world. Even some Barbies marketed at younger girls that are reasonably priced like those of the Twilight series of Barbies, are clearly not disposable. Barbies run the gamut from the cheap to the beautifully coiffured, yet all of them suggest a model of femininity that is similar: adult and girlish at the same time. Even as early as the 1960s, according to the website "Barbie's Career History," Barbie was used to embody 'acceptable' female occupations for young women, including that of…… [Read More]
Barbie's official website does feature an adult doll collection of "Dolls of the orld" which has a slightly more diverse range of images, but even these dolls are fairly uniform in style: the Asian doll is decked out in a midriff-bearing sexy, sari, for example, but looks just like a 'regular' Barbie.
In terms of body image, the typical Barbie doll has branched out to slightly more diverse interests than fashion: Barbie now skis and surfs, and even rides dirt bikes. Barbie is athletic, as well as feminine, in the official image she projects to young girls, suggests that one can be outdoorsy and girlish at once. Barbie's "I can be" collection features a Barbie news anchor and computer engineer, the latter in plastic pink 'geek chic' glasses. Barbie's adult line now features less artificial looking dolls that are supposed to represent famous characters from film and fiction, including the…… [Read More]
films will be compared. One film that will be discussed is City of God (2002) and Boyz in the Hood (1991). City of God was made in and based in Brazil, specifically in the favellas of Rio de Janiero -- the equivalent of what Americans would call "the projects" in urban areas with severe crimes. Boyz n the Hood was made and based in an African-American ghetto of Los Angeles, California. City of God and Boyz n the Hood are films that seem to be littered with differences, yet upon closer examination, there are greater, thematic similarities. The paper focuses on themes such as family, violence, power, and poverty.
Both films are about what happens when the violence and injustice of a corrupt social and political system invite, urge, or even force youth, specifically male youths of color, into careers in crime. Both films center around youths that are a…… [Read More]
Film Required for the Class With a Non-Required Film of Your Choice
oyz n the Hood and Menace II Society
John Singleton's motion picture oyz n the Hood, and the Hughes rothers' film Menace II Society both address the idea of the Los Angeles 'hood' as being a particularly dangerous place for young people trying to find their personal identity. oth films have central characters who are somewhat different from their friends and who actually seem to be 'better' than the people that generally inhabit dubious neighborhoods in L.A. The producers obviously wanted viewers to get a more complex understanding of the 'hood' environment. Many viewers are certainly likely to acknowledge that many of the apparently ruthless criminals in these locations are really the product of the world they are living in, taking into account that very little actually have a say in their lives.
Race is one of the…… [Read More]
Boyz in the Hood to Gangs of New York
John Singleton's directorial debut Boyz n the Hood was released to critical acclaim in 1991, depicting with gritty realism the violence awaiting an entire generation of young men living in sprawling cities that were struggling under the weight of endemic urban decay. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut and Angela Basset, Boyz n the Hood managed to capture the visceral reality of gang-related violence from a truly modern perspective, portraying the story of a vulnerable young man named Tre Styles. The concept of youthful abandonment preceding a life of gang affiliation, criminality and violence is integral to the thematic structure of Boyz n the Hood, as Tre's positive decisions throughout the film are largely influenced by his patient father Furious Styles -- while his friends from the neighborhood lack such steady parental guidance and are increasingly drawn toward the…… [Read More]
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Alfonso Cuaron's 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien shares a number of superficial similarities with Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho. Both films focus on an intense friendship between two young men, structuring itself around dual protagonists -- Julio Zapata (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Tenoch Iturbide (Diego Luna) in Cuaron's film, Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) and Mike aters (River Phoenix) in Van Sant's. Both films are essentially a road movie, and both complicate the young men's relationship with a third central character who comes between the two. hat is most interesting in comparing the two films is the way in which they handle differently two central themes: homosexuality, and social class.
The depiction of social class by Cuaron is realistic, and told with exquisite novelistic detail: the most memorable example is the revelation (by voiceover) that when Julio uses the bathroom at Tenoch's…… [Read More]
Later that night as the couple is preparing to go to bed, they rehash the events of the dinner, and we can see that they have grown apart. Barbara comments on Oliver's phony laugh, and Oliver defends his laugh and his behavior in interrupting Barbara's Baccarat story, by explaining that he has his eyes on the prize of becoming law partner, and if that means he has to force a laugh on occasion, then he is willing to do that for his family. Even at this point in the movie, however, the Roses do not recognize that they are in trouble as a couple and as a family. It is also clear that the love is fading, at the beginning or early days of their marriage, Barbara would never have criticized Oliver, but would have acquiesced without comment. It is perhaps that acquiescence that is at the root of their…… [Read More]
This theory contends that properly managed contact between groups can occur if four fundamental factors are present: social status, common goals, acquaintance potential, and the support of authorities, law or customs (Pettigrew 66). Social status helps to reduce prejudice and discrimination when groups work to equalize social status among themselves; in the case of Corleone and the Five Families, it is understood that each "family" has an equal controlling share of the community. Common goals help to reduce competition and allows groups to work together to attain them. Acquaintance potential helps to reduce discrimination and prejudice when groups work together to know each other on a personal basis; this helps to identify the common goals that each group, or group member are working towards. Finally, prejudice and discrimination are reduced if a group supports and defines the social norms that create equality among them; in the film, conflict is created…… [Read More]
Were they even higher than the film portrays, or where they Hollywood dramatizing in order to create a film sympathetic to black soldiers in an era of "politically correct" filmmaking? The viewer takes the film for truth, when it may be more fabrication than they know.
In conclusion, "Glory" is an interesting film for a number of reasons. It graphically shows the horrors of war, and the additional racial horrors the black unit faced in its struggle for equality and freedom. The director may not have seen the film as a racial production, but critics and viewers certainly did. The film graphically illustrates the great division that split the country in two and created a Civil War, and shows that while blacks have made great strides in many areas since the war, some things never change. Most black Americans are still socially and economically disadvantaged, and still fighting to reach…… [Read More]
Family therapy believes that problems that the individuals evidence stem from the fact that problems occur within the family unit itself and that the family is divided into several component parts. To address these problems the therapist, as it were, therefore steps into the family unit, becomes "a part of it" and intervenes. His doing so not only enables him to see the family patterns from the inside; thereby understanding faults of fission but also enable him to practice therapy. Intervention in the family is called enactment.
Enactment refers to the therapist encouraging acting of dysfunctional relationship patterns within the family therapy session and him acting out some of this behavior by actually entering the family unit. The therapist thereby learns about the family's structure and interactional patterns and is able to interfere in the process by modifying some of the negative elements, pointing these out, intensifying positive elements, and…… [Read More]