Identity in Joy Luck Club – Movie Review Example
Identity in Joy Luck Club Identity in Joy Luck ClubAs the four women entered America, which is far from their motherland China, they experience a change of culture, which was dominant than the Chinese. They faced an uphill task of how to raise their daughters who were born in to be able to reconcile Chinese culture. This story was portrayed by Army Tan book The Joy Luck Club. In his play, Army Tan creates a story about Chinese mothers (Suyuan,, Ying ying, Ann and Lindo) and daughters. (Wavely, Lena, Jane and Rose). The story accounts for the pain and suffering during their life as Chinese-American. Suyuan woo the teller of the story gave the experience of the daughters during their stay in America (Tan, 2006). The mother talks about their daughters who were born and grew up in America. As a result their Chinese heritage became eroded by the American culture heritage. The daughters clearly show a gap in culture between the Chinese heritage and American culture. The mothers wanted their daughters to follow the Chinese tradition, but their daughters followed America tradition and even some of the daughters got married to American men. In the play the Joy Luck Club, the mothers express concern over their daughter’s inability to learn the Chinese culture; this is because the daughters were born and raised in America so they only learn to embrace the American heritage. The daughters in the play were all Chinese except Lena who was a half cast (half Chinese). .
The cultural clashes which takes place in the story in the Joy Luck Club makes us understand make us to really understand the Chinese culture and how serious the culture is. The author is able to bring out a distinct difference between the Chinese culture and the American culture. The culture in America involved control of the individual, responsibility of one individual, one is able to express his/her thoughts, success, freedom, and one is able to be independence and the happiness (Tan, 2006). Chinese culture that follows Confucianism, the element involved here include modesty by one individual, hardworking, high level of discipline, to be respectful, to do thing in order, submission and corporation. The most important element in Chinese culture exemplified in story in Joy Luck Club is marriage, obedient, and the relationship between the date of birth and fate.
Aspect of relationship between the birthdate and fate spells one destiny in Chinese. According to Joy Luck Club, the birth date i.e. the second, minute, hour, month and the year the person is given birth give a clear definition about a person’s destiny and personality. Some Chinese people called the matchmaker as told in one of the stories “the village matchmaker” in Joy Luck Club, which is their profession is based on birth date.
Marriage is the most coveted concept in Chinese culture and there is always gender difference. The mother of the daughter being raised in china experienced this conflict. Their daughters being born in America were oblivious about this. To the daughters, being either a male or a female had no big deal (Tan, 2006). To them a male or a female has no big deal, they are both equal. In Joy Luck Club the culture example depicts the culture gap that was caused by the daughter and the culture difference brought the conflict between the mothers and their daughters. The mothers are trying to instil the spirit of Chinese culture to their daughter but are hard for them to follow the Chinese culture as it look inferior compared to American culture, which looked modern and superior (Tan, 2006).
Another Cultural misunderstanding between Lindo and her daughter is the case on how to play chess as it was brought out in the story. In the story the “rules of the game” Waiverly had a talent in playing chess and her mother Lindo takes prides of her daughter prowess and follow her everywhere she goes purposely to introduce her to people. Waively misunderstood her mother and sees her mother is misusing her just to show off. This clearly shows American culture of individualism while that of Chinese shows collectivism.
The relation between rose and her mother came to a standstill when her husband Ted asked for a divorce, Rose was deeply shocked that she became bed ridden for almost three days. One day a call from her mother woke her up, the mother why she could speak her thoughts with her. In some minute late Ted called to confirm if she had returned the divorce paper and if not why she has not done so (Tan, 2006). Ted told Rose to vacate the house because he wants to bring another wife. Rose did not allow Ted to bully her when she remembered her mother’s information that if she take information said by other people she will grow up to be a crooked an a weak lady. She told Ted she is keeping the house and she remained with her words. This surprised Ted and she had never had Rose coming out as firm as she did (Tan, 2006).
Lena the other daughter is also in unhappy marriage. Harold her husband insist they keep different bank account since they got married and the cost of the house and the things they used to be shared. The husband said keeping separate accounts is a sense of equal and independent, Lena did not know she was being made to be a lady with little power. She totally could not control her marriage. Lena clearly had taken after her mother, Ying ying noticed her daughter had expressed the same trait as in her marriage and she communicated to Lena the cultural ideas of her Mother’s life that Ying failed to capitalized. She hopes Lena will take heed of the advice.
In conclusion, the line between the linguistic and cultural aspects was the major cause of poor relation between the mothers and their daughters. The mother use storytelling techniques to communicate to their daughter. Storytelling is a perfect way to for listeners. This was as a result of language and cultural barrier that hindered them to communicate directly to their daughter.
Tan, A. (2006). The joy luck club. London: Penguin Books.