The novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan takes place in a couple of different places. All of Suyuan Woo’s childhood memories take place in China. After coming to America the setting takes place in San Francisco California in 1949. Also there are few different time frames. The time frames consist of the 1920’s to 1980’s. I have to give this timeframes because of the flashbacks that are given in the book. The characters that I believed are most fully developed are Jing-ming “June” Woo, Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong and Ying-ying St Clair. Jing-ming has taken her mother’s Suyuan place in the Joy Luck Club after she died.
The members of the Joy Luck Club are planning to send June off to China so she can meet her twin sister her mother was trying to find before she died. When she reunites with her twin sisters, she gains a profound understanding of who her mother was. Suyuan Woo started the Joy Luck Club in China. She is the mother of June. Suyuan had to leave Kweilin because of a war. Suyuan was unable to continue her journey because she became weak. As a result she left her twin daughter on the side of the road in China. Despite her struggles she creates happiness and success where it lacking.
An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, Ying-ying St Clair are all member of the Joy Luck Club. They all go through trail and tribulation. Trails, tribulation and life lessons that the mothers go through are past down to the children. The character that is most interesting to me is Suyuan. I chose Suyuan because she is a strong woman who refuses to focus on her hardships. She seems like a character who tries to find hope in time of despair. This quality is what I admire about Suyuan. I also believe I am most like Suyuan because I can relate to her fierce love for her child.
She fears being estranged from her daughter for some reason such as different upbringings. I believe most parent can relate. Since I am parent I to worry about these things and do want the best for my children as well. Just like Suyuan I can be a little critical as well. The mood of this novel is perplexed, distressed, regretful and deferential. First the mothers all speaking in turn, remember clear memories with their relationships with their own mothers, and they worry that their daughters’ memories of them will never possess the same potency.
Secondly when the daughters recall their childhood memories with their mother also supports my idea of the mood. And last when the daughter tell about their delimas in the adult life as they search for an answer which adventually bring them back to their mothers and their relationships begin to heal. The major conflict in this novel is the mothers are trying to instill in their daughter a part of their hertige. The daught take this a medley or their mother lack of american culture. But all the mother want to do is save their daughter from the pain and grief they felt as children.
Both the mother and daughter struggles with their identies. The mothers try and reconcile the past is their present and the daughter are trying to find a positive balance between their loyaty to their heritage and some sort of independance. This is resolved when the bridge is gapped between two countries, two generation and two cultures. The ending to the story was very satisfying because June was able to find her inner Chinese identity. And doing that she built a bridge to her mother. June gives hope to all the other characters struggling for a stronger mother and daughter bond despite the culture, age and language differences.
I think the author message has to do with finding your true identity and keep your family roots strong. I think despite language barriers, culture and generation gaps people should try even harder to understand each other. But I guess sometimes it take a lose to find something else. I would recommend this story to other people. But most to my daughter when she gets holder. I would hope that the story touches her heart like it touched mine and learn that we could recognize the gaps and bridge it up sooner than later.
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