Joy Luck Club: Nationality


"Hey, Sabrina, are you Japanese or Chinese?" I asked. Her reply, as it
seems to be for a lot of minority groups, is, "Neither, I'm Chinese-
American." So, besides her American accent and a hyphenated ending on her
answer to the SAT questionnaire about her ethnic background, what's the
difference? In Amy Tan's enjoyable novel, The Joy Luck Club, about the
relationships and experiences of four Chinese mothers and four Chinese-
American daughters, I found out the answer to this question. The
difference in upbringing of those women born during the first quarter of
this century in China, and their daughters born in the American atmosphere
of California, is a difference that doesn't exactly ...

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to eat [their] own bitterness." (p. 241)
Though not many of them grew up terribly poor, they all had a certain
respect for their elders, and for life itself. These Chinese mothers were
all taught to be honorable, to the point of sacrificing their own lives to
keep any family members' promise. Instead of their daughters, who "can
promise to come to dinner, but if she wants to watch a favorite movie on TV,
she no longer has a promise" (p. 42), "To Chinese people, fourteen carats
isn't real gold . . . [my bracelets] must be twenty-four carats, pure
inside and out." (p. 42)

Towards the end of the book, there is a definite line between the
differences of the two generations. Lindo Jong, whose daughter, Waverly,
doesn't even know four Chinese words, describes the complete difference and
incompatibility of the two worlds she tried to connect for her daughter,
American circumstances and Chinese character. She explains that there is
no lasting shame in being born in America, and ...

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Joy Luck Club: Nationality. (2008, October 26). Retrieved October 15, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Joy-Luck-Club-Nationality/92079
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 10/26/2008 06:42:44 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 690
Pages: 3

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