Amy Tan

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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Amy Tan captures the aspects of clashing Asian-American cultures in a unique and moving way.

A significant portion of Tan's works resorts back to her own background, being a Chinese-American. Also the American born daughter and China born mother plays a big role in both The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. What makes Tan's books unique is this feature, how she can associate what she writes to her own past background, creating a semi autobiography. When Tan began writing fiction as a way to relieve her from the stress that she had accumulated from the long grueling hours work. Once she wrote of a Chinese American girl that played chess and that her mother was her worst adversary and best ally (Foothorap interview 5). By the time she finished writing of this young girl, she found herself crying because the image of this girl was reflected so much upon her own childhood.

Amy and Daisy, her mother, almost argued on a daily basis, mostly due to the different viewpoints of each other. For example, as the classic Chinese mother would want her daughter to become a doctor and have a hobby of playing piano, Amy chose to defy her by following the American Dream and doing what she enjoyed, thus she went into linguistics and took up writing as a hobby (Academy biography). Page 5 of the interview with Tan, from the Academy of Achievement, also states that because of her harsh life, which consisted of the death of her brother and father from brain tumor, both in less than a year, continuous fighting with her mother, sexual harassment, just to name a few circumstances, this caused Amy to write the Joy Luck Club, to tell about how hard life can be and how it can...