Discuss how The Joy Luck Club deals with the generation gap between mothers and daughters.

Essay by NarthilB, January 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.8

Downloaded 79 times

This is a story about four Chinese mothers and their four daughters which were born and brought up in America. It shows the mother/daughter relationship and their personal life. It is divided into four sections, the first and last are told by the three mothers and Jing - Mei Woo who's in charge of telling her mother's story after her recent death, and then the second and third sections are told by the four daughters (including Jing - Mei Woo). Each of the mothers have two episodes in the book, same as the daughters, with the exception of Jing - Mei who has four. The title of the book comes from a small club founded by the mothers in San Francisco at their arrival to America; it is basically based upon a Mah-jong game in which the corners of the table symbolize four directions represented by the four mothers. All the characters in the book know each other and comment accordingly.

It can also be argued that the story is a reflection of Amy Tan's (the author) life if you look at the biography.

All the mother/daughter relationships are very particular in this book, mainly because of the cultural differences rather then because of the generation gap. Therefore they have a hard time understanding each other and their communication is very complicated. Through the story you can notice misunderstanding by both parts, the American ideals are different from the Chinese hence the reason for the misinterpreting by mothers and daughters vice versa. All the four mother/daughter relationships in the novel are different, albeit the fact that the main conflict is the same (communication). Jing - Mei's relationship is harder to interpret then all the others, since her mother is dead, and the story is told by her, the reader...