The Joy Luck Club

Essay by Vinceron29High School, 11th gradeA-, September 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.8

Chinese values, beliefs, and traditions have been slowly disregarded by many of the descendants of Chinese immigrants. In the book, The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, this is portrayed in mother-daughter relationships. Lindo Jong tries to teach Waverly, her daughter, about all the Chinese values, beliefs, and traditions. Waverly is affected greatly by her mother's Chinese culture and finally, at the end of the book, finally realizes what it means to be Chinese. Once she realizes what it means to be Chinese, she is able to find her own self-identity.

Lindo Jong tries to teach Waverly about many values, beliefs and traditions of the Chinese culture. In the first story, "The Red Candle," Lindo first explains to Waverly the old Chinese tradition of the husband being chosen for the child when they were very young, "...the village matchmaker came to my family when I was just two years old" (43).

Even Lindo does not believe in this anymore but it is still important for Waverly to understand how her ancestors lived. Lindo isn't trying to get Waverly to believe in this custom but she is trying to get Waverly to understand what she went through and how it affected her life. This helps Waverly understand why Lindo acts the way she acts and does the things she does. Lindo also tries to teach Waverly that Chinese people only buy 24 karat gold; it has to be pure inside and out, "To Chinese people, fourteen carats isn't real gold. Feel my bracelets. They must be twenty-four carats, pure inside and out" (42). This shows Waverly how Chinese value pure items such as the 24 karat gold. Waverly doesn't understand this at first; she doesn't understand why it would matter. Later she finds out that it's...