"The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan.

Essay by esromnebHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2003

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The Joy and Luck of the Family Brawl

In Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club", the characters always seem to be fighting. Usually it's a Chinese mother going for the throat of her daughter. The major conflicts in the book are caused by a clash of the strong willed Chinese, and revolutionary American cultures.

Waverly's mom, Lindo, is the proud parent of a young chess prodigy. She takes great pride in Waverly's success at the art of chess. But a conflict arises because Waverly is embarrassed whenever her mom shows her off in public. One day Waverly finally explodes at her mom in the marketplace, telling Lindo that she shouldn't try and show off her young chess prodigy as if she had a part in Waverly's success. Lindo is intensely offended, and stops talking to Waverly. The conflict gets worse, until Waverly pretends to let her mom win by talking to her.

Upon hearing her child's forfeit, Lindo is vert upset: "'Why do you tell me this?' she finally said in sharp tones. 'You think it is so easy. One day quit, next day play. Everything for you is this way. So smart, so easy, so fast.'" (p.189) The conflict is eventually resolved when Waverly gets chicken pox, and Lindo is forced to care for her. But after she gets better, things aren't the same. Since the conflict, Lindo isn't interested in her daughter's chess. She doesn't polish her trophies everyday, or make clippings her name in the paper. Waverly immediately notices the drop in her mother's enthusiasm, and it critically affects her chess. She is no longer able to wield "the secret weapons of each piece", and her record quickly goes sour. She eventually can't hold up to her name, and she quits for good. The conflict may...