The Generation Gap In The Joy Luck Club



"Hey, Ben, are you Japanese or Chinese?" I asked. His reply, as it seems to be for a lot of minority groups, was, "Neither, I'm Chinese-American." So, besides his American accent and a hyphenated ending on his answer to the SAT questionnaire about his ethnic background, what's the difference? In Amy Tan's captivating novel, The Joy Luck Club, I found out the answer to that question. Through the relationships and experiences of four Chinese mothers and four Chinese-American daughters, I was able to see a massive difference between their corresponding lifestyles. The generation gap of the women born during the first quarter of the century in China, and their daughters born in the American ...

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taught "to desire nothing, to swallow other people's misery, 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)
Just as they believed that gold was not real unless it was 24 carat, Ying-Ying St. Clair did not believe that a marriage was real unless it was full and without any strings attached. When Ying-Ying found that Lena's marriage was filled with everything but her own visions, she was quite disappointed. She saw the list of items to be split fifty-fifty on the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/4/2006 09:33:25 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 839
Pages: 4

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