Read Joy Luck Club And Write A Critical Essay – Book Report/Review Example

Read Joy Luck Club and write a critical essay The Joy Luck Club, the popular novel by Amy Tan deals with the cultural amalgamation of Chinese Americans in America. In this novel, the main characters are ready to cope-up with the mainstream society in America. At the same time, some of the main characters are ready to accept some characteristics of Chinese culture. Thesis statement: Amy Tan makes use of the novel The Joy Luck Club as a medium to express her views on the cultural amalgamation of Chinese American women in America and gender issues in China.
The mothers (Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu and others) represent the matriarchal characteristics of the Chinese society and their daughters (Jing-Mei, Rose Hsu Jordan and others) represent the mainstream society in America. Tan makes clear that ‘And she had a daughter who grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow” (17). But matriarchy did not help them to keep themselves away from the problems within their private domains (say, their families). To be specific, the private lives of the mothers in the novel were tragic. The four women (Chinese immigrants in America) in the novel make use of their meetings (Joy Luck Club) as a platform to express their views. Their past is haunting them and they use the story-telling game as a safety valve to keep them away from emotional problems.
The novelist makes use of the technique of ‘story within story’ to portray the family history of main characters. This technique proves to be effective because the outer layer of the novel deals with the Chinese Americans’ life in exile and their urge to be the part of mainstream society. At the same time, their stories reveal the problems faced by women in the Chinese society. To be specific, the novelist makes use of the female characters as a medium to compare Chinese American life in America and gender problems faced by them in their motherland.
Summing, the narrative technique (say, story within story) made use by the novelist is effective because it helps the readers to have deeper understanding of the cultural problems faced by immigrant community and their attempt to forget their past. Within the context of Chinese American literature, Amy Tan’s novel The Joy Luck Club is noteworthy because the novelist makes use of the characters as a mouthpiece to express her views on the importance of cultural amalgamation of immigrant population in America. At the same time, the novelist does not forget to criticize the gender problems faced by women in Chinese society.
References
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.