The Joy Luck Club

Resolution and Reconciliation in “The Joy Luck Club” 10th Grade

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, published in 1989, is a challenge to the novel as a narrative paradigm. The book is a collection of first-person monologues of four mother-daughter pairs, which delves into the generational divide. In it, the conflicts between mother and daughter and the differences between traditional Chinese values and American values come to life in vivid vignettes. However, The Joy Luck Club is not essentially a discussion of the generation gap. Instead, the book demonstrates how the two generations come to resolution and reconciliation through the mother-daughter pairs' negotiation of their identities as Chinese Americans. By examining the stories of two of these mother daughter pairs, mothers Suyuan Woo and Lindo Jong with daughters Jing-mei Woo and Waverly Jong, we will see highlighted generational differences and misunderstandings, and the grounds upon which reconciliation is finally achieved.

The separate story sections are divided into four parts: the mothers telling two stories of their “unspeakable tragedies left in China” (Tan, 20), and the daughters tell one about growing up and one about a current family/marriage situation. The structure presents a two-fold impression, dramatizing the critical...

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