June Woo begins the novel by explaining the “Joy Luck Club.” She watches the mothers and
explains at the end of the section, “They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their
daughters, that to these closed Americanborn minds ‘joy luck’ is not a word, it does not exist.”
Does the novel argue that certain cultural concepts, like “joy luck,” cannot be translated? If so,
why? If not, why not? Or, could the failure to translate provide the momentum of the novel?
Explain the role of language and/or translation in the novel.