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The story, ‘The Joy Luck Club’ is divided into four sections, and each section with four stories inside observing the relationship between a mother and daughter. Resulting in sixteen stories in this book. This story is organized and divided in a way of how Chinese people play the game, known as mahjong. This story talks about the conflict between the Chinese mothers and their American raised daughters. There are four mothers and four daughters in this book. The characters are Suyuan Woo, Lindo Jong, Ying-ying St. Clair, An-Mei Hsu, June Woo, Waverly Jong, Lena St. Clair, and Rose Hsu.
Now here are some major themes in this story. This story focuses on the relationships between mothers and daughters. The mothers are expected to listen to everything the husband says and to never challenge authority. But for the American daughters they are independent and mostly does the opposite on what the mothers do. Although the daughters and mothers’ cultures, traditions, country, are mostly different, what is not different is the relationship between each other. They are irrevocably connected.
The American dream is one of the major themes in this story. The American dreams are different generation after generation. For the mothers, it is creating a successful future with privileges, and for the daughters, it is to have freedom to do whatever they want with their opportunities and they could do whatever they want with it. The daughters are somehow disconnected with their Chinese background. And they also try their best to fit in.
The settings in this book is important that it counts as a theme. The settings shows the signs of feelings in one person. Love and marriage is also a theme in this novel. Another thing that the mothers and daughters have in common is that their marriages always ends up unhappy or bad. But marriage means different things in each generation. For the mothers, marriage means a responsibility. It is permanent and not usually based on love. They marry just because their parents wanted them to. For the daughters, marriage means marrying the person you love and being yourself. It is the time when you can feel free.
Language is an important part in this novel. As you should know, some of the characters are supposed to speak in Chinese. But no matter what language is spoken, it means a lot. Another thing the mothers and daughters have in common is that both of them believes in ghosts, spirits, and reading signs. The mothers think it’s necessary to teach the spiritual world to their daughters. The very last major theme is sacrifice and suffering. In this book, every person makes sacrifice for the ones they love, even though they have to suffer for it. Like the mothers sacrificing for their daughters.
After reading this novel, I learned more about the Chinese culture and their traditions. This story talks a lot about the Asian American cultures and the relationship between the mothers and their daughters
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