Joy Luck Club Identity And Identity

1319 Words 6 Pages
People can go through identity changes many times in their lives for many reasons including losing weight, getting married, or moving. However, the identity changes in this essay have to do with a pressuring parent and a whole new life. In the book The Joy Luck Club, the main character, Jing-mei, experiences feelings of a lost identity until the end of the novel. The sense of identity that Jing-mei feels when she visits China is comparable to the Lost Boys of Sudan starting their new lives in America. Jing-mei experiences an identity change when she learns of her Chinese heritage. As a child, Jing-mei never felt that she lived up to her mother’s expectations. "Why don’t you like me the way I am! I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And …show more content…
In return of the pain that she felt because of her mother, Jing-mei wishes to be nothing like her. As a result of this, she refuses to accept her family’s history. Jing-mei begins to accept herself and her background near the end of the novel. “I looked at my reflection, blinking so I could see more clearly. The girl staring back at me was angry, powerful. This girl and I were the same. I had new thoughts, willful thoughts, or rather thoughts filled with lots of won’ts. I won’t let her change me, I promised to myself. I won’t be what I’m not” (Tan 334). Jing-mei realizes that the best thing to do is to be herself. She tells herself that she will not let her mother or her culture hold her back. She is finally set free from her mother’s harsh thoughts and can live her life how she wants to. In conclusion, Jing-mei finds herself feeling more confident as she lives her life free from her mother. The Lost Boys of Sudan experience an identity change when they are moved to America and must start a whole new life. As small children, the Lost Boys of Sudan were forced to flee their homes and ever since then, they have been traveling by foot as they continue to migrate across the …show more content…
Since then, they have had to travel to many different camps around the region. This has lead them to feel as if they do not belong. After moving to America, the boys had to adapt to a whole new lifestyle. “We lived together, we cooked for ourselves, went to school and did activities together. We built our own houses with the materials that the agencies gave us” (Muhindi 6). As one of the boys stated, when they moved to America, they did everything on their own. They had to learn many new everyday tasks that they had never known before. At first, they struggled with fitting into the American society. Since the move, the boys feel that they have blended in nicely in their new home, New York City. “We lost our parents, families and children died. I am a "Lost Boy" because I am away from my family. If I could see them or communicate with them I would no longer be a Lost Boy. The title bothers me because we are like everyone else; one is either an American or Sudanese but not a "Lost Boy." "I would like to be called a "Sudanese Young Man” (Muhindi 13). This particular young man states that he sees himself as an American and a Sudanese. He does not like the term “lost boy” because of the fact that he is like everyone else. It can be inferred that he feels as though he is part of something: the diverse society that is America. In the end, the boys went from having nothing to having just about everything:

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