The Joy Luck Club Essay

1449 Words May 11th, 2006 6 Pages
It has been said that America has no single tradition but rather is a melting pot of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. During the 20th century a new wave of immigration to the United States took place bringing with it a new classification of American. However due to the intimidating cultural and social standards of the United States assimilation was inevitable. In reading Amy Tan's thought provoking novel "The Joy Luck Club," I am reminded of what has been termed for many decades as the "American Dream." Based on the foundations of the Declaration of Independence, this dream entails the idea that we are all, regardless of race or creed, entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Every human has the right and …show more content…
They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in broken English" (Tan 40). Tan is demonstrating the stereotypical native born American's inability to understand the sacrifices and the courage that one must have to immigrate to this country. The daughters lack of knowledge and appreciation for all the hopes and opportunity their mothers wished to bestow on them is a running theme throughout the novel. She goes on to explain, "they see that joy and luck do not mean the same thing to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds ‘joy luck' is not a word, it does not exist" (Tan 41). Amy Tan writes as if there is a lack of purity and hope in Americans that is greatly instilled in Chinese tradition. In the section entitled "the Red Candle," Lindo disapproves of her daughter Waverly's ideas about promise. She says, "I once sacrificed my life to keep my parent's promise. This means nothing to you, because to you promises mean nothing. A daughter can promise to come to dinner, but if she has a headache, if she has a traffic jam, if she wants to watch a favorite movie on TV, she no longer has a promise" (Tan 49). Tan is portraying the American label of being dishonest and the American idea of individualism that supports the notion that one can do what he wants when he

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