Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club Essay

1468 Words 6 Pages
Joy Luck Club

The stories of Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo reveal some of Amy Tan's main themes in the novel. One important theme is that we must get to know and understand our parents in order to fully understand ourselves. June spends the first half of her life believing that she is a disappointment to her mother and has been unsuccessful in life. However, when she learns more about her mother's past and discovers that her mother is proud of her good heart and concern for others, she realizes that she has accomplished something by doing small things to the best of her ability. She learns that one does not have to be famous, or a genius, or greatly wealthy in order to be successful. Another important theme is that we need to make our own
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Throughout the course of the novel, the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship is revealed to the reader by various means. First, such a strong connection can only be the product of an essential, timeless, emotion called love: "She loved you very much, more than her own life" (Tan 29). Unfortunately, in Chinese culture, mothers rarely say "I love you" and find little to no time at all to provide for their daughter's emotional needs. Such attitudes occasionally lead the children to sense that "My mother did not treat me this way because she didn't love me. She just had a hard time showing her love for me" (Tan 45). As well, the link is also nourished in other ways, such as the swift protection of a mother's young: "She grabbed my hand back so fast that I knew at that instant how sorry she was that she had not protected me better" (Tan 111). There are other ways in which the mystery of the mother-daughter relationship is uncovered.

Because of a mother's enduring love, they often put up high expectations that are often hard to meet. As well, in the case of Waverly and June, a mother's love is expressed in the novel by proudly showing off: "From the time we were babies, our mothers compared the creases in our belly buttons, how shapely our earlobes were, how fast we healed when we scraped our knees..." (Tan 64). In any case, every small act or gesture done out of deep love for one another, strengthens the bond, that is enkindled at birth. They

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