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Joy Luck Club2
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan, 1989, Chinese
I) Major Characters
A. Jing-Mei (June) Woo. June is rebellious in nature, always swimming against her mothers’ dreams for her, not because they were harmful dreams but because she felt she could never live up to them, and she didn’t because she thought she couldn’t. Her mothers death has brought her face to face with questions about herself, her mother, and both their identities.
B. Suyuan Woo. Like any mother Suyuan wanted her daughter to be the best she could be. She pushed her, to make her proud of herself, to give that one child what the two that were swallowed by her past could not.
II) Minor Characters
A. An-Mei Hsu. She is a strong woman, whose strength came form her mothers sacrifice. She wishes her daughter to be strong as well, to break with the Chinese role of swallowing one’s own tears, and sorrows.
B. Rose Hsu Jordan. A character drowned in vacillation, Rose has given her life to a dominating husband, until that husband leaves her. This is when after all the confusion in her heart clears and she finds the strength, the voice her mother intended her to have.
C. Lindo Jong. Lindo is a brave cunning woman who found a way to change her fate, tied to an undesired husband. As a mother she is controlling if not somewhat possessive, she only wishes the best of both worlds for her daughter, American and Chinese.
D. Waverly Place Jong. Waverly’s character is intelligent, calculating yet fragile. She could outsmart any chess opponent and stubbornly believed it was all her merit yet the instant her mother no longer demonstrated how proud she made her, she became weak. Independence from her mothers ‘feelings and actions seems to be her largest desire but she can’t, and maybe she shouldn’t fight so hard and realize her mother is not her opponent.
E. Ying-Yin St. Clair. Ying-Yin is a dismal character. Scared from her first marriage, empty because her spirit, her joy has fled her body. She waits to give her daughter what she’s lacked all her life, what she could not give her, a spirit.
F. Lena St. Clair. Her blood is half American half Chinese; she embodies what all these young ladies feel. Inside she has fears regarding her mothers’ fears. She is malleable, insecure; she bends to others impositions such as her husbands’ “half and half” policy.
A. United States (San Francisco). In The Joy Luck Club the US is a land where four Chinese raise daughters that are American and only externally resemble China. It is a place where hopes and dreams are planted only to be nourished by even more hopes.
B. China. This place is the past, ancient yet present in tradition. Where women are taught generation after generation, rich or poor, their place is that of an obedient daughter or wife. Bear many sons to honor your family, oppress any desire you heart may have to soar, accept your fate in silence… Swallow your tears.
The Joy Luck Club is a novel telling the stories trails and tribulations of four women and their daughters united by Joy luck. Joy Luck is a game the late Suyuan thought up back in China in order to make a terrifying time of war more bearable. June, Suyuan’s daughter, will take her place at the board now that she’s gone. Throughout the book each daughter and each mother tell their tale, their worries, and their hopes. An-mei whose mother gave her power in a home where she was but another concubine by killing herself has made her strong. She even lost a child to ocean and with him her faith. She chose her mother over her other family, because despite how shameful they said she was, she needed her. Her daughter Rose is getting divorced from a man she gave everything to for more than 15 years. She lived for him, believed his every decision and gave him the power he always wanted, until one day even that wasn’t enough and he left her. However because of it she’s found her voice and can now scream and be strong. There is Lindo, a women who was betrothed at the age of two and married at almost twelve to a boy she did not now. Luck helped Lindo make up
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Chinatown, San Francisco, Literature, The Joy Luck Club, Fiction, Film, Two Kinds
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