In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, the author Amy Tan uses many analogies to describe the different aspects of American culture. She depicts the American culture as something with much promise and opportunity, which she appreciates. She also values the Chinese culture and heritage There is much more opportunity in America, but the American citizens are so clueless and hold little value to the family. In China, the most important things are heritage and family. If Chinese ways are combined with American circumstances, to Tan, it is the perfect balance Many of the analogies Tan uses come from the chapter titled ‘Double face’. The chapter begins with Waverly telling her mother that she is going to China for her second honeymoon and she is worried about blending in too well. She is not only worried about blending in, but that her family in China will not want her to go back home to America.
Waverly‘s mother tells her, “you don’t even need to open your mouth. They already know you are an outsider.” Her mother, Lindo, then proceeds to say to tell her that, “Even if you put on their clothes, even if you take off your makeup and hide your fancy jewelry, they know. They know just watching the way you walk, the way you carry your face. They know you do not belong.” Tan uses these phrases to describe the attitudes of many Americans. If the people of America take off the makeup that conceals their flaws, hide the expensive jewelry that displays their social status, and if they come from Chinese heritage they would move unnoticed into Chinese society instantaneously. In China one learns to be grateful for each and everything they receive.
They learn to always work hard and not question what they are told, Tan infers that a Chinese- American citizen believes they are just like the people of China on the outside, which they are. The problem lies on the insider In America many things come to one freely. That is why Waverly would not fit right in, She would walk down the streets of China with judgmental eyes, Ensuring every accommodation perfectly conforms to her needs. This is America. Tan uses examples of American circumstances to describe the ability to be placed into a bad situation but be bailed out of the situation without hard work. An example of using this commentary is also from the chapter ‘Double face’r Lindo says, “If you are born poor here, it’s no lasting shame.
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You are first in line for a scholarship. If the roof crashes on your head, no need to cry of this bad luck, You can sue anybody, make the landlord fix it.” She displays one of the biggest differences in Chinese and American cultures, There is great opportunity in America so if someone can get things like this so easily, what happens if one works with all of their effort? In the eyes Tan, anything can be achieved with such great opportunity. One must only put forth great effort and work into itr The next inner meaning can be found within a quote used by Tan on page 255. It says, “I smile. I use my American face. That‘s the face Americans think is Chinese, the one they cannot understand. But inside I am becoming ashamed. I am ashamed she is ashamed.” Tan asserts that an ‘American face’ is used. This ‘American face’ is used to display ignorance and hide feelings or emotions.
Tan is implying that Americans act without putting thought into their actions while their ignorant commentary scrolls across their faces like the credits at the end of a film. This puts a sort of superior aspect to the Chinese culture over the American culture, Amy Tan continues to use comments of the ‘Chinese face’ and the ‘American face’ throughout the rest of the chapter. Through the character of Lindo, Tan suggests that Americans are greedy and value things that are superficial: “And then I saw another sign across the street, It was painted on the outside of a short building: “Save Today for Tomorrow, at Bank of America” And I thought to myself, This is where American people worship. See, even I was not so dumb!
Today that church is the same size, but where that short bank used to be, now there is a tall building, fifty stories high, where you and your husband-to-be work and look down on everybody." Tan is insinuating that American people do go to church, but the god they really worship is actually money. In this case she uses and analogy of bank comparing it to a church. She again points towards the fact that American use money as their social status, She is saying that fame and fortune are everything in America, but in China heritage and family are everything to them. The American people just build up these social status icons and look down upon the rest of the population without even regard them simply because of the money they have, So while Tan does use many instances of the negatives to the American culture.
She does elude toward the great opportunities ofAmerica. The land of much promise, Amy Tan values her Chinese background and holds her family values dearly. In America this is different An American mindset portrays the idea that no matter where one came from, no matter where they have been, they can determine their own future despite standing in the face of adversity In China, simply the year and month of which someone was born can determine their entire livelihood. That is why in the eyes of Amy Tan China is not perfect. America is not the perfect either. It is when both of these cultures work together in unison that they create a harmonious balance.
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A Description of the Novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-description-of-the-novel-the-joy-luck-club-by-amy-tan/
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