The Struggle and Hardships of the Four Mothers and Four Daughters in Amy Tan’s Fictional Novel The Joy Luck Club

Last Updated: 24 Apr 2023
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Amy Tan’s fictional novel, The Joy Luck Club, is based on the stories of four mothers and four daughters Amy Tan captures in great detail the two very different backgrounds of the mothers and daughters Tan beautifully recreate the hardships the four mothers must face in their youth in China during the Japanese war while contrasting it with the present day America where all of the daughters were born, One that has a similar background to Tan can easily relate to many occurrences in the book, Tan cleverly uses symbols throughout the book to explain the significance of the titles Tan fuses the two very different cultures through the use of joy which symbolizes the American side of the characters, luck which shows the Chinese part of each woman, and the gatherings of clubs shows the combining of the two.

Amy Tan uses the word joy to symbolize happiness, throughout the book each character struggles for their own happiness, Happiness also relates to one’s dream, in fact, the American Dream. Which every mother and daughter achieves in the end Without this dream, or American Dream, the mothers had nothing to hope for; they would have no “joy" to strive for, Without their hope, none of them would have been able to have new lives in America; they probably wouldn‘t have even made it out of China for that matter. Tan uses “Joy” to symbolize the American side of the characters Luck is a main factor for anything in China. Whether it is a random occurrence or a factor for any decision, it is a big reason for many people’s intentions. This is why “Luck” symbolizes the Chinese side of each character.

Each character has both good and bad luck happen to them throughout the novel. Tan shows us how luck is everywhere and although sometimes bad luck strikes at the most inconvenient of times, good luck can still come of anything You just have to be patient Just like how each character was in the novelty Without the Club, Joy and Luck couldn’t have possibly been together. Without the story of each character, there would have been no club. The club symbolizes the fusion of both Chinese and American as it begins to be passed down from mother to child. The club shows the perfect synergy of both American and Chinese cultures!

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In Amy Tan’s fictional novel known as The Joy Luck Club she beautifully captures the struggles and hardships that four mothers and four daughters go through. Tan beautifully recreates early the early times in China during the war. Tan then proceeds to contrast that with an amazing presentation of modern America. One who has the same background as Tan could really relate to the symbols, short stories, and parables she states throughout the novel. Through the use of symbols, Tan defines the significance of the title. Using the words Joy, Luck, and Club she is able to fuse together two completely different cultures

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The Struggle and Hardships of the Four Mothers and Four Daughters in Amy Tan’s Fictional Novel The Joy Luck Club. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from

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