The Joy Luck Club

I bet while reading the Joy Luck Club, you have noticed that almost all chapters have something in common. Not only the main idea of the stories which is about the relationship among daughters and mothers, but the similar track that mothers are following in the stories, the discouraging manner. In most of the stories girls are being scold, discouraged and warned. They are being treated the way that they should always be careful about every word and every action. For example, in the story “Scar” An-Mei Hsu is called an unwanted egg that had fallen out of the bowels of a stupid goose, she is always hearing the scary stories of popo about the girl who did not listen to the elders and her brain poured out after she shook her head. In “The Red Candle” Linda’s mother used to ask her to be obedient and listen to her mother-in law. She is not supposed to show any opposition. In “The Moon Lady”, Ying-Ying St. Clair as a girl is prohibited to speak about her wishes. Amah teaches her that “A girl can never ask, only listen.”  Later, in “The Voice from the Wall” this Ying-Ying is the mother that repeats this cycle and teaches her own daughter, Lena not to mix herself in society; she wants Lena to be careful and tells her stories about the dark and disappointing sides of a the society.

What makes me thoughtful is that why these women should inhibit their children, especially their daughters from society? Why these little girls should always live in fear and remember horrible memories? Is this because the mentioned families are living in a foreign and strange country that its situation is different from their own country? Do they feel harassed? Is keeping aloof of society a good way to remain safe or we must face the music? Is this fear common in real life of all immigrants or it can be related to the culture and environment of the two host and left countries? How far will the fear of new environment and society go? This fear can go as far as it can, but how we can diminish it? What are the outcomes of this fear on emigrants’ lives? How they can conquer the new environment and have a normal life without any panic and tension?



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