The Novel and the Movie, The Joy Luck Club

     The novel The Joy Luck Club was written by Amy Tan and the movie The Joy Luck Club was, too, directed by Amy Tan. It was a very exciting moment to watch a movie of the novel that you have read. It was the time when all the fiction characters would be seen in the movie. The movie made the stories more clear. One can compare the story with the story of the novel.

     Here is the comparison between the novel and the movie. The movie contained the stories in the novel, most of the parts were exactly the same; however, the movie covered fewer stories than it was included in the novel. The incident which I found new and interesting was when Jing-mei’s father hands in the album to Jing-mei to give to her half sisters. The album contained the photographs of Suyuan when she was in China. Her father wanted her to give the album so that her half sisters would get to know how their mother looked like in past because their sisters could not see their mother since the time when they were abandoned in Kweilin. I really liked this part because the dialogues delivered between Jing-mei and her father gave nice meaning to that particular scene and we get to know that her father, too, was somewhat being responsible to them. This novel is much more intricate and comprehensive than the movie. Watching movie created more sense to the story. The scene which was very heart touching and I feel which gave more meaning to the story is the story of the chapter “A Pair of Tickets,” where the suspense is revealed about how and why Suyuan abandoned her twin daughters and what happened to them. This chapter is the most interesting chapter in the novel and interesting scene in the movie as well. The visualization of this incident adds up to the meaning of the story. I enjoyed watching as well reading the book. However, the movie would have been more interesting if all the stories were included in the movie though it would be a very long one. I wanted to watch all the stories. It is really exciting that we can see the fiction characters in reality.

Would you like to share your opinion after watching the movie?

“If the bald person were a real doctor…”

To be frank, the more I read the The Joy Luck Club by
Amy Tan, the more I get confused. If I have interpreted correctly, mothers
(Suyan, An-mei, Lindo and Ying-ying) are trying to teach their daughters the
lessons of life. They want to show their daughters how to behave and how to
live. Mothers in this story usually are teaching their girls to be quiet, reserved,
and use their invisible power to discern the best way for combating the
problems. Mostly, it sounds awkward to me, because finally they cannot conquer,
they fail, they have failed in their marriage and relationship with others. We
see how Waverly and Jing-mei are scolding each other despite that they are
grown up now. Looking at the lives of these characters, we see almost all of
them have some failures in their lives. They cannot be the one they want;
mothers cannot bring their children up as they wished to. Suyuan wants her
daughter to be attached to her Chinese culture, while she shows up the opposite
and becomes a stranger to her mother and her culture because she has lived in
American society. Rose and Waverly, also do not fulfill their mothers’
expectations. Waverly undermines her mother’s rules and argues with her, even
she stops playing chess just because she wants her mother to apologies first.
We have a proverb in Persian which says,If the bald person were a real
doctor, first, he could cure his own baldness.” This proverb means that if
someone who pretends that knows everything and can do help others, indeed was
able to do that he shouldn’t have the same problem in his life since he knows
the answer. So why do I speak about this proverb! Well, in my idea, if these
mothers knew the secrets of life and were able to solve their problem with the tricks
that they teach their daughters, why their lives are so miserable? In the
chapter “ Megapies,” An-Mei’s mother advices An-Mei not to cry, but she,
herself, cries. She wants her daughter to follow her advice and not to show her
sadness and regrets, while she has not found the happiness of life with being
silent. I want to know what these mothers are going to tell their daughters. As
a result, it is really a nuisance when again they try to dictate the same tricks
and traits to their children. In my opinion they are repeating their history
over and over. Do you think the same or you think this story will end
positively?

Movie Analyzing: The Joy Luck Club

 I read the novel, The Joy Luck Club; I watched the movie, The Joy Luck Club. Although the movie is based on the novel The Joy Luck Club, I felt a quite different feeling after watching the movie. I know that it’s hard for the producer to portray the author’s feelings exactly in the movie; however, in this movie, the producer has made some changes that have influenced my mind differently.

            The most pathetic scene of the movie that watered my eyes is the death of Ying-Ying’s little baby. When I was reading this story in the novel, I didn’t feel so much sorrow because I thought it was her wise decision to abort the unborn child for revitalizing her own life. However, in the movie, I saw how Ying-Ying killed her son accidently when she was thinking of her bustard husband. I felt a strong pain for a mother. I think it’s the producer’s wise decision to change this scene because it’s more heart-touching than the idea of abortion.

            Two important things from the novel that the producer omitted is the story of “The Red Candle” and “The Moon Lady”. I think these are the most important things to show the audiences because these stories bear a great message of the gender discrimination stereotypes. These two stories also symbolize the old Chinese traditions.

            Finally, the producer portrayed the stories of the parables in the movie very wisely. We see the swan’s feather in Jing-Mei’s hand from the parable “Feather’s from a Thousand Li away.”` Also, when Rose says to her husband Ted that she was died 60 years ago taking opium, we find the idea of rebirth as it is portrayed in the parable “Queen Mother of the Western Skies”.

            In conclusion, in comparison to the novel, the movie shows happy endings for each of the daughter-mother’s story. However, some of the main themes of the novel such as emigration problem, language problem, superstition, and Chinese tradition are not clearly portrayed in the movie.

The Difference between the Movie and the Book

When I watched The Joy Luck Club movie after reading the book, I realized that it is very hard to make a movie based on a novel.  In the book the writers can explain about the characters, but they have to be very concise in the movie. Therefore, the movie is very intricately and succinctly composed by the director. It is overt that the movie left out some plots of the book; however, it also adds a little information. Thus, we can say that the movie is not exact a copy of the book. There are a few differences between the movie and the book. Some are listed below.

Firstly, I want to discuss about the things which are missing in the movie but present in the book. Some chapters are missing in the movie. For example, the chapter “The Moon Lady” is missing in the movie. Secondly, the movie doesn’t tell us how Ying-Ying’s first husband died and how she spent her life in a village and married with another person, but these are written in the book. Thirdly, it is not mentioned in the movie that Mei Ching and Mei Han saved the lives of the twin babies of Suyuan. However, it is mentioned in the book. In addition, the movie doesn’t tell how Lindo went to America and encountered with An-Mei in the fortune cookie shop. After that she married with a Cantonese friend. The movie also doesn’t show Waverly’s first husband, Marvin, and her idea to abort her child, Shoshana.

Now, I want to discuss about the things which are missing in the book, but are present in the movie. Firstly, the movie talks a lot about the feather of the swan. The movie says that Suyuan kept the feather for her daughter, but in the book the feature is only present in the first parable. Secondly, Rose had told her husband that she is her grandmother. She died 60 years ago because she poisoned herself with opium.

Another difference is that, in the book, June went to China with her father by an airplane. However, in the movie, June went to China alone by a water ship. Anyway, I enjoyed both the book and the movie. However, after watching the movie, I clearly understand the story of the novel.

I See You, The Joy Luck Club

I didn’t know what feelings I had when I watched the movie The Joy Luck Club. Even though there were some certain differences between the film and the book, this film displayed the main idea that Tan shows in the tangible book The Joy Luck Club, and all stories were still very touching.

Through those characters’ illustrations and memories, I felt that I was reading The Joy Luck Club again. I could see the mothers’ sorrows in China; they were controlled by the rules of society as well as the situations they lived in. As for the daughters, they lived in America but had some qualities that gained from their Chinese mothers. All characters were struggling with their lives; they had to face many challenging things such as looking for their identities and what they wanted. Also, the conflicts between mothers and daughters were shown in a touching way, which caught most part of my attention.

I remember that when Jing-mei and her mother Suyuan had a talk in the kitchen after the crab dinner, Jing-mei said that Suyuan didn’t know Jing-mei’s thoughts. Then, Suyuan replied, “I see you,” and she repeated this sentence a few times. I suddenly understood something –“I see you”—from the depth of Suyuan’s heart. Even though Suyuan had communication problems with her daughter, and she always encouraged her daughter to try to be a prodigy, she could see her daughter’s best quality –unselfishness. Indeed, I think all mothers in this film understood their daughters. Daughters often felt that their mothers always had power to control all the things they did. I think the power of their mothers came from understanding, hopes, and of course, love. Those daughters didn’t realize it until they became aged and faced problems with their marriages and careers. When the mothers told their painful stories about their past in China, they passed their hopes and spirit to their daughters, which created a way for them to walk out of troubles and found what they really wanted. “I see you” was the power the mothers had as well as the bond between two generations. I can see that the daughters understood their mothers in the end, and I’m sure they wanted to give their mothers a hug, saying, “Mom, I also see you.”

As it was a film that lasted less than two hours, it definitely could not contain everything showing in a 332-page book. However, it still has the power to teach people a lot of things related to generations, cultures, and love. I dare not to say that I have understood everything in this film or this book, but I hope and try to use the knowledge I have learned from The Joy Luck Club in my real life, and tell all the characters, “I see you, The Joy Luck Club.”

Effectual role of death Suyuan

In the story The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Suyuan seemed to have effective role in spite of her death from the beginning of the story. Her daughter spoke for her and it gave clear view of her life as effectively as other mothers did who spoke for their own story. In fact, after watching the movie The Joy Luck Club, I found that the death of Suyuan made this story more effective and more interesting. In the beginning of film, I felt sorry for Jing Mei as she was the only person to be alone without her mother while taking photograph; rest of other daughters were with their mothers and were busy in preparing each other for the photograph. In the other side, Jing Mei was standing alone and she seemed to be sad in absence of her mother, but in the process of travelling of Jing Mei to China and at the time of meeting her step sisters, I felt as it was better that Jing Mei met those lost two twins sisters instead of Suyuan. If Amy Tan had chosen Suyuan to be a person to meet those lost babies, Jing Mei would not realize her mother’s feeling. May be Jing Mei would never understand her mother as her mother would be busy in searching her step sisters and she would not get a chance to have sufficient time to spend with her mother. As a result of which, Jing Mei would not get a chance to know her mother.

In addition, if Suyuan was to be person to meet those babies, I would not have been as curious as I had been for Jing Mei. I was curious whether Jing Mei would be accepted by her step sisters or not. It was obvious in case of Suyuan that she would be accepted by her daughters as they were part of her and they were told about her mother from their childhood. Furthermore, the death of Suyuan was indirect cause of returning of Jing Mei to China as she wanted to visit China to meet those sisters and fulfill her mother’s wish to get those sisters back. So, I found the death of Suyuan more effective from various aspects in this story.

My best character “Jing-Mei”

I found the novel, The Joy Luck Club, really interesting. Amy Tan beautifully describes about the plots, characters, and stories in the novel. There are altogether eight characters in the novel, but the one that fascinated me a lot was of Jing-Mei’s.

In the entire novel, Jing-Mei stands out from other daughters because she has a voice for her deceased mother and a remarkably eccentric story comparing to other daughters. The novel begins with Jing-Mei’s narration about the Joy Luck Club, started by her mother, Suyuan. In fact, the name of the novel and the first chapter narrated by Jing-Mei is similar, which hints Jing-Mei to be the protagonist of the novel. Unlike other daughters in the novel, Jing-Mei is an epitome of altruism. Her action of choosing a bad crab and allowing her mother to have a good one echoes that she is noble. Although her mother is dead, she seems to know her mother’s secrets and is more attached to her. Indeed, she is the only daughter in the novel who gets an opportunity to replace her mother’s place in the club. This shows that Amy Tan, the writer of the novel, herself acknowledges Jing-Mei to be the main character of the novel.
I liked Jing-Mei the most because her story is unique. In the first chapter, she talks about her mother, Suyuan’s story and tries to know her secrets. Suyuan had to leave her husband and two twin daughters before coming to America. Unfortunately, she dies before finding her daughters; therefore, Jing-Mei becomes responsible to search and bring them back. The first story maintains secret about what happens to the two babies and whether Jing-Mei will be able to meet them. Later, the story continues at the end, where the secrets are disclosed and Jing-Mei makes her journey to China to meet her sisters. Hence, the ending of the novel with Jing-Mei’s story provides a happy ending for the novel itself.

Besides, Jing-Mei is not married, so she does not have to endure any kind of problem of marriage. None of the daughters in the novel has a good relation with their husbands. They are either divorced or dissatisfied with their relation, while Jing-Mei is single and is happy with her life. All of the daughter’s marriage are distorted which shows similarity in their story as their story becomes repetitive and boring.

Finally, what values to be a daughter is to be able to fulfill one’s mother’s dream, which only Jing-Mei is able to accomplish. Unlike other daughters, she becomes successful to go to China, meet her sisters, and complete her mother’s “long cherished wish” (323). Since Jing-Mei exemplifies a good daughter, I liked her character the most.

24 Years Later

             Thursday 28, 2011

              I was so tired after we had a big party with elaborate Chinese food. You know, the Hsus, the Jongs, and the Clairs have been here [China] for one week, and we have just returned from a long journey for visiting the Great Wall, the Forbidden Citadel and other famous places in China, our beautiful country. It was so ecstatic that we have already promised that we would take a trip together annually in every August. Next time, we have decided to come to Cox’es Bazar in Bangladesh. We also want to visit Nepal, Bhutan, and others countries in Asia.

               I haven’t written to you since last week because I forgot to bring this diary. Forgive me, please. But I have a lot of things to tell you. You know that we, the members of four families, haven’t met since I settled here in 1989, the year that altered my life. I have always thought that you were the one who helped me to meet him. When I was visiting you in the American cemetery, I first saw Xiao Ming, your present son-in-law, cry beside his American father’s grave. Later, we surprisingly encountered a few times, and in the same year, we got marriage. You used to say that I had never chosen the best one, but I believe that our marriage is the best decision that I have ever made. We have a lot of similarities. Can you imagine that he knows almost exactly what you said to me about my quality? He reminded a lot of you.

                  Sorry Ma, I seemed to talk a lot about the past, but that memory filled me with nostalgia. Ah, next week, we have an inclination to celebrate your granddaughter’s birthday, Le [Happy], and inevitably, all of our guests will be invited, even Waverly. Now, we no longer argue like before, but make fun of that time. We were so absurd to ridicule each other in the past, weren’t we? Ah, have I told you about my historical Chinese friends? Lena found the way to heal her marriage, and Waverly is now a mother of two children, one girl and one boy. I forgot to tell you that Rose couldn’t join us because she had to go to Vietnam for her business. Yet she already gave me her word that she would come here by Sunday to wish our Le luck for her eighteenth birthday. You also need to wish her luck and say “sheng ri kuaile,” happy birthday, to her. Mom, if you were here, I would completely understand you. I have learnt Chinese since I came here. Xiao Ming also taught me a lot. I almost forget; Le is so shrewd that she can speak both English and Chinese fluently. She likes to learn to play the violin, which is her alternative. She is also obedient, not adamant like me before. You might have been weary of me. Sorry Ma.

              Tomorrow, I am going to sing a Chinese song. Can you believe? Being a little bit nervous, but I think I can do well. Simultaneously, I will give her your diary as a gift because I want her to know more about you.

              See you tomorrow. Xiao xin, take care, Ma. Please give my regards to auntie An-mei also.

Thu

My response to The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan is a motivating novel written with the perspective of both Chinese mothers and American daughters. The relationship between mothers and daughters is portrayed very truly in this novel. Problems and conflicts in relationship can occur due to the generation gap in families. The author has successfully described the universal themes such as, migration issues, daily household problems, relationship between husband and wife, and relationship between mother and daughters in the novel. The idea of Chinese culture is predominating in the novel but at the same time American culture is also reflected. Furthermore, the organization of the novel is fabulous and the coherent presentation of events made me feel connected with the characters. The author has well described the life of immigrant families and the problems they face due to the difference in culture. Moreover, the struggle they face in adapting in the new culture with new generations is also clearly shown in the novel.

While reading through this novel, I reminisced about the days I had spent with my mom. The secrets we have shared with each other have made us more connected. Though we do not have the migrant experience like the mothers in the novel but the idea of generation gap was also one of the problems in our life. The beliefs that my mother had about me and our family was somehow different than mine. She had some beliefs like Ying-ying has in the novel. She also used to predict my future through my actions as well as appearance. When I as a child I also used to think her beliefs were irrational like Lena in the novel. However, I cannot ignore the fact that she has always guided me to the right directions and has always supported me when I am in need. Despite the fact that the way of perceiving things were different, the purpose and the result was the same. As time elapsed and I grew old, I realized that there is no one in the world who can know me better that she does. I am a part of her gradually inheriting her traits and accepting them like the daughters does in the end of the novel.

Thus, my identity is totally connected with my mother and I am proud of how I am because of her.

Digya Shrestha

Response to “Double Face”

“Double Face” is one of the chapters from The Joy Luck Club written by Amy tan. In this chapter, the mother, Lindo Jong, and her daughter, Waverly Jong, begins to “talk” each other’s language and starts to understand each other more profoundly. Ying- Ying realizes that it was her fault to expect her daughter to learn Chinese culture in American circumstances. She comes to know that it’s very difficult for oneself to practice one’s culture in another country, where everything including language, clothing, and thinking, is different (289). However, Lindo Jong didn’t have any bad intentions for expecting her daughter to learn Chinese culture in America. She loves her daughter more than herself. Her willingness to cut her hair for her daughter’s happiness indicates her true love for her daughter. Lindo Jong tends to show the difference between “American face” and “Chinese face”. She lost her “Chinese face” while migrating from china to America. She appears to be saying that people with “Chinese face” are more candid, sincere, and unprofessional compared to the people with the “American face”. Although she didn’t like American culture as much as she liked her Chinese culture, she somehow accepted some American culture. She realized it when she went back to China, where the Chinese authorities charged her foreign prices (304).Her daughter, Waverly, taught her that both of them look “devious”, double faces, and it’s a good sign if they know how to get what they want.  Waverly also starts to love Chinese culture.

I liked this chapter especially when Lindo Jong tells about how her daughter felt ashamed of her. It’s because I too had a same experience. When I was in pre primary school, I always ask my father to sign on my test papers and result sheets. When teachers invite our parents to come for a meeting, I used to remind my father again and again about the meeting. I never asked my mother to come. Do you know why? It was because my mother doesn’t know how to write her signature. My friend’s used to back bite about those student’s parents who used their thumbs to sign on the papers. I felt bad, and in order to keep my dignity, I never invited my mother to my school. However, I never thought about how bad she might have felt. Lindo Jong made me to realize my selfish act. I put my mother in Lindo Jong’s shoes and went back to the past. I saw my mother being hurt by her only daughter.  I felt deeply remorse. Thank you, Lindo Jong, for teaching me a lesson. I promise to never hurt my mother again because I am a big girl now.