The Joy Luck Club is Movie based on the novel of the same name. Written by Amy Tan, the book/movie talks about the stories of 4 Asian women and their 4 daughters. It shows the events of the mothers lives that influences their way of parenting and how their parenting styles affect the daughters.
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China is a big part of all of their lives, there is also a very clear line between American-Asian life and strictly Asian life. The mothers had hard and challenging lives, which seemed to stem their their strict and aggressive parenting styles however, all of the stories are different.
Suyuan and June are the first mother daughter story we see (although the crust of it was explained near the end of the movie). Suyuan was a mother of 2 children that she was forced to abandon after war strikes her village. She then went to American and had another daughter: June. She raised June off of hope, not going too hard on her but still wanting to be a successful mother whilst raising a successful daughter. Suyuan feared letting June down knowing that she had let 2 others down in the past. Suyuan later passes, she never got to know the fate of the 2 daughter she left in china. After her death, June travels to china to meet her 2 long lost sisters.
The the third pair are Ying Ying and Lena. As a teenager, Ying Ying found love with a man she loved. They got married and for a while she thought everything was ok, but the man was corrupt. After getting Ying Ying pregnant, the man became unfaithful. He left her multiple days, then returned with another woman. He then proceeded to take her child and then kick her out. Ying Ying left with her baby, and while washing the baby, she was lost in thought and drowned her baby to make him mad. She was emotionally distraught. She then travelled to America, having her second child and first daughter: Lena. Lena had gotten herself into a problematic marriage, her husband was a cheapskate, he only cared about his financial gain and not her. Her mother having experience with problematic men, she told her some good advice. If he doesn’t make you happy, you find something that makes you happy. She left him and found someone who was worth her time.
As a child An Mei mother was disowned by her family, making it so that she wouldn’t see her for a large chunk of her life. When her grandmother is on her deathbed, her mother shows up and proves her Worth to her family. The family is grateful but they still want her gone. An Mei decides to go with her mother and live in the house her mother is living in, as a concubine. An Mei’s mother is ashamed that she has to raise her child in the house like this, she thinks she is not worthy mother. When An Mei travels to America, she has a daughter Rose. When Rose grows up, she meets a man with a somewhat racist family but he loves her dearly. Rose feels as if she must walk on eggshells to please her husband . Her husband grows tired of her, and Rose finds a new husband.
The most interesting mother and daughter pair are Lindo and Waverly. Lindo was given away to an arranged marriage by her mother at young age. Her mother loved her dearly but she had no choice. Lindo hated living life as a wife, everyone around her, including her husband were disrespectful towards her. Using her wits, she thought of a cunning lie to convince the people in her house to let her go for she wasn’t the who was supposed to be getting married. After her escape, she makes her way to america where her daughter Waverly is born. Waverly growing up was pushed by her mother to do great, just so that her mother could show her off to everyone. Waverly grew tired of her mom’s ways and even became embarrassed. Lindo then let Waverly know that a daughter who doesn’t care for her mother, doesn’t deserve care from her mother.
That would be proven as a very important lesson to Waverly, even as she grows up. Ever since her mother put the fear of disappointment in her mind, Waverly feared letting her mother down when she made future decisions as an adult. Waverly had met a man who she loved dearly, but was afraid that her mother wouldn’t approve. He did things that weren’t normal in a Chinese Society, some of them might have made her mother upset. After an emotional conversation at a hair salon, Lindo and Waverly both came to the conclusion that although they may seem pushy or strict with each other, at the end of the day they still love each other dearly. their relationship throughout the movie is more a realistic interpretation of Chinese parenting Style: Pushing your child not because you feel like being mean, but because you love them and want the best for them.
Waverly was no stranger to American Life, having live there her whole life and married a white man, But she also hangs on to her strict way of life that she learned from her mom. This is evident when she sees her husband doing abnormal things during dinner, and although she doesn’t say anything, she has learned what is right and what is wrong from her Chinese mother. Two examples of Chinese Traditional beliefs are the idea of: not being ashamed of your parents and do your best no matter how you feel.
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