Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan. I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more than personal opinions on the. English language and its. Mother Tongue, y Amy Tan. I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more than ersonal o inions on the. English language and its. “Rules of The Game” - Amy Tan. I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others.
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Born in in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrant parents, Amy Tan Joy Luck Club was adapted into a feature film in , for which Amy Tan was a. by Amy Tan. My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS IN AMY TAN'S NOVELS Abstract LANURENLA.
By telling her past to a daughter who has spent all of her life trying to slip away from her, Ying-ying St. Indeed, before her trip to China, Jing-mei relentlessly denies her Chinese heritage. On the train to China from Hong Kong, Jing-mei finally comes to terms with her true identity.
Reflecting on her past, she admits to feeling different. The device of storytelling by women to women is employed extensively throughout the novel as a means to achieve various ends. For instance, it is the means by which Lindo Jong is physically set free. As a young girl, Lindo managed to get out of an arranged marriage. The mothers also resort to storytelling when trying to impart daily truths and knowledge to the daughters.
Through storytelling, they hope to help their daughters rise above negative circumstances or simply avoid unknown dangers. Lena St. Clair remembers the story her mother made up about a young woman who fell in love with an irresponsible man and had a baby out of wedlock For the mother, Ying-ying St.
Clair, telling her daughter about her past is a tangible proof of her love. In sharing her past with her daughter, she hopes to counter Born of a Stranger: Mother-Daughter Relationships and Storytelling 13 the fact that her daughter has no chi, no spirit.
For Ying-ying St. Through the sharing of personal experiences, a reconciliation between mothers and daughters is reached. The daughters realize that their mothers have always had their best interests at heart.
I wanted you to have the best circumstances, the best character. Because their own lives in China had been circumscribed by social and parental constraints that invariably led to pain, humiliation, and tragedy, the mothers all came to America to give their daughters a better life. However, daughters must first understand the real circumstances surrounding their mothers: how they arrived in their new country, how they married, how hard they tried to hold onto their Chinese roots.
Once they have understood this, the daughters are better able to understand why they themselves are the way they are. Ultimately, this understanding will also lead them to finally appreciate their mothers.
The mothers try very hard to leave an imprint of themselves on their daughters through various means. For the mother Lindo Jong, names carry a symbolic significance. She tells her daughter that the reason she named her Waverly is that, when she gave birth to her, they lived on a street with the same name. Me, the younger sister who was supposed to be the essence of the others. Jing-mei goes to China and reunites with her twin sisters. Waverly and her American husband go to China together with her mother and spend their honeymoon there With a new consciousness, the mature daughter sees her mother in a new light.
While in mourning for her mother, Jing-mei also comes to the realization that she has always been biased by a one-sided view of life and by a poor opinion of her mother. At times, these phases may appear to be contradictory, but, in fact, they are really two natural and complementary stages of life. Tan thus seems to imply that a complete and holistic experience of life requires an understanding and an acceptance of both phases. Jing-mei had to leave the West and travel all the way to China before she was able to realize that both her mother and China Born of a Stranger: Mother-Daughter Relationships and Storytelling 15 are in her blood.
Only when she has reached maturity is she able to close the geographical gap and come to terms with her ethnic, cultural, and racial background.
In doing so, she transcends the psychological gap that had alienated her from her mother and from herself. When the struggles and battles are over, when the daughter is mature enough to be able to accept the mother and identify with what she stood for, what was formerly considered a hateful bondage is revealed to be a cherished bond. Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California, in Her parents left China and came to the United States in , leaving behind three young daughters.
The communist revolution of prevented them from sending for their daughters after they had settled down in the United States. Recently, Tan and her mother were reunited with them in China. In , she published her first novel, The Joy Luck Club. The rejection of organic unity and concentration on the fragmentation of language games, of time, of the human subject, of society itself, are an attitude widely shared among postmodernists.
R ef er e nce s Hong Kingston, Maxine. New York: Random House, Jameson, Fredric. Ling, Amy. New York: Pergamon Press, , — Manchester: Manchester University Press, Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy.
The Technologizing of the Word. New York: Methuen, Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Putnam, Each woman tells a story indicative of the uniqueness of her voice.
Women repeatedly used the metaphor of voice to depict their intellectual and ethical development;. Similarly, the mothers experience growth as they broaden communication lines with their daughters.
Look at their bound feet!
Look at that funny lady with the plucked forehead. The solemn little girl was in fact, my mother. And leaning against the rock is my grandmother, Jing mei. This is also a picture of secrets and tragedies. This is the picture I see when I write. These are the secrets I was supposed to keep. These are the women who never let me forget why stories need to be told. In achieving balance, voice is important: in order to achieve voice, hyphenated women must engage in self-exploration, recognition and appreciation of their culture s , and they must know their histories.
The quest for voice becomes an archetypal journey for all of the women. The mothers come to the United States and have to adapt to a new culture, to redefine voice and self. The stories illuminate the multiplicity of experiences of Chinese women who are struggling to fashion a voice for themselves in a culture where women are conditioned to be silent. The stories are narrated by seven of the eight women in the group—four daughters and three mothers; one mother has recently died of Voice, Mind, Self: Mother-Daughter Relationships 19 a cerebral aneurysm.
Each chapter is prefaced with an introductory thematic tale or myth, all of which tend to stress the advice given by mothers. Storytelling—relating memories—allows for review, analysis, and sometimes understanding of ancestry and thus themselves. The storytelling, however, is inundated with ambivalences and contradictions which, as Suzanna Danuta Walters argues, often take the form of blame in mother—daughter relationships 1.
Voice balances—or imbalances—voice as Chinese American mothers and daughters narrate their sagas. Because both mothers and daughters share the telling, the biases of a singular point of view are alleviated. Regardless of how much the daughters try to deny it, it is through their mothers that they find their voice, their mind, their selfhood.
Voice finds its form in the process of interaction, even if that interaction is conflict.
Marie Booth Foster such literature . The experiences in review perhaps allow the daughters to know just how much they are dependent upon their mothers in their journey to voice.
The mothers do not let them forget their own importance as the daughters attempt to achieve self-importance. Perhaps her name is symbolic of her confusion: she is the only daughter with both a Chinese and an American name. June has to use memories as a guide instead of her mother, whose tale she tells and whose saga she must complete. She must meet the ending to the tale of life in China and daughters left behind that her mother has told her over and over again, a story that she thought was a dark fairy tale.
The dark tale is of a previous life that includes a husband and daughters. It has become a war refuge, no longer idyllic. They attempt to raise their spirits with mah jong, jokes, and food. On the road to Chungking, she abandons first the wheelbarrow in which she has been carrying her babies and her goods, then more goods.
Finally, her body weakened by fatigue and dysentery, she leaves the babies with jewelry to provide for them until they can be brought to her family. America does not make Suyuan forget the daughters she left as she fled. Perhaps herein lies the cause of their conflict: neither mother nor daughter listens to be heard, so each complains of not being heard. Thus her journey to voice continues and begins: it is a journey started at birth, but it is only now that she starts to recognize that she needs to know about her mother in order to achieve self-knowledge.
She is to tell her sisters about their mother. According to June, she and her mother never understood each other. Both women want to be heard, but do not listen to be heard. They must come to understand that a voice is not a voice unless there is someone there to hear it. As June makes soup for her father, she sees the stray cat that she thought her mother had killed, since she had not seen it for some time. Jing-mei recalls that something was not in balance and that something always needed improving for her mother.
The friends do not seem to care; with all of her faults, she is their friend. Suyuan tells the rebellious June that she can be the best at anything as she attempts to mold her child into a piano-playing prodigy. After the request by the Joy Luck Club mothers June, in really listening to the voice of her mother as reserved in her memory, discovers that she might have been able 22 M. The pendant her late mother gave her is symbolic.
The latter part of the message is in Chinese, the voice of wisdom versus the provider of American circumstances. The Kitchen God is unfit primarily because he became a god despite his mistreatment of his good wife. But her smile is genuine, wise, and innocent at the same time. And her hand, see how she just raised it. That means she is about to speak, or maybe she is telling you to speak.
She is ready to listen. She understands English. You should tell her everything. But sometimes, when you are afraid, you can talk to her. She will listen. She will wash away everything sad with her tears. She will use her stick to chase away everything bad. See her name: Lady Sorrowfree, happiness winning over bitterness, no regrets in this world.
But she waits to tell her in perfect English, in essence keeping secrets.
The mothers think that everything is possible for the daughters if the mothers will it. The daughters may come willingly to the altar or may rebelliously deny the sagacity of their mothers.
The mothers struggle to tell their daughters the consequences of not listening to them.
The daughter questions how her mother knows, and she tells her that it is written in the book Twenty-six Malignant Gates that evil things can happen when a child goes outside the protection of the house.
The daughter wants evidence, but her mother tells her that it is written in Chinese. When her mother does not tell her all twenty-six of the Malignant Gates, the girl runs out of the house and around the corner and falls, the consequence of not listening to her mother.
Rebellion causes conflict—a conflict Lady Sorrowfree would not have to endure. June trudges off every day to piano lessons taught by an old man who is hard of hearing. Defying her mother, she learns very little, as she reveals at a piano recital to which her mother has invited all of her friends.
As an adult she wants her mother to approve of the man who will be her second husband; mother and daughter assume the positions of chess players. The mothers engage in fierce competition with each other. All of the mothers find fault with their daughters, but this is something revealed to the daughters, not to the community. I wanted my children to have the best combination: American circumstances and Chinese character.
How could I know these things do not mix? How not to show your own thoughts, to put your feelings behind your face so you can take advantage of hidden opportunities. What she gets is a daughter who wants to be Chinese because it is fashionable, a daughter who likes to speak back and question what she says, and a daughter to whom promises mean nothing.
Nonetheless, she is a daughter of whom Lindo is proud. Waverly manages to irritate her mother when she resists parental guidance. Lindo proudly reminds Waverly that she has inherited her ability to win from her. Lindo does not resign herself to her circumstances in China. Lindo uses the same brand of ingenuity to play a life chess game with and to teach her daughter.
When did I give her up? Waverly is champion of the chess game, but she is no match for her mother in a life chess game. She knows her chances of winning in a contest against her mother, who taught her to be strong like the wind. She is afraid to tell her mother that they are going to be married because she is afraid that her mother will not approve.
An-mei Hsu and Ying-ying St. Clair play this role.
Born without wood so that I listened to too many people. Rose Hsu is in the process of divorce from a husband who has labeled her indecisive and useless as a marriage partner.
She is guilty of allowing her husband to mold her. He does not want her to be a partner in family decisions until he makes a mistake in his practice as a plastic surgeon. Then he complains that she is unable to make decisions: he is dissatisfied with his creation.
Finding it difficult to accept divorce, she confusedly runs to her friends and a psychiatrist seeking guidance. Over and over again her mother tells her to count on a mother because a mother is best and knows what is inside of her daughter.
The psychiatrist leaves her confused, as her mother predicts. She becomes even more confused as she tells each of her friends and her psychiatrist a different story. Her mother advises her to stand up to her husband, to speak up. She assumes the role of Lady Sorrowfree. When Rose does as her mother advises, she notices that her husband seems scared and confused.
She stands up to him and forces 26 M. Marie Booth Foster him to retreat. She listens to her mother and finds her voice—her self. For thousands of years magpies came to the fields of a group of peasants just after they had sown their seeds and watered them with their tears. The magpies ate the seeds and drank the tears. Then one day the peasants decided to end their suffering and silence. They clapped their hands and banged sticks together, making noise that startled and confused the magpies.
This continued for days until the magpies died of hunger and exhaustion from waiting for the noise to stop so that they could land and eat. The sounds from the hands and sticks were their voices. Her daughter should face her tormentor. An-mei tells stories of her pain, a pain she does not wish her daughter to endure. The voices of her mothers confused her. That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much.
It is also the way of persons attempting to assimilate—the wounds of getting to America, the wounds of hyphenation, close in on themselves and then it is difficult to see where it all began. Upon the death of Poppo, she leaves with her mother, who shortly afterward commits suicide. Her mother tells her to swallow her own tears.
An-mei knows strength and she knows forgetting. Perhaps that is why her daughter tells the story of her loss. She refuses to believe that he is dead; without any driving lessons, she steers the car to the ocean side to search once more for him. She gives her daughter advice on how to correct imbalances in her life. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. Like all the other daughters, Lena must recognize and respect the characteristics of Lady Sorrowfree that are inherent in her mother, Ying-ying.
Ying-ying describes her daughter as being devoid of wisdom. Ying-ying admits that she should have slapped Lena more as a child for disrespect. Like the traditional foot-bound Chinese woman, she passes on her affliction. As a young girl she liked to unbraid her hair and wear it loose. She recalls a scolding from her mother, who once told her that she was like the lady ghosts at the bottom of the lake.
Ying-ying falls in love with him because he strokes her cheek and tells her that she has tiger eyes, that they gather fire in the day and shine golden at night. She would ask me, "She here? When I was a child, my mother told me that my grandmother died in great agony after she accidentally ate too much opium. My mother was 9 years old when she watched this happen. When I was 14, my older brother was stricken with a brain tumor. My mother begged me to ask my grandmother to save him.
When he died, she asked me to talk to him as well. When my father died of a brain tumor six months after my brother, she made me use a Ouija board. She wanted to know if they still loved her. I spelled out the answer I knew she wanted to hear: Yes. When I became a fiction writer in my 30s, I wrote a story about a woman who killed herself eating too much opium. After my mother read a draft of that story, she had tears in her eyes.
Now she had proof: My grandmother had talked to me and told me her true story. How else could I have known my grandmother had not died by accident but with the fury of suicide? She asked me, "She here now? I have come to feel differently about my ghostwriters.
Sometimes their clues have come so plentifully, they've made me laugh like a child who can't open birthday presents fast enough. I must say thanks, not to blind luck but to my ghosts.