Write an essay on the following:
The Joy Luck club
But when she arrived in the new country, the immigration officials pulled her swan away from her, leaving the woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory. And then she had to fill out so many forms she forgot why she had come and what she had left behind.
Now the woman was old. And she had a daughter who grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow. For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her, ?This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions? And she waited, year after year, for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English (pp. 3 and 4)
And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all these truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see their daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy
do not mean the same things to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds ?joy luck
? is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters, who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation (p. 31).
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
Using these passages as a possible point of departure, write an essay in which you explore the themes of Tan?s novel. You may want to address issues such as: the ?text production? of the book itself; in other words, how does Tan write/?construct? the book so that it disrupts our reading experience, forcing us to consider the multiple layers of the characters? For example, in the chapter on the ?Scar,? An-mei is presented as a daughter and a granddaughter, while also functioning as a storytelling mother. What is Tan trying to tell us about the (im)possibility of the mothers communicating their stories to their daughters? What does that have to do with our ?multicultural? America?
Since it is impossible to write about everything in one essay, pick one pair of ?mother-daughter? and show the connections. REMEMBER! This is not a book report; it is critical essay. Do not just describe what happens in this novel but tell why it is significant. What does it mean to be a daughter? And mother?
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