The Joy Luck Club Study Guide

The Joy Luck Club Study Guide

Original title:
The Joy Luck Club
Published September 21st 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1989)
San Francisco, California(United States)
ISBN 0143038095 (ISBN13: 9780143038092)

“The Joy Luck Club” is the first book written by an American author of Chinese origins Amy Tan. The novel tells the story of four women and their daughters who talk about their lives as immigrants in San Francisco.

Do you know anything in Chinese? Have you ever played a mahjong game? This could have greatly helped you in understanding the book better. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth discovering.

The core essence of the book is about women and their relationships. Men play a secondary role in this story. The relationships between the mothers and their daughters aren’t easy, as it often happens with most families. But in case of Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong and others, life becomes more complicated on the grounds of cultural misunderstanding and stereotypes.

The mothers are still bright representatives of the Asian culture in their behaviors and thinking. By a chance or a will of the destiny, they moved to the USA and had their kids here. No matter how strongly they tried to pass their native culture to daughters, society and the outside world played their role. Despite strong Chinese genes, the school, neighbors and social institutions planted seeds that shaped a character. The conflict of the generations is inevitable.

Prepare for a fascinating reading. Get your memory in full capacity. The social philosophy of the book is diverse and the composition of the chapters requires a lot of attention. Each chapter is a separate story. Stories of mothers and then their daughters. It’s a mahjong game where four players each play an individual game. The point is to remember and predict the moves of other players.

The reader can create a dozen of life stories using the components given to him or her by the writer. It is a marvelous book. Get ready to meet the bright and special Chinese culture, its philosophy and mindsets. It’s not the kind of book to be read quickly, but thoroughly!

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