The Joy Luck Club By Amy tran

Amy Tan

About the Author

  • Born in Oakland, California
  • Daughter of Chinese immigrants
  • Her father and brother died of brain tumors within months from each other
  • After moving to Switzerland with her mother she moved to San Jose city with her boyfriend after high school
  • Amy Tan and her mother took a trip to China where her mother reunited with her daughters from her previous marriage this was the key inspiration for Joy Luck Club
  • She majored in college in writing and linguistics and pursued a career in business writing.
"I write because I know that one day I will die, and thus I should experience as many deliberate observations, careful thoughts, wild ideas, and deep emotions as I can before that day occurs."

Literary Time Period

Post-modernism: Starting in 1941, post modernism deals with the objective view on the world and how social ideas such as power and social class have an effect on how humans conceptualize the world. Post modernism usually emphasizes idealism and constructivism in its approach to knowledge and understanding.

"Post modernism is DEFINITELY a huge influence on Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club" because the whole book is about the struggles that women deal with while changing not only COUNTRIES, but culture as well."

Basic Plot

Four families. Four mothers and four daughters. Eight different stories. The novel revolves around the lives of 4 Chinese American women and their daughters, sharing the life stories of the mothers and their relationship to their American-raised children. Each daughter tells their story of their "American" problems, while the mothers with their hard beginnings and "Chinese" lessons. Each of the daughters feels disapproved by their mothers, which created conflicts and misunderstanding between them. Later, the daughters learned to embrace their mothers' Chinese wisdom and incorporate it into their American life.

"A mother knows what is inside you"


The main setting is San Francisco, California. The flashbacks of the mothers take place in China, and also, the visit of one of the character does to China. The time frame of the navel takes place in four different time frames: the childhood of the mothers back in China, the childhood of their daughters, the adult life of the mothers and the adult life of the daughters.


A look at the Main Characters:

Jing-Mei Woo

After the death of her mother, she is the new member of the Joy Luck Club. She is a college dropout with no special skills or talent. She tried to do piano, but was unsuccessful. She is often agonized by her mother to go out and do something that could lead her to success. She goes on the quest to find her half-sisters after her mother left her money to find them before she died.

Suyuan Woo

Jing-Mei's mother and also the mother of two lost twin daughters. Back in China, she was the wife of an officer, and she was warned to run away before the Japanese attacked her village. As she was running away, she had to leave behind her twin daughters. In America, she had another daughter, and she believed that she was child prodigy if she pressured to find Jing-Mei's natural talent.

Waverly Jong

Waverly was named after the street where she lived in. After her brother got as a gift a chessboard, she became interested in the game. Eventually, she got really good at it, that her neighbood encouraged her to compete. For a while, she won so many trophies, from local to national level. After getting into a fight with her mother, she lost her passion for chess. However, she still concentrates, and attacks when the prey is most vulnerable.

Lindo Jong

Lindo Jong developed a keen skill of "invisible strategy", a skill she developed and learned in her early years in China. This skill allowed her to defeat her opponent at their weakest point. This allowed her lo escape from an arranged marriage, and at the same time, keep her parents' promise. In America, she wanted to raised her daughter in an American surrounding while trying to keep some of the Chinese character. However, Waverly forgot about her Chinese blood and is all-American, something that Lindo regrets doing.

Rose Hsu

During her childhood, her family took a trip to the beach. Rose was in charge of taking care of her brothers, and while two were fighting, she lost track of her youngest brother. However, she saw how her brother died, right in front of her eyes. Afterwards, when they try to find him, Rose feels guilt over what happened since it was her responsibility. Her family, though, does not accuse her of anything. As she grows up, she becomes dependent of her husband until one day she speaks up and tries to win the house.

An-Mei Hsu

Rose's mother. During her childhood, her mother was separated from An-Mei. However, when her grandmother died, An-Mei had the opportunity to run away with her mother to a better and richer house. However, it was not all happiness and peace. An-Mei discovered how badly her mother has been living and all because her mother does not want to speak out against the Second Wife. An- Mei was able to reach freedom through the suicide of her mother. Later, she took this experience by over-protecting her daughter, and then teaching her to speak out and conquer what she wants.

Lena St. Clair

Lena St. Claire tries to take care of her mother after the death of her baby brother. She constantly heard fights of her neighbors during the night. One day, the daughter of the neighbor came over to her house, and right then, did Lena understood that the neighbor and her daughter fought a lot as a way to have peace and a loving relationship. Lena learned that one must express their feelings in order to show love. As she grew up, she married an architect, who was obsessed with splitting the check and spendings between them. Later, Lena realizes how dumb she has been and that she should have taken actions in regards to her unhappy marriage.

Ying-Ying St. Clair

Mother of Lena St. Clair. She came from a good standing family in China. However, she left her husband and worked in the village, meanwhile, the family thought that Ying-Ying was dead. While she was working, Clifford came up to her and gave her trinkets. Ying-Ying waited until she hear that her current husband has died, she decided to marry and move to the States with Clifford. In America, she felt very unbalanced after moving to a steep hill. As a result, her baby died.


Created with images by tpsdave - "san francisco california city" • Kastytis - "chinatown lantern san francisco" • Unsplash - "china festival asian" • cocoparisienne - "piano keyboard keys" • Pexels - "chess chessboard game" • diego_torres - "seven sisters reefs ocean" • RitaE - "beads chain silk" • AnnRos - "ice-cream cone scoop" • 3dman_eu - "analysis antique background"

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