I found Joy Luck Club particularly interesting because the book is divided into four parts and sixteen stories in total. There are also four mothers and four daughters in total, so they each tell two stories, with the exception of Suyuan Woo, whose stories are told by Jing-mei Woo.
The main message that stood out for me is the strong difference between the Chinese culture and the American culture, where Chinese culture is represented by the mothers, and the American culture is represented by the daughters. Although each mother tells a completely different story, the similarities between these mothers are shown clearly. Their stories are full of sorrow and each is full of difficulties, in their stories, they seem full of experience and knowledgable. This contrasts immensely with the daughters’ views of their mothers. In the daughters’ stories, they completely uses the American values to judge the world, especially their moms. They all portray their mothers as some kind of strange Chinese women with strange Chinese traditional values. The mothers’ limited English also makes them seem a little bit stupid, and it makes it seem like they do not really blend into this American lifestyle at all.
However, as the story progress, we can start to see traits of daughters starting to understand some of these values. For example, for Jing-mei Woo, through the letters and her becoming one of the members of the group; she learns more and more about her mother. This builds up her inner Chinese feelings, and in the end, it is apparent that she has found her ‘true selve’, which is hidden in China all along, and ‘inside her bones’. It is also true for Lena, at first, she finds her mother’s theory of the house being imbalance slightly ridiculous. However as the story develops, Lena starts to understand more and more about this ability, and actually see how things fall apart according to what her mother says.
Overall, I do find this book very interesting. Even though some of the Chinese values from my family is nothing comparable to what this book says, I can find traits of it in some of the older generations.