The Mother-Daughter Tale in Literature
A comparative analysis of the mother-daughter relationships in Anna Quindlen's "One True Thing" and Amy Tam's "The Joy Luck Club".
# 57827 | 2,723 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 |
Published on Apr 18, 2005 in English (Analysis) , Literature (Comparative Literature) , Child, Youth Issues (Family Issues) , Literature (General)
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The mother-daughter tale is a relatively new phenomenon in literature, which has not yet been defined by any particular characteristics. This essay proposes three essential characteristics of a such a tale: estrangement between the mother and the daughter, a crisis which brings the mother and the daughter together, and the daughter's epiphany. Furthermore, the essay applies these characteristics in comparing the two novels at hand, "One True Thing" by Anna Quindlen and "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tam.
From the Paper:"Similarly, The Joy Luck Club, a novel by Amy Tam, is a collection of sixteen separate stories about four mothers and each of their daughters. The mothers, who were are all born in China, struggle to teach their Americanized daughters the valuable truths that they have accumulated through life's experiences. The estrangement between the mothers and daughters in The Joy Luck Club is the product of their cultural difference. For example, when playing Mah-Jongg with the Aunties, her deceased mother's friends, June comments on the nature of all of the Aunties' relationships with their daughters. "In me they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English" (Tam, 31). The cultural difference between the mothers and their daughters is a barrier that impedes their communication and understanding of each other. In their daughters, the mothers are reminded of the false hopes and dreams that brought them to America. While in their mothers, the daughters are confronted with a culture and philosophy of life that they don't understand being born and raised in America. Due to this, the mothers and daughters in the novel share estranged relationships."
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