Books and Movies Reviews

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club
By Amy Tan

Is it fair to judge someone by their sex? In traditional Chinese culture, many
judgments were made about a person just by observing their sex. The woman was looked
upon as an inferior being. They had little or no status in society, and little was expected
from them. They were discriminated against when they tried to stand up for themselves.
Chinese culture was customarily male dominated. The male was expected to do most of
the work, and the woman was expected to stay at home with their mouth shut. This
custom leaves an unwelcome feeling in a woman's heart. They feel like no one cares, and
it makes it much harder to live with an optimistic view on life. In the novel, The Joy Luck
Club, by Amy Tan, reviews the lives of three Chinese women, Ann-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong,
and Ying Ying St. Clair. These womengrow up intraditional Chinese homes, where
there is sexism. They deal with serious problems that corrupt their lives. Through
perseverance and the passing of time their lives return to normal. Ann-Mei, Lindo, and
Ying Ying are subjugated by males because of their sex, and Chinese tradition.
Ann-Mei was oppressed in many ways. Her mother was invited to spend time at
the home of a wealthy merchant named Wu Tsing. At night he would come into
Ann-Mei's mother's room and rape her. Despite emotionally scaring Ann-Mei this
demonstrates the lack of respect for a women in China. Ann-Mei's mother is forced into
concubinage because of her lack of power as a women. She becomes the third wife. As a
third wife she maintains very little status in the home of Wu Tsing. Ann-Mei's family
disowns her mother because by becoming a third wife she has brought shame to her
family. "When I was a young girl in China, my grandmother told me my mother was a
ghost". Ann-Mei is told to forget about her mother and move on in her life. The fact that

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