The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club is about the experiences of four women who emigrated from China to the United States. Each woman’s story contains horrendous experiences in China and shows how those experiences affected their relationships with their America born daughters. This movie shows us something about the culture and history of China in the early 20th Century focusing on the mistreatment of women. It also explores the relationships that Asian-American women have with their mothers and the relationships
between girls and their mothers in general.
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The first scene was about a girl who was sold as a wife to an Emperor. This girl was very unhappy been in this marriage. At some point she wanted to kill herself, other times she screamed and tried everything to get out of this marriage. She wanted to get of this marriage because she did not want to be controlled. We see that the China of the 1930’s and 1940’s before the Revolution was an unimaginably different place than it is today. Women were not valued very highly. Those with independent minds and spirits were valued even less than the docile, obedient ones.
The second scene was about a girl that played chess but was not really interested. While waling outside a girl asked her mother, “Why do you use me to show of? If you want to show of why don’t you play it yourself?” It shows that her mother was two proud to see that her daughter is unhappy. Later on, mother was avoiding her daughter, trying to punish her for the things she told her earlier. There was no listening on the mother’s side. Mother ignored and did not want to understand her daughter that created the situation even worse. The daughter was crying, she irritated and disturbed. There was negative nonverbal attitude, when people are not answering, turning away, it makes the other feel inferior by the person who creates the reality for you.
The third scene was about a daughter that brings non-Asian guy into the family. In the beginning her mother does not accepts him. Mother avoids daughter when she is talking about her boyfriend Rich. Her mother did not understand the direction her daughter was taking. It shows the power of mother over her daughter. No matter how much the daughter will try, she could never please her mother. Even the daughter tries to make her mother angry; the mother does not show emotions. The mother listened whenever she wanted to listen. She wanted to be in control that means that she was fearful. During a dinner Rich tried to compliment on a cooking, her mother considered that Rich had bad table manners. At the end, mother accepts Rich.
These stories are about Chinese and Chinese-American characters, but they are universal stories. Anyone with parents or children will identify with the way that the hopes of one generation can become both the restraints and the inspiration of the next.
I would like to replay the second scene because there might be a solution to the problem. When the daughter told her mother that she lost an interest to play chess, instead of ignoring and turning away, the mother should have asked her daughter questions. She should have been open with her daughter and listen to the child’s needs. The mother should have learned from her own experience. She should have remembered how she was treated in China. Also, she should have placed herself in the daughter’s shoes and see how painful it is for a child to be avoided. It could affect the behavior of a child in school, with pears, with elders.
In the third scene the mother should have let it go her control over her daughter. The daughter is old enough to know who she wants is with. In this situation the mother had to congratulate her daughter and wish her happiness and. Instead of avoiding daughter she had to be there for her and support her.
It shows that all of these characters wanted to be impendent in some way. These women, older generation and younger generation need to learn to listen and compromise. They need to learn to ask questions. And when speaking they need to learn positive nonverbal attitude. They need to be relaxed and open. They need to be aware. They need do stop been judgmental and unequal. For the exercise I would advise them to replace the verb “to be” with it could be, it might be, maybe, perhaps. This might unblock the judgmental behavior. This might help them to bring their conversation to a different level.