My Views on Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club

Amy Tan's novel Joy Luck Club is viewed by some as discriminating, unjust, etc. but I think otherwise. Why? Being an Oriental, I have seriously experienced racist behavior from my own kind. That doesn't give them the right to criticize Americans if that's the case. Racism of any kind is WRONG3x! I just thought of the whole novel really made sense on the following truths in the novel:
  • Many Chinese males have a record of being abusive to their spouses.
  • Chinese parenting can sometimes reach to its extremes in terms of authority that there is NO real give and take. Authority is more abused than used properly.
  • The Chinese mother-in-law is a dreadful image that is passed from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law.
  • Disowning of children is common.
  • Women can end up in the extremes too.
  • Freedom and authority fall out of balance with the characters.
And how true indeed. Certain characters are just really real.

For example we have Lin Xiao and Wu Tsing as the evil males. Lin Xiao was Ying Ying's abusive first husband who caused her to go to madness to the point to kill their son. He's a jerk to the max and my father can be like that.

Wu Tsing is the symbol of corruption by power, as well as superstition. Rich but superstitious. So superstitious that he was easily controlled by the second wife (or his first mistress). It's even worse that in the novel, he's a pedophile with a fifth wife only a year older than An Mei. He thinks he can get away with what he's doing just because he's rich. What the? Honestly, a LOT of the Chinese men in the older generation are like that. Even some Chinese guys admit they have relatives like that. I even know someone who rapes his maids whenever he felt like it. Familiar? Just like Wu Tsing!

Second wife was a character that intrigued me. Why? Despite the fact she was a woman, she was portrayed in a MEAN way. I mean really EVIL way. She seduced Wu Tsing so she could become his second wife (technically, his first concubine, they weren't really married). She manipulated him by every means possible, even to add more mistresses into the household when she couldn't have children, presumably the opium must have destroyed her reproductive system. She of course was a lying, sneak thief like almost every mistress today who go after married men for their wealth- a good illustration that a Chinese man's mistress can be from his own kind.

Also there are the flaws of the mothers too. I have aunts who have the flaws of the mothers. The mothers were throwing their frustrations at their children, even when they couldn't take it. For example like Waverly's chess and Lindo's piano. If one is NOT meant to become a professional pianist, why force it? I mean, one has to enforce things like studying but NOT to become top in the class for all to brag. They were simply authoritarian, misusing their authority for their own benefit rather than their own good, until they realized how wrong they were.

And I would like to talk about culture clash and working it out. How true indeed. It's all about the Asian-American relationships, although in this film, there's no Chinese guy-American woman relationship, it was more of the norm before which the woman was Chinese, the guy was American in that kind of mixed marriages. It also showed the weaknesses of the American culture if they can go too lax that a marriage could nearly fall apart- like how Rose Hsu Jordan's more liberal husband Ted Jordan nearly had a divorce until she won the case, that is to save her marriage.

Overall, it's a very entertaining book and the film is worth it to... realistic for a piece of fiction.


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