What was Amy Tan's whole purpose of writing The Joy Luck Club?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Whenever we consider the "purpose" of a text, we often have to infer the reasons that the author had for writing it. However, when we think about the life of Amy Tan and how her life experience is reflected in this excellent novel, perhaps we can understand her reasons. Amy Tan herself, like the four younger characters in this novel, was a person who had to struggle with two cultures: the culture of her parents who had left China during the Communist revolution and the culture of the country where she was born, America. Amy Tan herself said that she "grew up with several Englishes," and just like the characters in The Joy Luck Club, she had to struggle with the various cultures in which she lived, especially concerning expectations of her Chinese parents and the freedom and opportunities given to her in America. Thus we can deduce that this novel was written to share and communicate something of the experience of Chinese immigrants and their children and the struggles that they face.

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