What was the impact of The Joy Luck Club?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the greatest impact of Tan's work was to increase voice in the literary lexicon.  Tan's work increased awareness to what it meant to be Chinese, Chinese- American, and helped to spawn the part of the literary experience that spoke to Asian- Americans and the cultures from which their identity is formed.  The work did much to increase voice in this domain:

Reviewers have referred to the common sense with which Tan writes about Chinese culture. Tan explores areas of Chinese life that most other writers have not attempted. Many critics note that this novel, as well as others Tan has written, stimulates cross-culture appreciation. Readers of all cultures are able to be objective about their own predicaments while at the same time making connections between themselves and Tan's Chinese characters.

The bringing out of Chinese culture, the issues of identity attached to it, and also to explore the hyphenated American experience at the time was one of the most profound elements to Tan's work.  It helped to impact society in a demonstrative way in that the increase of voice was a result of the novel.

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