Give some examples of the cultural difference between the mother and the daugters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From a theoretical point of view, the opening vignette helps to explain some of the differences between daughter and mother in terms of culture.  The fact that the mother intends for her daughter to be happy, devoid of the pain in the past, is a reflection of the Western values that place more primacy on the future and present as opposed to the past.  The desire to "speak perfect English" is another cultural difference between mother and daughter.  The opening vignette helps to establish how culturally different mother and daughter are.  It helps to explain how there are significant cultural differences in their own perception.  Yet, it is the condition of gender and that which is suffered as a result of it which can provide a sense of bridge building between the women despite cultural differences.  I believe that the opening vignette helps to bring out how different the mothers and daughters are.  The mothers quickly recognize that their daughters have taken to the West's notion of independence and speed towards an unknown future.  It is their own experiences with gender bias that the girls end up recognizing an adversary that is unknown to them, but one that is all too well known to the mothers.

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The Joy Luck Club

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