How can the daughters in the novel be considered as translations of their mothers in The Joy Luck Club?

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

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The wording of the question is unique.  I think that the area where I am having the most amount of challenge lies in the term "translations."  The daughters can be seen as modern versions of their mothers, perhaps translating the mothers' challenges into the modern setting, in their struggle to find voice.  The daughters can be seen as modern translations of their mothers in that they, too, are challenged with how to assert their own identity in predicaments where men hold power.  In this light, the mothers see in their children a modern replication of their own challenges, situations that they thought were left behind in China.  In the end, the daughters are modern translations of their mothers in that they too struggle with what it means to be a woman, and in that light, a modern woman.  The daughters' predicament help to bring out the challenges in establishing this identity, allowing them to be seen as modern translations of their mothers.

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