How are the daughters in The Joy Luck Club in conflict with the ways of tradition?How are the daughters in The Joy Luck Club in conflict with the ways of tradition?

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

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I think that the younger daughters are in conflict with tradition because they live the life of what it means to be American.  The younger generation does not fully understand that their condition exists both within culture and outside of it.  Their initial understanding of the past experiences of their mothers in China is one where they fail to see relevance to their own setting and predicaments.  In defining themselves in "modern" terms, the daughters embrace a set of circumstances and conditions that defines themselves as being fundamentally opposite of the traditional Chinese culture of their mothers.  Adding to this would be the generational gap perceptions in which the daughters believe that the mothers have little, if any, idea of what the American culture experiences are.  At the same time, the girls have fully assimilated into America, believing that their assimilation and identification as Americans would preclude any other identification.  It is only when the girls understand themselves as women, part of a larger dynamic where voices are marginalized and resistance to this is essential and universal, do the girls no longer face conflict with tradition.

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