How does The Joy Luck Club show the significance of parent- child relationships?

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

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The role of the parent- child relationships is one where the younger generation has to learn from the previous one's experiences.  In this, Tan validates the relationship between parent and child.  The daughters only understand the full implications of their places in the world because of their mothers.  In each narrative, the emergence of maturation into understanding their own private lives is something that is enhanced through the instruction and guidance of the mothers.  The daughters understand what their mothers' experiences were in China, helping them reconfigure and comprehend their own conditions in life. The parent- child relationship is vitally important in understanding this configuration.  Tan demonstrates that the social conditions of sexism in the modern setting can be counteracted when daughters grasp the conditions of their mothers, and when mothers are able to share their conditions with their daughters.  This affirmation of the bond helps to build solidarity amongst women from different age groups and helps to create an understanding of feminism that can counteract the social condition of patriarchy.  In this, Tan makes the private bond between mother and daughter possess political significance in how it can challenge social conditions of silence and oppression.