The Joy Luck Club Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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In The Joy Luck Club, which character drastically changes in a section or the entire book?

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Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of the characters who changes drastically is Ying-ying St. Clair. While the reader can discern small changes as well, it is when she decides that her daughter, Lena, needs her help that Ying-ying undergoes a drastic change. She summons up all her interior resources to help her daughter.

Ying-ying, through her marriage to Clifford, has been thoroughly dominated. She does not actually think of herself as conquered or passive in her acceptance of his domineering ways. One example of Clifford's domineering ways is his decision to call her by the completely different and non-Chinese name, Betty. Ying-ying experiences a dual sense of identity and an inauthenticity so nearly complete that she feels like a ghost:

I kept my true nature hidden, running along like a small shadow so nobody could catch me.

After Lena...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 423 words.)

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