Amy Tan Discussion Topics

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Discuss the significance of fate, luck, and choice in Amy Tan’s works.

What sort of conflicts arise between mothers and daughters in Tan’s books, and how can those conflicts be healed? Are they always the product of cultural differences?

In what ways have some of Tan’s characters been effectively silenced? How do they overcome this?

What techniques does Tan use to make her characters come to life? Do you agree that her Chinese characters are more memorable? Why or why not?

Some readers have complained about the one-dimensional quality of Tan’s male characters. Do you find any exceptions?

In all of her work, Tan seems to suggest that a knowledge of the past or of family history is essential to one’s well-being. Do you agree?

Is Tan’s use of humor and violence effective? Why or why not?