Essay Title: 

Develop a thesis-based argument that synthesizes your chosen coming-of-age book with one or two essays/stories from The Mercury Reader

March 30, 2016 | Author: | Posted in asian literature, literature and language

The Significance of Language on Character Development in Amy Tan ‘s Joy Luck Club

The essay Mother Tongue ‘ and the novel Joy Luck Club are both written by Amy Tan who is the second generation of Chinese immigrations Mother Tongue ‘ sheds significant light on her novel Joy Luck Club that can help in the understanding of the novel and the development of the four daughters . In her essay , she explains that language is much more than merely a means of communication , because society values standard English so much over broken English . This [banner_entry_middle]

linguistic hierarchy results in conflict , misunderstanding , and ultimately threatens the rich Chinese heritage which the four mothers hold inside . In for the daughters to develop as women who can embrace both their Chinese heritage and their American heritage , they find a common language to share with their mothers . In Mother Tongue ‘ Amy Tan shows that she herself learns to navigate and integrate both cultures , a task that the women in Joy Luck Club are striving toward . Although mothers and daughters in both texts struggle to understand each other , the adoption of a common language allows them to maintain a family bond and both culture heritages

The Joy Luck Club begins with the mythical story of a woman who has witnessed a duck turn itself into a goose . The parable frames the huge importance of the role of language throughout the novel

In America I will have a daughter just like me . But over there nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husband ‘s belch Over there nobody will look down on her , because I will make her speak only perfect American English . For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her . And she waited , year after year , for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English (Tan 17

The Woman has a meaningful parable to tell , but has kept it to herself waiting until the day when she can explain it in perfect American English ‘ Perfect English is not attainable for an adult who has little exposure to the language until later in life , and this embarrassment and her devaluation of her own language proves extremely detrimental . This experience is common among many immigrant women as Jing-Mei ‘s Mother notes in the novel Joy Luck Club : My mother could sense that the women of these families also had unspeakable tragedies they had left behind in China and hopes they couldn ‘t begin to express in their fragile English (20 . The mothers ‘ embarrassment and reluctance to use their broken English ‘ becomes a major barrier to their daughter ‘s development , as it inhibits both their knowledge of the world and their relationship with their mothers . However , they still use the adoption of a common language to communicate each other . They finally understand each other by the numberless experiences , misconception , and conflicts which they have gone through

Jing-Mei Woo , the… [banner_entry_footer]


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