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The novel “ The Joy Luck Club” is written by Amy Tan and published in 1989.

This novel
compiled 16 related stories between the mothers and the daughters and it had exposed the
reader to the intercultural and intergenerational issue. The mothers who immigrated from
China to America wanted to raise their daughter according to the traditional Chinese way but
their daughter however feel trapped between the Chinese culture and mainstream American
society. Amy Tan whose Chinese name , An-Mei means “blessing from America “ is a Chinese
– American novelist. Her father, John Tan was a Chinese- born Baptist minister while her
mother, Daisy Tan was the daughter of an upper-class in Shanghai , China. She insisted to
become a fiction writer although her parents wanted her to be a neurosurgeon. She had
written several novels which also appeared on the New York Times bestseller list such as The
Kitchen God ‘s Wife (1991) and The Hundred Secret Senses (1995). The setting of the novel
“ The Joy Luck Club” somehow had a relation to Amy Tan ‘s background.

Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California on February 19 , 1952. Based on the novel “ The
Joy Luck Club” it also stated that the main character , Jing Mei Woo or known as June was
born in California , U.S.A in 1951. We can see that the character Jing Mei Woo was born in
the same place as Amy Tan. This indicates that Jing Mei Woo represents Amy Tan in the
novel. This is proved in the novel in chapter A Pair Of Tickets : Jing Mei Woo when she take
out her passport and the declaration form and the document had stated that she was born in
California, U.S.A. Oakland have been mentioned in the chapter The Voice From The Wall:
Lena St. Clair in the flashback of how the dark side of Lena’s mother had arised from the
basement in their old house in Oakland.

Amy Tan made a promise to herself she will take her mother to meet her twin babies that she
had left in China when she received a message saying that her mother had suffered attack
and had been taken to intensive care. She kept her promise to take her mother to China and
obeyed everything that her mother said. By doing this she learned that how much there was
still to know more about each other in order to tighten the relationship between mother and
daughter. This event is related in the novel when Jing Mei went to China to fulfill her mother
‘s dream. She will meet the twin babies that her mother had left in China during the war. This
can pe proved in chapter A Pair Of Tickets: Jing Mei Woo page 154, 3rd paragraph, 2nd to 3rd
line, “ My mother is dead and I am on s train, carrying with me her dreams of coming home”.
“ I am going to China “. Both Amy Tan and Jing Mei Woo faced the same event but the
presence of the mother is only the difference. The Joy Luck Club shows the regret of the
daughter because she never had a chance to know her mother truly was. This have been a
lesson to Amy Tan to expressed her love towards her mother before she die. This was one of
the reason why she wrote this novel (Mullan, 2013).
990430 - 08 – 7894
The time setting in the novel is the same as in the author’s life. The event which her mother
and father had left China is in 1949. As we can see in the novel in chapter The Joy Luck Club:
Jing–Mei Woo, 4th paragraph, 1st line to 3rd line, “My mother started the San Francisco version
of The Joy Luck Club in 1949, two years before I was born.”This was the year my mother and
father left China with one stiff leather trunk filled with only with fancy silk dresses”. Amy Tan
also discovered that her own grandmother who is a widow had been raped by a merchant
who had forced her to be one of his concubine. Then her grandmother killed herself by
swallowing the raw opium just like in the novel “The Joy Luck Club” which An mei’s mother
had killed herself by swallowing the raw opium to give her daughter the spirit to fight for justice.
The prove is in the Chapter Magpies:An Mei Hsu when Yan Chang woke An Mei Hsu to tell
about her mother who poisoned herself by taking too much opium and there was nothing the
could do beside waiting her mother to die.

In “The Joy Luck Club” the author used the same time setting as her background which the
war in Kweilin era. Suyuan told Jing Mei about this events that took place when she was living
in China. Suyuan claimed that an army came to her house and told her to run away from
Kweilin and go quickly to her husband which is the officer with Kuomintang in Chungking.
Finally she had to abandoned her precious twin daughters to save herself.This section of the
novel is based on truth in 1967, Amy Tan’s mother revealed the truth that she had left her
daughters from her earlier marriage somewhere in China. Tan’s mother , Daisy was reunited
with two of her daughters in 1978 in real life while Suyuan did not get the chance to reunited
with her twin babies in the novel. This events displayed that the family relationship was
unbreakable. Although the daughters in China had been separated from their family member
for such a long time they still be able to find and contact with their biological family.

In conclusion , Amy tan had related her life background in writing “The Joy Luck Club”. Amy
Tan took some of the place and time setting from her own experience. Therefore it can give a
vivid image of the storyline and it gives lesson to the readers.


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