The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, is a powerful portrayal of four Chinese women andthe lives of their children in America. The book discusses the conflictingcultures between the United States and China, and how men treat women throughouttheir lives. People living in the United States usually take for granted theirroles as a male or female. The culture of each country shapes the treatment onereceives based on the sex of the individual.
There are obvious differenceswithin the different cultures. These differences show themselves in the workforce, the distinct tasks performed in the home, and the privileges one receivesin society. In the work force, the women of America hold many positions ofimportance. They are usually treated as equals with men and there are few jobsfrom which they are excluded. In China, women are expected to stay at home andare not permitted to be in a work force that is held exclusively for men. Thewomen of America receive fair wages and have earned the right to work with men.Order now
In China, women are assigned the role of housewives and must stay at home toclean the house and raise the children. Women in America receive educations thatwill prepare them for the high paying jobs of a professional. The women in Chinaare known for taking orders from their husbands. Another feature that is foundto be different in China from America is the different roles women take in thehome.
The author explains that a Chinese woman is expected to be a good wife forher chosen husband. Girls are promised at an early age to a man. The storyThe Red Candle shows an arranged marriage where the author sacrificed herlife to fulfill her parents promise of marriage when she was only two yearsold. At the marriage ceremony the candle is lit at both ends and if neither endgoes out it will be a successful marriage.
Of course, the woman was the one heldresponsible for making the marriage a successful one. In an American marriage,each person is held accountable for the success of a marriage. There are noarranged marriages and no matchmakers as in the Chinese culture. Marriage isexpected to be for love not to fulfill promises between families. Anotherdifference reflected in the book is that the women in China have differentprivileges than men. In the story, Amy Tan, showed how women were not importantenough to choose many things for themselves.
They were given all the orders andwere expected to follow them without question. They did not have choice in whomthey married and whether they worked. Girls were also given to other familieswhen they were young. A son could never go to another home to live. The women ofAmerica would never stand for this treatment.
They are educated and make theirown decisions. Differences in the cultures of Chinese and American women arenumerous. Lena St. Clair says it best when she talks about the equality she haswith her coworker, Harold.
This is not possible in China, however, it isexpected in America. The women in China appear to accept their misery. The womenin America make every effort to rise above a life that does not place them atequal level as a man.Book Reports