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Critical Review of Joy Luck Club

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Critical Review of Joy Luck Club Being a Chinese myself, perhaps my judgment of Amy Tan's "Joy Luck Club" is impaired. Surely, there are many Chinese immigrants whom have successfully integrated themselves into the Western world, without the emotional baggage of Tan's characters. My message to Tan: Don't dwell on it, girl. Everyone suffers. Truth be told, in America, no one is a local. We suffer the same cultural confusion, the same identity issues. We are one giant melting pot of different people, united by that same American dream. It is this American dream that leads Tan's characters to seek refuge from broken pasts and shattered love. Sadly, in Tan's novel, the only characters who truly feel are Chinese women. ...read more.


The novel tries too hard to be meaningful, tries too hard to weld into our tear ducts. But it's simply trying too hard. Certainly, the eight central characters are quite perplexing to follow up on. The constant switching of narrative voice only reinforces this confusion. I feel that Amy Tan did not do enough research into real Chinese life, before sitting down to write Joy Luck Club. In my opinion, this novel paints a sick picture of Chinese culture, appealing only to those unfamiliar to the Chinese. Amy Tan is an opportunist who is milking her ethnic background for all its worth. She makes China seem grossly exotic, oppressive and patriarchal. Then, she portrays America as the land of hope, egalitarian and all. ...read more.


You must think I have a personal hatred against Amy Tan. But I don't. As in any novel, there are strengths and weaknesses. In "Joy Luck Club" there is breathtaking imagery and clever use of juxtaposition. Chapters such as "Moon Lady" and Waiting between the trees" are beautifully written. Maybe Tan should try songwriting or poetry. She is after all, quite brilliant with lyrical technique. "Joy luck Club" is just one of the string of novels by Asian American writers. But are they trying to sell their culture, whipping it up palatably for Non- Asians who want an insight into Asian culture? Is this the ethical thing to do? I'm sick of this yin-yang, hopeless suffering, abusive man, and voiceless woman thing. Many of these writers are only doing more harm, by perpetuating and encouraging stereotyping. Lets see more work that is aimed at a wider audience. An audience that is not defined by race, gender, or being. ...read more.

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