Joy Luck Club Anaylsis Essay, Research Paper
In the movie “Joy Luck Club,” four women are introduced. Their lives are described, their mother’s lives are described, and their grandmother’s. This movie shows three generations of Chinese women and how each of their lives have progressed and changed. Through every generation, there is a constant underlying tension between mother and daughter.
The pressure that a mother applies to her daughter is described. In one incident the mom forced her daughter to play the piano. The daughter didn’t even like playing the piano. However, the mother forced her daughter to practice daily, and perform in talent shows. When the daughter would complain, the mom would reply by saying, “don’t be disobedient.” It’s sad when a mother forces their child to participate in something that the child doesn’t feel in their heart. However, pressures like this aren’t just applied by Chinese mothers. In America it is so common to see parents (mom and dad) forcing their child to do something against their will. My best friend, Rachel, is half black and half white. She is really tall and an incredible basketball player. Sadly she is so sick of playing basketball. Her mom forces her to practice everyday, attend basketball camps, play for the school team and a recreational team. Rachel’s mom is making Rachel play basketball in college. Although Rachel is amazing on the court, she doesn’t like it. Similar to the scene in the “Joy Luck Club,” both mothers are pressuring their daughters to do something that they have no desire to. This creates major tension between mother and daughter. Sadly, it seems that parents don’t realize the pressure they apply. In the mean time their children are growing to hate the particular activity and dislike their parents.
Another scene where tension between mother and daughter is shown is when the daughter breaks down and begins to cry because of not feeling accepted by her mother. The daughter complains that through her entire life, she has never met her mom’s standards. Anything that she does or did, was inadequate and always in need of improvement. The decisions she makes in her life can never be perfect. The man she marries, the job she takes and anything else never satisfies her mom. Once again, this type of mother-daughter relationship is not restricted to just the Chinese culture. I have personally felt this. Before I had my “break down,” I faced a similar problem with my mom. My makeup could always look better, I could have dressed a little nicer, I could’ve been a little more “tight” when performing a cheer dance, my toes should’ve been pointed, bigger smile, curl your hair, paint your nails, a B is alright, but why not an A, fix your posture, your face is broken out, etc. It was awful, to say the very least. Sadly, this didn’t affect my love for her. “Love is blind.” I hated the way she made me feel, the constant feeling of imperfection, but I still loved her. But one day I just broke down, like the girl in the “Joy Luck Club.” After my episode of screaming and crying (completely abnormal and unexpected), my mom was silent. She didn’t consciously realize what she had been doing for so long. After she came to this realization things changed. For the past 9 months, things have been so much better. She hasn’t said one critical remark. I’m so thankful. It was very interesting and emotional for me to watch such a similar situation on TV.
Another incident in the movie that shows tension between mother and daughter is when two mothers compete with their daughters. Each mom brags about their daughter and tries to proof that their daughter far exceeds the other. This creates such rivalry between the mothers, and without much choice, between the daughters also. They compete with looks, intelligence, special abilities and many other things. With this constant feeling and pressure of needing to be better, how can the children have any self-confidence? This is just another example of the tension that can build up between a mother and daughter.
Although these three examples are sad and unfortunate for the daughters, the relationship between Chinese mothers and daughters have been improving. Generations ago, Chinese mothers were very controlling and dominating. The daughters had no control of their own life. They were told who to marry, what to eat, and how to live. Fortunately, each generation gains a better mother-daughter relationship. Nowadays, Chinese mothers give their daughters many freedoms. They don’t place expectations. However there still exists tension in many relationships, however “tension” can be dealt with more easily than previous generations. All cultures need to work on accepting their children, to help avoid tension.