The-Joy-Luck-Club.pdf - The Joy Luck Club Study Guide by...

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The Joy Luck Club Study Guide by Course Hero What's Inside j Book Basics 1 ................................................................................................. d In Context 1 ..................................................................................................... a Author Biography 3 ..................................................................................... h Characters 3 .................................................................................................. k Plot Summary 9 ............................................................................................. c Part Summaries 14 ...................................................................................... g Quotes 32 ........................................................................................................ l Symbols 35 ..................................................................................................... m Themes 36 ...................................................................................................... b Motifs 38 .......................................................................................................... e Suggested Reading 38 ............................................................................. j Book Basics AUTHOR Amy Tan YEAR PUBLISHED 1989 GENRE Drama PERSPECTIVE AND NARRATOR The Joy Luck Club is structured according to four sections of four stories each. A third-person parable begins each section. Each of the 16 stories is narrated in the first person by a mother or a daughter for a total of eight narrators. The third- person parables provide universal links among the stories while the varying first-person narrators provide multiple points of view on events. TENSE The Joy Luck Club is told in the past and present tenses. ABOUT THE TITLE The title The Joy Luck Club refers to a weekly gathering of four Chinese women who form a mah jong group. Mah jong is a four-player game that features tiles and is similar to the card game rummy. The group originated in China to bring joy, luck, and companionship to the players during the tragedy of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The founder, Suyuan Woo, continues the club in the San Francisco area after all four women immigrate. In the United States the daughters of the four original members are slated to inherit their mothers' places at the mah jong table. As the novel opens, Suyuan Woo has died and her daughter is joining the game for the first time. d In Context The timeline of The Joy Luck Club bounces all over the 20th century, with stories taking place anywhere from 1920 to the late 1980s. Much of the novel is set in China prior to 1944, so it helps to know a little about Chinese political history during that time period, as well as factors influencing Chinese immigration to the United States.
The Joy Luck Club Study Guide In Context 2 Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc. Political Upheaval and the Rise of Communism For more than 2,000 years, China adhered to a dynastic political system in which the position of ruler was passed down a family line until an opponent stepped in and wrested control away from the family in charge. That pattern changed in 1911 when revolutionaries began violently protesting in favor of a constitutional government that would end the tradition of Chinese dynastic rule. The Republican government, which controlled China from 1912–49, was never entirely stable. In the midst of World War I, during which China sided with Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Japan began making demands in regard to Chinese territory. Japan wanted access to China's ports and railroads, as well as influence over political matters. China ceded territory in the north to the Japanese, but Japan then secretly funded a Chinese rebellion against the Chinese government in several provinces. Meanwhile, a separate political party was forming, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially formed in 1921. In 1923 they joined with the ruling Nationalist Party to keep the Japanese out of China. By 1928 the parties were at

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