movie paper - Kayla Murphy, Brenda Phang, Jessica Meyers,...

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Kayla Murphy, Brenda Phang, Jessica Meyers, Natalie Rowe WMST 1110 Movie Project Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club Based on the novel The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan and published in 1989, the film of the same name was first introduced in 1993. The film focuses on the issues surrounding women of Asian descent and their struggles to adapt to mainstream American culture. It is difficult for these women to maintain a bicultural identity without being pinned as either one or the other by society, and the film chronicles the women’s plight to achieve this. Through their relationship with their mothers, the daughters of the film gain their own sense of bicultural identity by dealing with expectations of the “Model Minority,” gender roles, and assimilation and acculturation. The film is laid out as a series of vignettes in the style of a frame narrative. The mothers, Suyuan, Lindo, An-mei, and Ying-Ying, all emigrated from China to raise their daughters, June, Waverly, Rose, and Lena, in the United States. The relationships between the mothers and daughters are strained. The expectations their mothers have for them are steeped in Chinese culture and tradition, yet they’ve raised their daughters to be free-thinking Americans. To fix their relationships, the daughters must learn gain a sense of their Chinese heritage and learn to balance their two identities as Chinese-Americans. Through dealing with the emerging problems in their own lives, the daughters hear the stories of their mothers’ youths, and learn the lessons they learned as they apply to their own contemporary lives. Themes of assimilation and acculturation are prevalent throughout the movie Joy Luck Club . Conflict revolves around the assimilation of their daughters into American culture and the
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struggle to preserve a traditional Chinese identity in modern America. Assimilation will be defined as the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups. Acculturation will be defined as the adoption of behavioral patterns of the surrounding cultures. A clash occurs between the individual mothers and daughters in two ways, thus highlighting different forms of assimilation and acculturation. The daughters struggle to meet the expectations of their mothers and maintain their modern American lifestyle. In all of the daughters’ lifestyles, there is no explicit Chinese influence. All of the mothers immigrated to America in order to have a better life and pass that life onto their daughters. The influence of American culture is apparent in the daughters: in their dress, speech and lifestyles. For example, only three of the four daughters marry. June, the daughter of Suyuan, does not marry which goes against Chinese customs. Her mother would have wanted her to wed; remaining a single woman at her age is distinctly American. Of the three that do wed, both Rose and Waverly marry American men. Rose marries into a blatantly racist family and sacrifices her happiness in an attempt to become the perfect American wife. Waverly’s relationship with her American fiancé
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course WMST 1110 taught by Professor Wright during the Fall '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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movie paper - Kayla Murphy, Brenda Phang, Jessica Meyers,...

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