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Chinese Characters America Circumstances - Book Report/Review Example

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Chinese Characters America Circumstances

The origin of the conflict between Lindo and her daughter does back to China when Lindo was destined to marry Tyan-yu, a neighbor's son. She tries to protect her daughter from life grievances and problems but creates "a wall" between Waverly and herself. Thesis Generation differences influence values, beliefs and communication styles of Lindo and her daughter Waverly, but both of them stick to unique cultural traditions and values of the native land.
The cause of the conflict between Lindo and Waverly is the difference between American values and old traditions followed by Chinese people and Lindo, and Waverly, influenced by the American life style. The first conflict takes place when Waverly brings her fianc Rich to dinner at home, she is afraid that her pedants would not accept his styles and values: "I couldn't save him" (177), claims Waverly when she notices his mistakes. In Chinese families, it is not acceptable to: drink too much of the wine; help himself with food before anyone else has had a bite; answer politely. In contrast to her mother, Waverly accepts American style of life and traditions, but she knows that her pedants will reject Rich. Lindo opposes views and lifestyle of her daughter, criticizes her fiance and his American values and behavior patterns. In Double Face, Waverly states:
And now I have to fight back my feelings. These two faces, I think, so much the same! The same happiness, the same sadness, the same good fortune, the same faults.
I am seeing myself and my mother, back in China, when I was a young girl (49).
Waverly fears that Lindo's criticism can ruin her relationship with Rich. Addressing stories to her daughter, Lindo remains aware that her words are falling on indifferent ears; thus she perseveres, hoping that a fragment of thought or a word will influence her daughter. "It's too late to change you," Lindo says to Waverly, adding that the only reason for the advice is concern. for Waverly's child who might grow to adulthood knowing nothing of her double cultural heritage (49). In contrast to Waverly, Lindo's stories are retrieved from memories and offered to the daughter as gifts and lessons.
The second cause of the generation gap is based on personal differences and different values of Lindo and Waverly. In contrast to her mother, Waverly tries to build her own self-identity and develop her unique skills and knowledge. Pride represents Lindo's attempt to live through her daughter, Waverly denying that Waverly has a unique identity and a sense of personal individual achievement. As Waverly grow to womanhood, she understands that at every turn she is reminded of failure to live up to her mother's expectations. Lindo view herself as powerless against the engulfing American culture that has estranged her life and values of her family from the Chinese traditions and culture. In contrast to Lindo, Waverly was a happy child: she becomes famous as "Chinatown's Littlest Chinese Chess Champion." As an adult, Waverly is a tax lawyer and the mother of four-year-old Shoshana--and she is loved by kind, romantic Rich Schields. Yet Waverly is unhappy: she fears Lindo's critical commentaries and remarks about problems and issues of great importance. ...Show more


In the book, the Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan builds up the concept of cultural origins and lost ethnic essence only in order to radically undermine and reconfigure the notion of an ethnic essence. The experiences of Chinese immigrants in America and their past lives in China are not documented by a seemingly objective narrator but by a series of participants narrating their extremely subjective experiences…
Author : santinasawayn
Chinese Characters America Circumstances essay example
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