Examples Of Oppression In The Joy Luck Club

Words: 1125
Pages: 5

Oppression of Women in the Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, is a novel about Chinese mothers immigrating to America, and the cultural gaps that form between them and their Americanized daughters. The book is split into four sections to focus on four different families: The Woo’s, Hsu’s, Jong’s, and St. Clair’s. The oppression of women is illustrated in both Chinese and American cultures, especially so in the Hsu and St. Clair sections. In The Joy Luck Club, the story of the Hsu and St. Clair families are filled with examples of the oppression of women.
The Hsu Family In The Joy Luck Club, the Hsu family begins with the story of An-mei growing up in China. Women in China are oppressed and seen as unequal in many ways. An-mei
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Men were not allowed to be passed to another house like women can.“My mother did not dare take my brother. A son can never go to somebody else’s house to live” (Tan, pg. 219). Upon arriving at the house of Wu Tsing, An-mei enjoyed her knew and wealthy life with her mother for a few weeks before the others arrived home. Then she realized the oppression all these women faced under Wu Tsing. “‘Do you see how shameful my life is?’ she cried. “Do you see how I have no position. He brought home a new wife, a low-class girl, dark-skinned, no manners! …And at night when he can no longer use her, he comes to me, smelling of her mud” (Tan, pg. …show more content…
Clair Family Ying-Ying St. Clair grew up as a First Wife’s daughter in a wealthy family. She was taught Chinese ways of oppression as early as when she was a young girl, getting scolded for chasing dragonflies. “‘A boy can run and chase dragonflies, because that is his nature,’ she said. ‘But a girl should stand still” (Tan, pg. 72). Ying-Ying later was married off to an unfaithful man, and when he left her for good she killed his son before it could come out. She moved in with her much poorer cousins and lived crowded yet alone. “I was no longer a girl but a strange woman. A still-married woman with no husband” (Tan, pg. 249). She eventually had to work in a clothing store to support herself, and she met Mr. St. Clair there. She “…neither liked or disliked him…Saint courted me for four years in his strange way” (Tan, pg.250). However she somehow knew “…this man would someday be my husband” (Tan, pg. 250). And though he was sweet, she was pushed into marriage with him, and he took her to America, where she knew nothing of the language or culture. She slipped into madness as the years went on, her identity and astrological sign taken away from