Sexism In The Joy Luck Club

Words: 1267
Pages: 6

Depending on what culture people are born into or raised in, everybody has different standards they have to live up to. In “The Joy Luck Club”, the author, Amy Tan shows how the characters react to learning different lessons in the midst of living up to the standards of the societies around them. An-Mei Hsu suffers to live up to the societal standards just as much as anyone else did. Honor, sexism, and strength are only a few of the societal standards that stand out in The Joy Luck Club.
An-Mei Hsu learns at a young age that she needed to honor others. At that young age, her grandmother became very ill. An-Mei watches her mother cut her own flesh off of her arm and put it in the soup to heal her sickly grandmother, Popo. An-Mei knows that
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One day, An-Mei’s mother journeyed across the world to pick up An-Mei and bring her home along with her. An-Mei’s mother has a son there too. However, she could not bring him home too, because he was a boy: “My mother did not dare take my brother. A son can never go to somebody else’s house to live. If he went, he would lose any hope for a future” (Tan 245-246). On the other hand, An-Mei had the choice of leaving because her future will be decided for her. After An-Mei left her aunt’s to go live with her mother, she witnesses massive amounts of sexism. Everday, An-Mei watched the women around the house get ordered around by Wu Tsing. Wu Tsing's five wives had no choice but to do what he told them to do. An-Mei’s mother came to live with Wu Tsing because his second wife tricked An-Mei’s mother into staying the night so that Wu Tsing could sleep with …show more content…
Three years later, after hiding her shame of Wu Tsing’s wealth in Teintsin, An- Mei’s mother gave birth to a son who was taken from her by Second Wife: “And that is how I learned that the baby Syaudi was really my mother’s son, my littlest brother” (Tan 268). An-Mei not only experienced sexism, but she also watched sexism against her mother.
Being strong is not always the easiest thing to do, but An-Mei knew that at times, being strong was her only option. At the age of four, An-Mei got a very serious burn on her neck from a boiling pot of soup that spilt. Her grandmother, Popo, would sit by her bed at night to help her get to sleep:
“Every night I would cry so that both my eyes and my neck burned. Next to my bed sat Popo. She would pour cool water over my neck from the hollowed cup of a large grapefruit. She would pour and pour until my breathing became soft and I could fall asleep. In the morning, Popo would use her sharp fingernails and tweezers and peel off the dead membranes” (Tan