By right of her debut novel The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan has established her position as an outstanding and influential woman writer in Chinese-American literature. However, the Chinese male characters in her works play an ugly, evil and incompetent role in her works that is completely different from the righteous role of American male characters, and also the heroic role in traditional Chinese literature.
This paper aims to analyze the shaping of Chinese and American male characters in The Joy Luck Club from the aspects of the rise of Chinese-American literature, the engrained traditional Chinese ideology, the impacts of mainstream American culture and the awakening of feminist consciousness.
The paper consists of six chapters. The first chapter is an introduction to the writer, her works and literature review. The second chapter is a specific introduction of male characters in this novel, including Chinese male characters and American male characters. The third chapter is a brief introduction of the rise of Chinese-American literature, including an elaboration on “The Other” in Orientalism. The fourth chapter is the analysis of the impacts of traditional Chinese culture and mainstream American culture. The fifth chapter is the analysis of the awakening of feminist consciousness. The last chapter is the conclusion. Through close reading and cultural studies, we can have a better understanding of the shaping of Chinese and American male characters in The Joy Luck Club and why Amy Tan has done so.
Key Words: The Joy Luck Club; male characters; feminist consciousness; Chinese-American literature
1 Introduction 4
1.1 Amy Tan and Her Works 4
1.2 Literature Review 5
2 Male Characters in The Joy Luck Club 8
2.1 The Image of Chinese Male Characters 8
2.2 The Image of American Male Characters 9
3 The Rise of Chinese-American Literature 10
3.1 The Rise of Chinese-American Literature 10
3.2 “The Other” in Orientalism 11
4 Analysis of the Impacts of Culture 14
4.1 The Impacts of Traditional Chinese Culture 14
4.2 The Impacts of Mainstream American Culture 16
5 Analysis of the Awakening of Feminist Consciousness 19
6 Conclusions 22
6.1 Summary 22
6.2 Limitations and Further Study 23
An Analysis on the Shaping of Chinese and American Male Characters in The Joy Luck Club
1.1 Amy Tan and Her Works
Amy Tan is an outstanding Chinese-American woman writer, who was born on 19 February, 1952. Her father John is an electrical engineer and Baptist minister who travels to the United States in order to escape the chaos of the Chinese Civil War, with her mother Daisy Tan. Thus it provides a dual cultural environment, both Chinese and American for Amy Tan, from the moment of her birth.
Amy Tan is the second of three children, and the only girl. She grew up in Northern California, but after her father and older brother both died of brain tumors in 1966, she moved with her mother and younger brother to Europe, where she attended high school in Switzerland. In 1969, Amy Tan went to San Jose City College in California, where Amy Tan met her future husband on a blind date. In San Jose State University, Amy Tan received her bachelor's and master's degrees in English and linguistics. Then she engaged herself in doctoral studies in linguistics at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, but then abandoned her doctoral studies in 1976.
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