An Analysis of Feminist Awakening in the Joy Luck Club毕业论文

 2021-04-07 05:04

摘 要




1. Introduction 1

2. Demonstration 2

2.1 A brief introduction of Theoretical Foundation—Feminism 2

2.2 Beauvoir’s feminism thought in the Second Sex 3

2.2.1 The plight of women---as the other 4

2.2.2 The freedom and liberation of women---go beyond the other 5

2.3 The feminist awakening in the Joy Luck Club 6

2.3.1 Lindo Jong’s Fighting 7

2.3.2 Anmei’s Revival 8

2.3.3 Ying-ying’s Story……………………………………………………………9

2.3.4 Lena’s Awakening…………………………………………………………10

3. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….11

Works Cited 13

Bibliography 14

An Analysis of Feminist Awakening in the Joy Luck Club

  1. Introduction

As non-mainstream literature including feminist literature develops, Chinese American women writers, marginalized in terms of gender and race, attract much attention. And Amy Tan was one of the most significant writers. Amy Tan’s works highlighted themes such as concerns for women’s destiny and fate, living situations and exploration for better lives. Her novel, The Joy Luck Club, reflected this theme and became quite popular and successful soon after its publication. In 1990, the book won the National Book Award, the Bay Area Book Critics Award and the Commonwealth Club Gold Medal and a number of literary awards.

There have been a lot of mixed views and research achievements concerning this novel. Amy Ling, a famous critic has once complimented that this book is“an echo and response and in parts a continuation and expansion of her predecessors”(Ling 130). What’s more, it successfully promotes the development of Chinese American literature.

Through later analysis, we can find that Western (especially America) academia tends to focus more on explaining implied meanings in race, gender, identity, social class, and nationalism. In contrast, Chinese academia tends to focus more on issues such as cultural conflict and identity based on text analysis.

Based on previous research and studies, the paper analyzes the change from silence to awakening of women’s role in the feudal society from the perspective of feminism. Most of the female images in The Joy Luck Club fight against the unfair social system in the shape of patriarchy and sexism. But the women easily become silent, compromising and slavish when facing the oppression. However, the feminist awareness of these female is gradually awakening. They realize that their fate should be leaded by themselves. They should break the silence and clearly speak out their own views and opinions. The paper also applies Beauvoir’s other theory into analysis. It aims to point out why these women become other which means the secondary status of the female and how they get away from the other. By applying Beauvoir’s other theory into analysis, this paper will analyze the female characteristics in The Joy Luck Club in more detail and come to the conclusion that women can get rid of the other and reconstruct their identity with feminist awakening.

2. Demonstration

2.1 An introduction of Theoretical Foundation—Feminism

Since the end of the 18th century, more and more people have begun to pay more attention to the issue of gender equality between men and women. They began to realize that society centers on the spirit of male chauvinism, females have suffered a lot from oppression. Afterwards, feminism showed upon the historical stage.

In the west, some authoritative dictionaries tended to define feminism as “women enjoying equal rights as men do in the political, economic, and social affairs” (Linda 88). This definition includes two implications. Firstly, feminists should realize unequal and unjust treatment that women suffer, and helplessness and unfavorable conditions caused by gender inequality. Secondly, feminism affirms the women’s values, concepts, dignity and their contribution to human culture and civilization. In my opinion, the women’s psychological evolution process in the Joy Luck Club is a powerful representation of feminism. They lose the right of speech due to the patriarchy and male chauvinism, and their self-consciousness has been in a sleeping state. Facing the long period of oppression and humiliation, women’s self-awareness starts to awaken. They start to struggle with patriarchal system and finally get away from the sufferings. In other words, the women realize the gender inequality and pursue their inherent right; it is a process of the feminism awakening.

In the history of feminist movement in the US, there are two periods of climax. The first one is about women’s fighting for the right to vote that occurred from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century. During this movement, feminists believed that “liberalism attributed the root of gender equality to inaccessibility of the social system——political equality” (Johnson 34). Therefore, striving for political equality became the primary target of the movement. The second one was the feminist movement that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. This movement focused on the liberation and emancipation for women. The purpose was to achieve gender equality between men and women in the society.

These two periods of the feminist movement had a paramount influence on women’s awakening. As feminists realized that social dominant ideology limited women to the personal area of family, and prevented them from entering public areas. It caused women’s lower social status. In The Joy Luck Club, the mothers were born in a feudal family, they have been taught to appeal the three obedience and four virtues. Their freedom has always been dominated by the man and they are trapped in the household chore. So the active pursuit for women’s comprehensive rights and interests in public domains of society were the feminist’s main target.

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