A Study of the “Mahjong” Motif in The Joy Luck Club毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Study of the “Mahjong” Motif in The Joy Luck Club毕业论文


摘 要






2.1 Mahjong as the representation of confrontations of two cultures———————2

2.1.1 Joy Luck Club of Mahjong in Guilin—————————————————2

2.1.2 Joy Luck Club of Mahjong in San Francisco——————————————3

2.2 Mahjong as the indication of mother-daughter conflicts——————————-4

2.2.1 Lindo and Waverly’s conflicts indicated by their different attitudes towards Mahjong——————————————————————————————-4

2.2.2 Suyuan and June’s conflicts indicated by their ways of playing Mahjong——–5

2.3 Mahjong as the suggestion of the plot structure—————————————–6

2.3.1 Sequential layout of Mahjong as a construct in the novel—————————7

2.3.2 Random events of Mahjong corresponding to narratives of unordered episodes——————————————————————————————–7




A Study of “Mahjong” Motif in The Joy Luck Club

1. Introduction

Amy Tan (1952-) was born in Oakland, California, just two and a half years after her parents immigrated there from China. Her parents expected her to be a doctor and part-time pianist, but she became a consultant to programs for disabled children and a freelance writer in the end. The Joy Luck Club (1989), her first novel, became well-known overnight and stayed in the best seller’s board for nine months. By the end of June, 1991, her first novel sold out 275,000 copies. It is believed that Amy Tan, along with Maxine Hong Kingston, may have opened the door to the era of the prosperity and success of Chinese American novels.

The Joy Luck Club is one of the most representative novels written by Amy Tan. It is named after the party of mahjong established by the mother, Suyuan, who migrated from China to America. The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four American Chinese housewives—what had happened to them before 1949, their perplexity on American culture, the generation gap between them and their children and the conflicts of two different cultures when they tried to teach Chinese traditional culture to their children who were completely Americanized in order to hold their roots. After the painful process, they eventually find the destination of their soul in the traditional Chinese culture.

The whole novel is made up of sixteen sections. Although arranged in separate places, the two sections are logically related. For the mother, it mainly tells the story of their experiences in China and their early life in the US; and for the daughter, it mainly tells the conflicts with their mothers in the process of their growth and their marriage and work. Though separated, most sections touch upon the relationships between the mothers and daughters and the communications of different cultures.

In The Joy Luck Club, Mahjong is a recurrent image and endowed with significant meanings. Many episodes are about the Mahjong game and most characters are involved in Mahjong-playing. Therefore, Mahjong serves as a central motif in this novel. This thesis will study the motif Mahjong from three aspects, respectively, Mahjong as the representation of confrontations of two cultures, Mahjong as the indication of mother-daughter conflicts, and Mahjong as the suggestion of the plot structure. The focus of this thesis will be build upon how the writings of Mahjong play an important role in the cultural representation, the characterization, the development of the plot. The motif of Mahjong not only helps the expression of the theme of The Joy Luck Club, but displays Amy Tan’s writing style as a Chinese American writer.

2. Demonstration

2.1 Mahjong as the representation of confrontations of two cultures

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