THE JOY LUCK CLUB:
"This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions."
Did you read Amy Tan's book or see the movie of the same title?
Your thoughts, please.
Chinese American Women, Language and Moving Subjectivity
Journal article by Victoria Chen; Women and Language, Vol. 18, 1995
Journal Article Excerpt
|Chinese American women, language, and moving subjectivity. |
by Victoria Chen
To imagine a language means to imagine a form of life.
Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
It was not until the 1970s that Asian American literature became recognized as a separate canon and a "new tradition" of writing. While this "new" form of expression created a new political consciousness and identity, the images and stories that abound in pioneer literature such as Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and China Men are paradoxically located in "recovered" ethnic history (Lim, 1993, p. 573). More recently, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club also takes the reader through a journey back to a specific set of ethnic memories as the mothers in the stories interweave their experiences struggling for survival and dignity in China and for coherence and hope in America. Part of the reason for the celebration of Asian American women's literature is that it provides an alternative way to think about issues such as language, subjectivity, cultural voice, and ethnic/gender identity.
For Chinese American women such as Kingston, Tan, and the female characters in The Joy Luck Club, speaking in a double voice and living in a bicultural world characterize their dual cultural enmeshment.(1) While striving to maintain a relationship with their Chinese immigrant parents, the Chinese American daughters also live in a society where one is expected to speak in a "standard" form of English and to "succeed" in the middle class Euro-American way.