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Background on Amy Tan Born in Oakland, California, 1952 Grew up in Fresno, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Montreux, and Switzerland Currently lives.

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Presentation on theme: "Background on Amy Tan Born in Oakland, California, 1952 Grew up in Fresno, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Montreux, and Switzerland Currently lives."— Presentation transcript:



3 Background on Amy Tan Born in Oakland, California, 1952 Grew up in Fresno, Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco, Montreux, and Switzerland Currently lives in San Francisco

4 Story Content

5 Each story gives a wonderful glimpse into Chinese culture and heritage including festivals, marriage ceremonies, food dishes, clothing, and raising children. The reader is also introduced to the social rules and expectations for the traditional Chinese woman.

6 The most moving part about The Joy Luck Club is that in spite of this upbringing, each woman or girl has a true nature and spirit that enables her to find unique ways to cope with life. These individual spirits are the basis of survival through hard times both emotional and physical.

7 The stories, while separate, are woven together as we learn of subsequent deaths, divorces, and family reunions in later chapters. Certain details in later vignettes relate back to events earlier in the book. The feelings that mothers have concerning their daughters, how daughters feel about their mothers, and the competition, love and resentment that takes place among various members of the group are skillfully revealed.

8 One of the major conflicts between the mothers and their daughters is the desire of the young generation to become more Americanized. But as the second generation ages, they become more interested in retaining their unique Chinese heritage. Consequently, as the book ends it becomes evident that the Joy Luck Club will continue and that there is a renewed appreciation for what it means to be Chinese among the newer generation who must now pass this bond on to their own children.

9 Feathers from a Thousand Li Away Section One

10 The Joy Luck Club Story of Suyuan (told by Jing-Mei) Explains the Joy Luck Club Sets up the narrators purpose for the search for her sisters Establishes the significance of Mah Jong and the balance of the table

11 Mah-Jong

12 Mah Jong A traditional Chinese tile game with many variations Often associated with gambling and serious competition The literal translation of "Mah Jong" is "flax/hemp" "sparrow clattering." The sound of the tiles as they are mixed together prior to the start of each hand. Listening carefully, players hear the sound of the flax blowing in the wind and the sparrows clattering.

13 The Tiles

14 A complete set contains 144 tiles. The tiles fall into four categories: Suits Honor Flowers Seasons

15 The Suits There are three suits: the dots (also called circles or balls) the bamboos (also called bams or sticks) the characters (also called characks, cracks, or wan). The suit tiles are numbered 1 through 9, and in any given suit, there are four of each number Suit tiles may be either simple or terminal.

16 Suit Tiles: Characters

17 Suit Tiles: Bamboo

18 Suit Tiles: Dots

19 Honor Tiles There are two types of honor tiles: the winds (East, South, West, and North) the dragons (Red, Green, and White) There are four of each wind and four of each dragon The dragons appear in red, green and white. On more traditional sets, the red has the Chinese character (in red) for Cheung -- meaning center of the four directions The green dragon is not really a dragon, but a green imprinted Chinese character, Fa (or Fa Choy), meaning "commence" or "begin good luck" The white dragon (also known as white board, soap, bak board, or pak board) may have a rectangle on the tile

20 Dragon Tiles Wind Tiles

21 Flower & Season Tiles Differ in nature from the suit and honor tiles There are only 4 flowers (1, 2, 3, and 4) and only 4 season tiles (1, 2, 3, and 4 Their use is somewhat like that of the joker in card games When drawn, they are declared and a substitute tile is drawn They are not collected for scoring, but the flower(s) or season(s) corresponding with the winning player's wind may double the winning score one or more times

22 Season Tiles Flower Tiles


24 The Game Mah Jong is played by four people A full game consists of 16 hands of play, falling within 4 rounds The rounds are named after the four directions: East, South, West, and North The first 4 hands are the East round; the South round follows (second 4 hands); the West round is next (third round of 4 hands); last is the North round (last four hands)

25 Each Hand… Each of four players is assigned a wind or direction The first player (the dealer) is always East To her right is South; to the right of South is West (across from East), and to the right of West is North (to the left of East) The order of play, beginning with East, therefore, is counter clockwise Note that the Chinese compass (placement of the directions) is not the same as the English compass

26 Placement of Players W/3 E/1 S/2N/4 S/2 W/3 N/4 W/3 S/2 N/4 E/1 W/3 S/2 N/4 E/1 North Round West Round South Round East Round

27 Scar

28 Story of An-Mei Lives with her Grandmother Popo until Popos death Leaves to live with her mother and her extensive family Tradition of soup Traditions centered around death Loyalty to family

29 Red Candle Story of Lindo as a young woman Arranged marriage that fails Tradition of lighting marriage candle Leaves marriage to make her own life Loyalty to family Importance of keeping promise to parents

30 Moon Lady Story of Ying-Ying when she is a young child from a wealthy family Falls off of boat and nearly drowns Rescued by another boat and encounters the Moon Lady at the festival Loses her innocence when she finds out the Moon Ladys secret Experiences at the festival Tradition of fishing/water

31 The Moon Festival Legend says that during King Yao's rule, ten suns appeared in the sky. Because the heat from these suns endangered crops, wildlife and the very existence of people, King Yao asked a famous archer to shoot down nine of the ten suns. After shooting the extra suns down, archer Houyi asked for the hand of the Emperor's beautiful daughter,Chang E, as a reward. Houyi took good care of Chang E but she remained indifferent to him, always considering herself the most beautiful woman in the world.

32 Meanwhile, the king was worried the extra suns would appear again and cause a new disaster so he gave Houyi a pill that was said to ensure immortality. But Chang E learned of this pill and decided she could make better use of it herself. So she swallowed the pill and immediately started floating into the air. She soon reached the moon, where she remains, transformed into a toad as punishment. Leaving poor Houyi to see only the shadow of his vain wife and only when the moon is full.

33 Twenty-six Malignant Gates Section Two

34 Rules of the Game Story of Waverly Lindos daughter During her childhood she becomes a child prodigy learning how to play chess Development of the relationship between mom & daughter Mothers push for excellence and the daughters struggle for power

35 Voice from the Wall Story of Lena daughter of Ying-Ying See mom/daughter relationship in comparison to the American family next door Introduced to mothers problems See the daughters attitudes/issues which develop from the relationship

36 Half and Half Story of Rose daughter of An-Mei Discusses divorce and beliefs concerning divorce Death of her brother and her feeling of responsibility Development of her complex Role of religion/balance

37 Two Kinds Story of Jing-Mei daughter of Suyuan Understand the mothers investment in the daughters See the development of the competition between the mothers through the daughters Feeling of failure in the relationship between Jing-Mei and her mom

38 American Translation Section Three

39 Rice Husband Story of Lena daughter of Ying-Ying Chunwang chihan Superstition Value of marriage/relationships Rice bowl and her future husband Emotional voids

40 Four Directions Story of Waverly daughter of Lindo Daughters embarrassment because of her mom BUT, still concerned about her moms opinion concerning marriage/relationship Significance of birth sign/year

41 Without Wood

42 Story of Rose, An-Meis daughter Old Mr. Chou Death of her brother and her inability to make decisions or bear responsibility Effects on her marriage Symbolism of the garden

43 Best Quality Story of Jing-Mei daughter of Suyuan Symbolism of the jade pendant from her mother Significance of the crab dinner Competition of daughters passed on to their relationship

44 Queen Mother of the Western Skies Section Four

45 Magpies

46 Story of An-Mei mother of Rose Daughters inability to make a decision Relationship with her mother and extended family Her mothers inability to cope with her situation Story of the turtle and birds

47 Waiting Between the Trees

48 Story of Ying Ying St. Clair, mother of Lena Forced to marry a bad man Unwanted pregnancy/death of the child Significance of birth year Her daughters lack of understanding Significance of the spirit

49 Double Face

50 Story of Lindo, mother of Waverly Chinese face vs. American face Two cultures shared by same family Meeting An-Mei and her husband Significance of the mirror

51 A Pair of Tickets

52 Story of Suyuan and Jing-Mei Daughter goes to meet the sisters in China accompanied by her father Jing-Mei learns about the two sisters Names Relationship in family Jing-Mei comes to appreciate her mother and her heritage

53 Chinese Immigration to the US First major wave of around the 1840's Prompted by the gold rush and westward expansion Chinese men came to the country to pursue work Another influx of in the 1860's to work on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad Chinese created booming businesses by taking care of functions such as laundry and cooking Many were artisans and factory workers.

54 After the completion of the railroad, the mistreatment of Asian immigrants, particularly in California, escalated A series of immigration quotas limited the number of new immigrants into the country. The end of World War II, and the new communist government in China toward the end of the 1940's prompted another major exodus of Chinese The mothers in The Joy Luck Club all came to the United States during this time period.

55 Chinese Culture Performing Arts Legends Art

56 Chinese classical dance traces its origin to celebrations in the emperors court in ancient China. The dance is often based on fairy tales and poetry. It is characterized by subtlety, elegance and balance of masculinity and femininity.

57 In contrast, Chinese folk dance originated in the villages. The dance is often about the lives of the average people and tends to reflect the custom and belief of the time. As the folk dance evolved over the years, it expanded to include the folk dances of the minority people in China, such as Mongolians and Dai people.

58 Chinese traditional music is rooted in the rich soil of folk customs and feelings. It is characterized by rich tonality and emotion, and very much connected to social environment, language and poetry. The music,played with a variety of instruments such as Er-hu and Pi-pa, is often performed with dance and opera. Together they tell history and human dramas.

59 Art In ancient China, people believed that numerous gods inhabited the Three Realms (heaven, earth, and the underworld) and ruled over human affairs and destiny. To fulfill their hopes for a bountiful harvest, healthy male heir, official promotion, and other auspicious wishes, people sought the blessing of these deities by representing them graphically in a medium that has become a unique folk art tradition known as "paper gods" or "paper joss." With the development and proliferation of printing, the Chinese were able to mass produce woodblock prints since the late Ming dynasty (mid-sixteenth century) to satisfy the high demands.


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