Lifespan development themes in the Joy Luck Club

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The development of an individual is said to be influenced by several factors and these factors need to be very harmonious so that a good lifespan development happens. Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club has tried to give the basics of life that try to influence the development of a particular individual. One of the theme that he explores and which is very fundamental for the development of lifespan is mother to daughter relationship. The mother is considered the most important person in the family because she is with the child every time, breastfeeding, cleaning, clothing and doing all other basic things for the child. More often therefore the growth of the child will depend upon the guidance of then mother. If the mother is too harsh, there are chances that the child will also be harsh and fearful to several aspects in life. If the mother is soft enough, the child will be soft and may not be careful in dealing with some issues in life. The mother therefore is the determinant factor in the life of a child because the kind of behaviour the child develops comes from imitating the mother.

Amy Tan in his novel has touched so much on the relationship between a mother and a daughter who happens to have their origin from China and they are settling in America. Since the daughter is young enough and is observing how the American youngsters are being allowed to enjoy life without restrictions, she always demands from her mother to be given that freedom. Contrary to her request, the mother declines and tells her daughter that she can only allow obedient daughters in her house. This form of restriction is based on the fact that the mother knows the child will develop some other norms that are not desirable. The daughter battles with her mother with this issue but when she realizes that it’s for her good she thanks her mother because she feels she is a caring mother.

Another theme that is evident in Amy Tans novel and is so much attributed to development of lifespan is search for identity. Many individuals often do not know who they are until when they have seen the negative impacts of the direction they want to take. Without the guidance of the elders and leaders in the society and also the parents, it would be so difficult to know the identity of a person. The clash in the values often arise when an individual has visited another country and ha or she feels that his origin does not matter anymore. Often the identity of an individual may fade away by being absorbed by the new changes in the new environment.

The case is the same in Amt Tan’s story. Amy Tan describes the battle for identity by a girl from the Chinese origin who lives in America. He argues that there are numerous conditions that shape the lives of individuals to be the way they are. The family’s surroundings and relationships really matter in determing the identity of an individual. In this novel the characters are said to be from the same origin i.e. they are all from china and therefore they all have the same problem of identity in the United States. The daughters of Chinese in America are battling with the issues of identity crisis so much. They are on an ongoing discovery for discovery of who they are and in the process they want to adopt the culture and the identity of the Americans because they feel that there identity is more favourable.

 The daughters do not who they are and what they represent. In the quest for knowing therefore they keep on insisting to their mothers that they want to be like the Americans to which they are refused. The basic reason is that the mother’s belief that the issues of identity are very important and need to be preserved. Later on however when the girls have grown they realize that their roots are very important and that what the mothers were simply arguing for is important and since it defines their identity and who they are. The mothers are however bewildered and they struggle with their daughters to instill their own cultures because they know that they will be misled if they do not follow them.

Another theme in the book by Amy Tan is the theme of communication. Communication is an important factor for every community. There should be a way that every community communicates and the whole thing narrows down to the language. One should have at least one native language that he or she can use to communicate. Every community therefore has their own codes that are very important for their communication. When a child is growing, he or she develops ways of communicating with the parent often a smaller child crying to imply that he or she is not feeling well. As they grow up, modes of communicating become more complicated and they can now use the hands as a sign to show where they are not feeling well. In due course they can speak one word or two and finally they can fully speak in their language of the community in which they are born into. Often a particular community will develop other languages that they learn by acquisition but what is more important is the individual to learn their native language first.

Amy Tans novel addresses the issues of communication. First of all he says that the daughters from the Chinese origin want to be like the Americans by the way they speak and communicate and the way they do their things. This, according to the mothers is a danger because the daughters will not be able to learn their own mother language and will pose a danger when they will be communicating back in their mother community. The daughters later learn the importance of their communication language and they therefore try to practice in it. Communication barrier is a factor that may hinder communication and thus development of a particular group of individuals. In this novel, Ami Tan describes how the issue of communication can be disastrous especially for the new Chinese families in America.

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