Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Joy Luck Club

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

So the woman bought a swan who used to be a duck – also known as "a creature that became more than what was hoped for." The swan gets pulled away by immigration officials, and the old lady is...

Setting

The "present day" of the book takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a trip at the end to Guangzhou and Shanghai, China. The year is roughly somewhere in the 1980’s. The daughters...

Narrator Point of View

The book is divided into four sections with four stories each. At the beginning of each section is a little parable told in third person. Each of the sixteen total stories, however, is told from a...

Genre

This book contains eight women’s stories. What holds all the stories together is that they are all about mothers and daughters – four mothers who immigrate from China and their four dau...

Tone

Tan uses a lot of implausible stories to make her point – like the duck that stretched its neck and became a swan. These stories are told by the mothers to explain concepts to their daughters...

Writing Style

So if you're really into books that start "Once upon a time," and the go step by step through the plot, The Joy Luck Club is probably not your cup of tea. Amy Tan's writing style can feel disjointe...

What’s Up With the Title?

The Joy Luck Club is a weekly gathering of four women – one to fill each corner of a mah jong table – who gather to play mah jong, eat good food, and gossip. It was started by Suyuan Wo...

Plot Analysis

The book a whole doesn’t follow the classic plot structure, largely because the book is designed as a collection of interwoven short stories. Each of the storylines has tension and a conclusi...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: None

The book doesn’t follow a single Booker’s Seven plot type, largely because the book is designed as a collection of short stories. It opens by raising the question of how well a daughter...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Jing-mei learns that her long-lost sisters have been found. She is to visit them in China, and break the news that their mother has died.Mothers and daughters share their life stories with each oth...

Trivia

In the movie version of the novel, Ming-na Wen plays Jing-mei. Later in her career, Ming-na Wen played a different girl named Jing-mei, on ER. (Source)The Joy Luck Club began when Tan wrote a short...

Steaminess Rating

OK, we’ll level with you. There’s actually a significant amount of sex in this book, but 1) it’s rarely explicit, and 2) it’s never really about sex. Instead of long bodice-...

Allusions

Sunset magazine (II.3.40)Life magazine (II.1.51)The Ed Sullivan Show (II.4.22)Ripley’s Believe It or Not magazine (II.4.13)Good Housekeeping magazine (II.4.13)Reader’s Digest (II.4.13)
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