Study Guide

The Joy Luck Club Friendship

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In The Joy Luck Club, friendship is critical, rocky, competitive, but always loyal. The women by turns seem to hate each other and can’t seem to live without each other. Friends are definitely people that help you through difficult times, whether it be living through a war, immigrating to America, or getting emotional support during marriage troubles.

In this book, it’s also clear that friends are a family that you choose—although that doesn’t necessarily mean they know you better than your biological family.

Questions About Friendship

  1. What is the Joy Luck Club friendship based on? Is it only shared sorrows or is it more than that?
  2. Jing-mei says that she and Waverly are good friends. Where do we see the evidence of that?
  3. Why does friendship in the novel manifest itself so strongly as rivalry and competition?
  4. What’s more important, friends or family?

Chew on This

Friendship is significantly less important than motherhood in The Joy Luck Club; blood trumps every other type of relationship in this novel.

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