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1. When and why was the Joy Luck Club formed? Why were the words "joy" and " luck" included in the club's name? What is the significance of these meetings? Do you have meetings/rituals with friends/family that are similar to this?
2. Why do the characters in THE JOY LUCK
CLUB use stories to communicate rather than simply stating stating
what they are thinking and feeling? What effect do the stories
have on the listener in the story? What effect do they have on
3. THE JOY LUCK CLUB is a series of short
stories grouped in four sections. How are the stories connected?
What is the function of the myth or parable that introduces each
section? How does the structure of the book affect your reading
4. The mother/daughter relationships in
the book are complex. What do the mothers teach their daughters?
What do the daughters teach their mothers?
5. What is unique about the mother/daughter
6. A major conflict in the novel is the
older generation's desire to keep Chinese traditions and beliefs
versus the younger generation's desire to become Americanized.
Why do you agree or disagree with this statement?
7. Are there ways that the daughters in
THE JOY LUCK CLUB are "translations" of their mothers?
Explain your view.
8. Discuss differences between Chinese and
American cultures with respect to social class, family structure,
child-rearing, marriage and divorce.
9. Jing-mei fears that she doesn't know
her mother well enough to tell Suyuan's life story to her half-sisters.
Are there clues in the book that indicate her fears may be unfounded?
10. What elements of THE JOY LUCK CLUB, read in more than 30 countries around the world, give the book its universal appeal?