the gran joy torino club

I recently read a short story, “When Rich came to Sunday dinner”, which is a part of a book titled The Joy Luck CLub written by Amy Tan. It centers around the relationships between Chinese-American and their traditional Chinese mothers. The section I read focuses on Waverly Jong and her fear that her fiancée won’t be accepted by her mother seeing as he is not Chinese and also younger than her. Sadly, two crucial pages were unavailable for me to read, so I never did find out exactly how her mother reacted, but I do know she didn’t seem accepting as Waverly gets angry at her later. It turns out that her mother wasn’t against Rich in the first place (or so she claims, the way she acted seems contradictory).

The story reminds me of a movie I watched last week and made a post about (q & a), Gran Torino, which centers around Walt Kawolski, a traditional, older American man and the Hmong family living next door.

Gran Torino was about Walt and was his point of view as the American, while The Joy Luck Club is told from the perspectives of the Chinese and Chinese American ladies. In “When Rich came to Sunday dinner”, there is fear of the the Asian not accepting the white, while in Gran Torino the beginning is centered a lot on Walt as the white not accepting the Asians.

You get different perspectives in these two different mediums, and they can raise some thoughts. We hear a lot of whites not accepting people of color, but in some ways, it can be the same when you flip it. It’s obviously rooted in something different, though. The Chinese mother obviously wanted her daughter’s boyfriend (husband, fiancee, whichever) to be native Chinese, to know their traditions and language and rules, so they can preserve them, while usually whites are against mixing of races simply for racist reasons.

You can’t simplify everything like that, but that is in essence how the world works.

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One thought on “the gran joy torino club

  1. Think you make some good points here about flipping the prejudices in comparing the movie and the short story. Please read the whole short story. That will give you more information and I would love to get you opinions on how the mother reacts towards what Rich says at dinner!

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