Film Analysis: Joy Luck Club
Joy Luck club portrays cultural conflict between Chinese culture and the American culture as depicted by the lives of four mothers and their daughters. The mothers were born, and brought up in China, and therefore adopted the high-content Chinese culture, while the daughters were born and brought up in America and adopted the low-content American culture. The story is all about the cultural clash between mothers and daughters. Back in China, the mothers endured hardship and developed a deeper meaning of life, while their daughters have not experience as much difficulty in life as their mothers. (AceMyHW.com)
Part 1: Compare and contrast the mothers and daughters in terms of Chinese and American culture. In what ways do the mothers represent China and the daughters, America? Be specific and discuss three ways in which the mothers represent traditional Chinese culture and the daughters, America.
The daughters of the four mothers are indeed Chinese, but the fact that they were born and brought up in America makes them American by naturalization. They had the privilege of enjoying the liberal lifestyle of America unlike their mothers who overcame a miserable and difficult past before they moved to America.
In a high context culture cultural acquisition is done through obedience to authority, imitation and observation. In order for children to acquire and internalize knowledge in this type of culture, they have to undergo careful training. This type of culture are highly rooted on the past, unresponsive to change, and very stable. In addition, high context cultures such as Chinese culture are highly cohesive. Low context culture is characterized by rapid changes, weak bonds between people, and easy initiation and stoppage of actions (Kim, 2009).
In China, the mothers were observant, obedient and imitated what was required of them by the elders. This was achieved without any explanation from the elders. They had internalized everything and assumed that their daughter would emulate them since they also adopted the mannerisms form their mothers. For example, the characterAm-mei sees in her mother “my own true nature. What was beneath my skin? Inside my bones” (pg. 40); to her, connection to her mother or filial respect is “so deep it is in your bones” (pg. 41). Contrary to their expectation their American bred daughters do not heed to their warning nor follow their instructions. There is so a lot of misunderstanding, resentment and misrepresentation between the daughters and their mothers. The conversation between June and Suyuen clearly depicts this scenario. “My mother and I never really understood one another. We translated each other’s meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more” (p. 27). The mothers are conservative and traditional unlike their daughters who are liberal and radical. They want their daughter to get married to Chinese men and not American men. They do not approve of their daughter dressing styles, although their daughters consider their dressing odd and full of color clashing (Kim, 2009).
Symbols in the Film
Food is used in the food to show love. June prepare her father favorite dish to comfort him after the death of her mother. It also symbolizes relationship and character. Food unites people leading to the development of relationship. For, example Waverly arranges to eat auntie Suyuan’s house. Food is also used to show character as is portrayed by Waverly selfish act of picking the best crabs for her family. Clothing is used to show cultural identity, as well as the clashing of the two cultures. Suyuan wears an expensive chinese silk dress together with an oversize American jacket(Kim, 2009).
Part 2: Describe how your selected article relates to the film. Summarize the article and connect its concepts to the film or the issues raised in the film.
The article clearly brings out the cultural conflict between the high context Chinese culture and the low context American culture as shown in the film; Joy Luck Club. Culture refers to the way of living associated with a particular group of people. It is developed and transmitted from one generation to another.
High context culture
A culture is described as a high-context culture when individuals of that culture internalize information, such that little of written or spoken messages are needed in the process of communication. In this type of culture it is assumed that both the listener and the speaker share a common background and knowledge. The listener often knows what is meant with little emphasis. China is a high-context culture.
Low context culture
In a low-context culture information and meaning is openly specified in the message during the process of communication. Individuals in this type of culture expect explanations in cases of unclear statements or situations. Facts are not internalized by the individual; instead they are derived from context. The United States is an example of a low-context culture.
Film: The First Grader
Why do so many Kenyans challenge this Mau Mau freedom fighter’s quest for an education?
Most Kenyans were against the quest of Maruge for education since they considered him so old to sit together with children who qualify to be his grandchildren as his classmates. It is not culturally appropriate for an elder to be taught together with his grandchildren. In fact it is embarrassing, since he will have to borrow a lot from the children who still have high ability to grasp knowledge unlike him. Education is only beneficial for those who are still developing like children, and not a dying old man. Considering that most classes in Kenya are usually full, the presence of Maruge could possibly be denying another child a chance of getting education. More over the presence of Maruge in the same class with children could possibly have distracted them for acquiring knowledge. If he was really so eager to get education, then the best option was to enroll into adult classes. The case of Maruge was merely an attention seeking and publicity venture, and fortunately he achieved it.
Using the internet, explore education in Kenya. How is their system alike or different than education in the US?
The Kenyan education system is referred to as 8-4-4 system. This system is characterized by eight years of primary school, which is equivalent of elementary level in the United States education system, four years of high school, and four years of higher education. The education system in US is categorized into elementary school, middle high school, high school and higher education. Education in US begins in pre-school just like in Kenya. After pre-school, a child is enrolled into the first grade as he or she enters into elementary school. The grading starts from the first grade in elementary school to the twelfth grade in high school. After graduating from the twelfth grade a person can join a college or university for higher learning. The Kenyan system is quite similar to the US system since a child spends a total of 12 years in school before qualifying to join an institution of higher learning (Park, 2007).
What lessons does Maruge teach Jane? What does he teach the children? Why does he want to learn to read and write so badly?
Maruge teaches Jane to be resilient and a fighter who believes in the right cause despite so much pressure. To the children he teaches them that there is power in the pen, and that anyone who does not know how to read is just like a goat. Maruge narrates his story as Mau Mau fighter to the class and the children learns that success comes through struggle and sweat. Maruge wanted to learn so that he could be able to read a letter he had received form the president. He also wanted to be able to read the bible (Park, 2007).
Part Two: How does your selected scholarly journal article relate to the film? Summarize your article and explain the connection.
The article highlights the struggle of a Mau Mau veteran to get education despite his old age. He overcomes a lot of challenges and ridicule as he struggles to know how to read and write. Maruge, an 84 year old man overcomes so many hurdles to become the oldest pupil in the world that warranted his entry to the worlds Guinness books of records.The article clearly shows that Maruge resilient and a fighter who believes in the right cause despite hardship. To the children he teaches them that there is power in the pen, and that anyone who does not know how to read is just like a goat. Maruge narrates his story as Mau Mau fighter to the class and the children learns that success comes through struggle and sweat. Maruge wanted to learn so that he could be able to read a letter he had received form the president. He also wanted to be able to read the bible (Park, 2007).
Film: Anna Karenina
Is Anna a likeable character? Do you sympathize with her, or is she a ‘villain’ of sorts? Explain.
Anna is likeable because she is determined to live a life of her own. She has the will to live her desires, and the courage to make her own decisions. Her struggle finally ends up in suicide since the man she fought for turned against her. He was all she was fighting for, and now that the whole society was on her neck she could not bear the pressure without the backing of Vronsky, her love (Tolstoj & Misiaszek, 2005).
Is Anna unjustly punished because of her gender; because of her class/station in life; or because she represents a progressive, modern quality that the society is simply not ready to embrace? Or is she punished justly? Explain.
Anna is unjustly punished because of her gender. Although Vronsky and Ann are guilty of the same crime, he is not punished because he is a male. The status of Vronsky rises very fast in the society, while they are both guilty of the same crime. It is painful to note that Vronsky moves about in society quite unaffected, while Anna must bear all its condemnation. In comparison with Vronsky’s, Anna’s disillusionment is much more shattering, and hence justifies her end. The destruction of Anna is as much caused by her love for Vronsky, as it has by life she is forced to live due to being made an outcast by society. Anna’s last hope of ideal happiness is wrecked by the oppression of those around her (Tolstoj & Misiaszek, 2005).
Part Two: Summarize the content of your selected journal article and explain how it relates to the film.
The article clearly points out the struggle of Anna in a society where women are highly discriminated. Although adultery is not accept in the society, but it seems that men are allowed to be adulterous, while women will be condemned to death if found guilty of condemnation. The author clearly shows the place of women in the society. Anna tried to raise her voice in a society where women have no say (Tolstoj & Misiaszek, 2005).
Film: A passage of India
Compare Forster’s depiction of the English with his depiction of Aziz’s Indian community. How are these groups similar and different? Does the author seem biased in his portrayals?
In the passage of India Foster portrays the Anglo-Indian relationship between. The novel describes the relationship between the societies during the colonial period in India. The societies include the natives, the Indians, and the colonialist British. The author depicts the harsh rule that was employed by the British in India. It describes how the different cultures interacted to establish relationship. The film portrays the barriers of inter-racial friendship in a colonial context. Although the India treats the British with respect and dignity, the Englishmen do not treat them in a similar manner even though they are Christians unlike Indians whose religion is Hinduism (Davies & Wood, 1994).
Additionally, Forster uses the film to address the issue of how foreigners can best understand as well as make peace with the bewilderment that is India. Forster also shows several main characters including Adela, Mrs. Moore, and Fielding who experiencing spiritual crises in the face of the chaos of Indian experience. Foster offers the Hindu vision of the oneness of all living things as a possible answer to the problem of figuring out India. The most mystical characters of the novel take the spotlight in Part III.
In what ways does the relationship of Fielding and Aziz represent the author’s message about cross-cultural understanding?
Cultural misunderstanding is a major theme in the film. The cultural ideas and expectations touching on hospitality, social properties and the role of religion in daily life are very different, and cause misunderstandings between the English and Indian, as well as various religions such as Muslims and Hindus in India. Fielding is able to develop a good relationship with the native Indians unlike other Englishmen. The relationship between Fielding and Aziz shows that it possible to develop a successful cross cultural relationship. Fielding does not distinct himself from the native population based on race. He is able to individually interact with them on a person to person level. He treats Indian with respect and courtesy. Although Forster is pessimistic about Fielding and Aziz’s friendship, he at least offers the collectivity of Hindu love as a potential source of hope and redeeming possibility (Davies & Wood, 1994).
Film: Love in the Time of Cholera
This work is saturated with symbols provided by nature. Describe two natural symbols that are repeated in the film. What do these symbols represent?
Cholera is an important symbol as it drives the plot of the story. It causes migration of peoples and death. Fermina’s family migrates to the city in order to escape the Cholera epidemic. The death of Dr. Urbino’s father is caused by cholera. It is also used to represent love. It turns out that “cholera” breaks out over the place in the novel and is a cause of exodus with Femina’s family moving out of the city. As such, cholera motivates a lot of action in the entire novel.
Animals like bird forms a significant symbols in the story as the influence several actions. The birds cause young Dr. Urbino to trip and miss an important appointment leading to the death of a man. In Chapter 5, Florentino and Leona Cassiani “killed the tiger.” This is simply symbolism that implies that they have overcome any remaining sexual tension between them with the “tiger” representing that tension. Since the two met, there has been an enduring sexual tension between them especially because Florentino had at first mistaken Leona for a whore. However, the current of sexual chemistry that exists between the two seems to lessen in the years after their first meeting. The two are able to “kill the tiger” with honest communication (Bloom, 2005).
Is the central love story a real love story? Is the relationship between Fermina and Florentino romantic love? Obsessive love? True love?
The relationship between Fermina and Florentiono is a true love since it was able to overcome the test of time to become substantial. The story between the two love birds is not a conventional one. It comes out as the most powerful love since it seems eternal. Florentino use flowery sentiments to express love. This often appears so much overrated to be real or serious. One the other hand Fermina is too hard and proud to an extend it interferes with expression of feelings towards Florentino. After a period of more than fifty years, their love is cemented as they find complete peace in love (Bloom, 2005).
Part 1: Synthesizing all the readings /films you’ve completed over the last 8 weeks, describe a unifying thread joining all or most of these works. (This could be a theme, message, tone, literary style, etc.).
The films bring different aspect of cultures, the theme of love, the struggle to fit into the societal norms and death. Culture is composed of arts, thinking habit, acting, institution, skills, concepts, ways of relating to the world, and agreement on what is considered significant and necessary to know. Class, race, gender and ethnicity are creations of culture since their meanings are derived from culture. Various cultural contexts are clearly shown by the films. Context can be described as the entire situation or environment that is linked to an individual, event or a situation. Cultural conflicts due to interaction of different cultures. The use of symbols and tonal variation are dominant styles in the films.
Part Two: How does contemporary writing (the new releases you see in bookstores or the NYTimes Bestseller List) in America seem to represent an American “voice” of the 21st century?
America is portrayed as a country with a rich cultural heritage since it is composed of people of various cultures form all over the world. This makes it have a various cultural twist. It is a high paced society that is frequented with radical changes on various aspect of life. The United States culture is mainly a Western culture; however, it is greatly influence by the Native Americans, Asians, African American, Latin Americans, and many other cultures. Culture is composed of social norms, beliefs which characterize particular age, ethnic or social group ethnic. The social norms and beliefs may include traditions, music, religion, language and arts. The books also show the struggle of Americans towards the realization of the American dreams during the period of tough economic times. The issue of terrorism and slam religion, as well as the liberal approach of dealing with contentious issues like same sex marriages have predominated the current literature on America.
Bloom, H. (2005). Gabriel GarciÌa MaÌrquez’s Love in the time of cholera. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
Davies, T., & Wood, N. (1994). A Passage to India. Buckingham [England: Open University Press
Kim, S., & Tan, A. (2009). The Joy Luck Club. New York, NY: Dramatists Play Service.
Park, B., & Brunkus, D. (2007). Junie B., first grader: dumb bunny. New York: Random House.
Tolstoj, L. N., & Misiaszek, A. (2005). Anna Karenina. KrakoÌw: Zielona Sowa.