A couple begin to have sex against a wall. The scene cuts before they fully get into the act.
A man forcefully climbs on top of a woman in bed, intending to rape her.
A young girl is berated by her family for not “sleeping” with her young husband to give them grandchildren, a clear allusion to sex.
Rapes occur. Condoms are thrown about a room. A man and a woman have sex against a wall.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


introduction

“The old woman remembers that she bought a swan in Shanghai many years ago.” this beast… “Boasted the goose vendor in the market,” stretch your neck and hope to melt the goose. You see, it’s so beautiful that people can’t bear to eat. “Then the woman carried the goose across the sea and went to the United States with great expectation. During the journey, she told the swan that I would have a daughter like me in the United States. There, she said You don’t have to rely on your husband’s breath; No one will look down on her because she will speak fluent English; I want her to be a swan a hundred times better than expected. But when she arrived in the new country, immigration officials took her goose. The woman waved her arm in panic, leaving only a feather as a souvenir. Now, a long time later, the woman wanted to give her daughter the feather and told her that although the feather was not valuable, it came from a distant country and always carried my expectations. ”

The swan who crossed the Ocean bears the survival belief gathered after the rebirth of four mothers after disaster, the spirit of traditional Chinese personality freedom and all expectations for her daughter. In the new world of the United States, they find that their beliefs and values can not be recognized by this “free country” consciously and unconsciously. But they still try their best to leave that feather, even if it seems worthless to others, in the hope that one day their daughter can understand all their feelings.

Amy Tan and her Joy Luck Club

As soon as Amy Tan, a Chinese American female writer, published her famous work the Joy Luck Club, it was listed in the New York Times best seller list for nine months. In 1990, the book won many literary awards, such as the Los Angeles Book Award, the National Book Award, the national book critic award, the Gulf book review novel award and the Commonwealth Club Gold Award. Later, the novel was adapted into a film, which also aroused fierce repercussions at home and abroad. The Joy Luck Club has made such brilliant achievements, on the one hand, because the novel describes the suffering experience of four mothers in old China, is full of Oriental color, and caters to the psychology of American readers eager to understand the mysterious ancient China. On the other hand, it is because the novel has a cross-cultural theme. By describing the generation gap and estrangement conflict between the four pairs of mother and daughter, the author reflects the cultural complex arising from the encounter of mother culture and heterogeneous culture – the conflict and integration of eastern and Western cultures, and the difficult pursuit of self-cultural identity by Chinese Americans in the collision of the two cultures, which is a major theme with world significance.

Like the descendants of immigrants described in the novel, Amy Tan has a dual identity. On the one hand, as a descendant of Chinese immigrants, she has been influenced by Chinese culture from her mother’s story. In her bones, there is an indissoluble Chinese cultural plot. On the other hand, as the second generation of immigrants growing up in the United States, the surrounding environment and education are typical American. The United States is an immigrant society and a “melting pot”. How to deal with the conflict between traditional culture and mainstream culture, that is, thinking about cultural identity, generally exists in the texts of minority writers. In the Joy Luck Club, starting from his personal memory, the author separated from a specific perspective of observing history and absorbing culture, amplified his own experience, raised the family contradiction and the conflict between mother and daughter to the level of cultural conflict, and symbolized and fabled it under the background of Chinese and American cultural traditions, It makes the novel and later films have more cultural connotation and artistic tension. The four mothers described in the Joy Luck Club emigrated from the Chinese mainland to the United States in 40s with the suffering and traditional culture of old China. At that time, the United States was their paradise. In the United States, they hoped that their daughters would never repeat the misfortunes of old Chinese women and their mistakes. They have unlimited hopes for their children. They want to plan their daughter’s future according to their ideals. However, these children born and raised in the United States have accepted American culture since childhood. In their view, their mother’s ideas and behaviors are absurd and ridiculous, so both sides stick to their own views and do not give in to each other, resulting in deep contradictions. From a cultural perspective, the first half of the film shows the collision and conflict between Chinese and Western cultures through the relationship between four pairs of mother and daughter. The second half describes the mother daughter relationship from conflict to reconciliation, so as to build the cultural development prospect of eastern and Western cultures from binary opposition to binary integration.

As a migrating ethnic group, Chinese Americans face the dilemma of dual culture. The conflict between parent culture and heterogeneous culture in life makes them unable to fundamentally surpass the conventions of the original culture. Therefore, in the collision and encounter with heterogeneous cultures, the cultural genes and conventions deposited in the depths of memory will naturally appear. The postcolonial theorist Homi bhabhabha “strictly examines nationalism, reappearance and resistance, especially emphasizes a kind of ‘contradiction’ and ‘hybridity’ with the characteristics of colonial debate”, which is “the imaginative construction of culture and national identity”. ① This “hybridity” is a subversive strategy of marginal vagrant writers, which infiltrates into the mainstream culture with heterogeneous culture and is recognized by the mainstream culture.

The “Aphasia” of mother daughter communication — the collision of Chinese and Western cultures

The communication barrier between the two generations first comes from language. “As a signal, language reflects cultural stereotypes and restricts people’s way of thinking”, and “in the process of meaning coding through language, the situation outside language is very important.”. ② In the film, we can find such an interesting phenomenon. Even in the family, all members’ conversations are in English, but mothers always have some Chinese words in their English, especially when they are eager to express a certain meaning. We believe that for mothers, Chinese will always be their mother tongue, just as China will always be the home of their hearts. As long as they like, the language can flow out of their mouths at any time. Therefore, Su insisted on holding the “Joy Luck Club”, because this is the habitat of traditional culture in the hearts of mothers, so that they, who are in a foreign country and wandering on the edge of mainstream culture, can wear Chinese clothes, chat and tell stories in their mother tongue, and feel spiritual comfort in a strong local cultural atmosphere. But for their next generation, they are worried. Although she has “spoken fluent English”, she “ignores their dream of coming to the United States”. With the growth of years, these second-generation immigrants have even completely forgotten that they were originally Chinese. They no longer use Chinese, but communicate in fluent English. Even on such a traditional occasion as playing mahjong, they don’t allow their mothers to mix Chinese in their communication, because they don’t know whether they are “cheating”. The lack of language has naturally led to the blocking of information exchange between mother and daughter to a great extent, until both sides fall into silence.

In both Chinese and English language environments, the “signifier” of the language symbol “family” has been given different “signified” meanings. In China’s traditional concept, the family not only represents the absolute power of parents over their children, but also means the interdependent relationship between parents and children. However, in the United States, individualistic values encourage everyone to struggle and emphasize self realization and independence. The conflict between mother and daughter in the film reflects the collision of “family” values between Chinese and American cultures to some extent. Su has always turned the “debt” of the two twins who are missing in the mainland into hope for her daughter Jun. She looked at her daughter Chengfeng and always carried out the “talent training plan” for you in the way of maternal love in her mind. When you resisted, she strongly shouted out: “there are only two kinds of daughters, obedience to mother’s life and freedom, but this house can only accommodate obedience.” But how can a child like you who grew up in the “free country” understand her mother’s hardship? She was unwilling to show weakness and shouted to her mother, “I’m not your slave. This is not China. You can’t force me!” Since then, the differences between mother and daughter have lasted for more than 20 years. Jun deliberately ignored his mother’s expectations and finally made himself a mediocre person. Willie has a talent for playing chess since childhood, but she is angry that she won’t play chess because she can’t stand her mother showing off her honor everywhere. However, her stubborn mother Lindo thinks that her painstaking cultivation of Willie has not been respected and rewarded by her daughter. Even her indisputable performance of being proud of her daughter is regarded by her daughter as a matter of losing face, so she is disappointed, As a result, she stopped “interfering” with her daughter’s life for a long time, and always had an expression of neither joy nor sorrow. The estrangement between mother and daughter resulted in “Aphasia” for more than 20 years.

The misunderstanding and separation between mother and daughter in the film are produced in the cross-cultural context. Therefore, this contradiction and conflict is not only covered by the usual “generation gap”, but also reflects the cultural power conflict between self / other, center / edge and West / East. As said in Orientalism, “the relationship between the West and the East is a kind of power rule and complex hegemonic relationship to varying degrees.” ③ In this cultural gap and cultural crevice, there must be a struggle for the right of dialogue between the daughter representing the mainstream culture of the United States and the mother representing the traditional culture of China. The inferior mother oriental culture is bound to be suppressed by the strong Western culture, which makes the mother and daughter go farther and farther under the barrier of racial barriers and cultural collision, and finally fall into the state of “Aphasia”. The power consciousness under the Western cognitive structure and the one-sided and biased Western cultural tradition towards China make the daughters’ understanding of their mother infiltrated into American culture naturally become a one-way activity to distort heterogeneous culture. The inferiority and economic backwardness in modern Chinese history make Chinese mothers in the position of “marginal people” in heterogeneous culture. They do not have their own voice in society. The only thing they can rely on is the spirit of not admitting defeat and the long cultural tradition. They intervene and educate their daughter’s life and growth in stuttering English, showing their fearless struggle and challenge to western hegemony. Coincidentally with Oriental consciousness, in the confrontation between mother and daughter, mother does not argue with her daughter, but adopts the traditional Chinese method of tolerance and retreat.

In the silence brought by such ideological and cultural conflict, the mother is old, and the daughter has also experienced the collision and conflict between the two cultures. When the mother generation is suffering from the great trauma caused by “Aphasia”, the daughters are unconsciously repeating their mothers’ stories.

The embarrassment of daughters — the confusion of others themselves

For daughters born in the United States, “China” is distant, a mother’s nagging, a Chinese they can’t fully understand, and a mythical story. They try their best to adapt and assimilate into the cultural environment of the surrounding mainstream society, and strive to become a real “American”. However, their innate faces and Chinese traditional cultural values imperceptibly derived from their mother make them always belong to the “other” in the eyes of Americans. As Patricia Lin pointed out: “Chinese American women born in the United States are very sensitive to the completely different values of China and the United States. Unlike their mothers, these women face the requirements of two opposing cultures. Although these Chinese American women born and raised in the United States are familiar with every bit of the Chinese lifestyle, they are often confused because they have to make a choice between ‘Chinese style’ and ‘American style’ Feel helpless. In contrast, their mothers born in China rarely feel at a loss because they are entangled in complex issues such as whether they are Chinese or American and being born female. ” ④

Willie always speaks fluent English. Her capable style and ability make her achieve something in her career. She can be regarded as a successful “American” in all aspects, but she can’t pass her mother’s level in emotion – in fact, she can’t pass her own level in the final analysis. Although years of estrangement have left little room for mother and daughter to communicate, children who grow up under that kind of Chinese education naturally have an unknown fear of their parents. In her first marriage, Willie married a Chinese for her mother’s favor. This time she wanted to find her own happy life bravely, but the image of her mother was like a mountain in her heart. The night she took her boyfriend home for dinner, Willie had been observing her mother’s expression. Her mother smiled and she was relieved. If her mother was unhappy, she didn’t even dare to mention her marriage. Willie has always been in a dilemma between the external American natural and unrestrained feelings and the internal Chinese filial piety. Li Na has an independent job. In her life, all the expenses of her and her husband are settled in the “AA system”. She always thinks that this can show her independent personality and be respected by her husband. However, “Isn’t it a puppet to get economic freedom? It’s also a puppet. It’s just that things that can be led by others can be reduced, and puppets that can be led by themselves can be increased.” ⑤ While becoming an economically independent new woman, Li Na unconsciously lost her emotional dignity. On the contrary, the life between husband and wife was largely dominated by the interests of money, which made her depressed, but she didn’t know where the crux was, and she couldn’t tell the pain. Rose’s elegant appearance and lofty character made her win the favor of the son of a publishing tycoon. However, the man’s mother tried to ask rose to leave. Because of her skin color and her status, it is likely to affect the career development of her son. “In western culture, the mainstream ideology has repeatedly distinguished itself from the other in a subordinate position.” “In order to maintain the superiority of a nation, something else – an other – must first be labeled as inferior.” ⑥ American scholar Amy Lin once said when talking about the cultural identity of Chinese Americans: “whether new immigrants or Chinese born in the United States, they find that they are sandwiched between the two worlds. Their facial features proclaim the fact that their race is Asia, but they are Americans through education, choice or birth.” ⑦ But even in terms of nationality and culture, what about “Americans”? In the orthodox mainstream Western cultural context, skin color determines that they are always the “other” on the edge of society. To a certain extent, the secular vision also affected Rose’s psychology. Although she married her sweetheart, she regarded herself as the decoration around her husband in her heart. She lost her personality and freedom for love, and finally lost her husband’s respect and love, becoming an emotional “other”.

If the “Aphasia” between mother and daughter is more due to the differences and collision between the two cultures, the embarrassment and confusion of daughters in the face of the powerful Western cultural offensive reflects the exclusion of the “other” by the mainstream culture. We can see that in the film, although the daughters have not received formal traditional Chinese education, the traditional morality, values and even the whole Chinese culture are far away and separated. However, these traditions are still imperceptibly affecting their thoughts due to their words and deeds. This kind of dual culture penetration and dual cultural consciousness makes them have a role in the subconscious Chinese cultural consciousness when they can’t solve problems in the American way. The dual identity is destined to make them seek reconciliation between the two cultures.

The intersection of heterogeneous cultures

Cultural identity is not the inherent characteristics of a specific culture or a specific nation. On the contrary, it has a structuralist characteristic and a series of interrelated characteristics. Homi Baba believes that “cultural identity is by no means a priori or established. It can only be an uncertain process that is always close to the overall image.” ⑧ Hall also said, “themes acquire different identities at different times, and the unity of self is no longer the center. We contain contradictory identities

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