Asian Literature
It is true that all people are created different, and thus no two cultures will
ever be the same. Throughout Asian American literature there seems to be a
struggle between the Asian culture and American culture. More specifically,
there is a struggle between Asian women and their Asian American daughters, and
what it means to be feminine, and how a woman should act. The main struggle is
between how the American woman should act and how the Asian woman should act.

However, the behavior of the Asian woman seems to be dominant through out the
story because although the daughters and the mothers may not get along all of
the time, the mothers to receive a lot of respect from their daughters.

Therefore, the mothers opinion on how they should act, which is behaving like
the Asian woman, is most evident. This is the case in The Joy Luck Club, written
by Amy Tan and also in the short story "Waiting for Mr. Kim," written
by Carol Roh-Spaulding. These two stories have very different meanings, however
they are similar in the aspect that they are all Asian women with Asian American
daughters trying to get their daughters to keep and use their Asian heritage.

There are certain behaviors that Asian women are expected to have, and the
mothers feel that their daughters should use these behaviors. In The Joy Luck

Club, the novel traces the fate of the four mothers-Suyuan Woo, An-mei Hsu,

Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair-and their four daughters-June Woo, Rose Hsu

Jordan, Waverly Jong, and Lena St. Clair. Through the experiences that these
characters go through, they become women. The mothers all fled China in the

1940's and they all retain much of their heritage. Their heritage focuses on
what is means to be a female, but more importantly what it means to be an Asian
female. In the short story "Waiting for Mr. Kim," the main female
character Gracie understands what it means to be an Asian female, but she does
question the meaning because of her sisters. Her sisters ran away from home
before their marriage could be arranged and eloped. This is totally against

Asian culture, and it causes Gracie to question her heritage and her Asian
femininity. In both of these stories there are certain characteristics of
females that are the same, they are inner strength, obedience, honor and
respect, the good of the whole is better than the good of the individual, and
finding things out for yourself. In the chapter "Scar" the
characteristic of honor and respect is first noticed. In this chapter An-mei
finds out how her mother basically deserted her, her mother did leave for a good
reason, which was to maintain the honor of her family, but either way her mother
left her. Her grandmother had to raise her, and she learned much about the Asian
woman from her. An-mei was showing some disrespect towards on of her aunts, and
her aunt told her that she was being disrespectful. Her grandmother then
interjected and said, "When you lose your face, An-mei...it is like
dropping your necklace down a well. The only way you can get it back is to fall
in after it." She was talking about A-mei's mother, and how she left
because she had disrespected the family and she was dishonorable to the family
name. The only way for her mother to regain respect and honor was to leave and
do it on her own, which is a characteristic of an Asian woman. Another feminine
characteristic that comes from that scene is being able to do things on your
own. However, this is an American influence. This characteristic comes from the
chapter "Rules of the Game." This is a peculiar chapter in the book
because it is a chapter where the woman is not seen as inferior to the man.

Waverly's brother, Vincent, received a chess set for Christmas. However, Waverly
is the one who took full use of the chess set. She was a natural, she would beat
her brothers in chess, which would normally be looked down upon in Asian
culture, but she was encouraged. She was even given lessons in chess, and she
was a national champion. Unlike An-mei's mother, Waverly was bringing honor to
the family name. When Waverly is encouraged to excel in chess she learns
something from her mother. Her mother said in her broken English, "This

American rules...Every time people come out from a foreign country, must know
rules. You not know, judge say, Too bad, go back. They not