Example research essay topic: Analysis Of Asian American Culture In “the Joy Luck Club” – 945 words

In American literature today, many authors from
various cultures are rising above the rest to be
recognized. One culture in particular is the Asian
culture; whose literature up until the 1970s was
virtually unpublished (Nash 557). Asian people had
to overcome many obstacles in order to be accepted
as capable of having the skills to write. The
Japanese encountered their greatest challenge
after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War
II. It is said that, The U.S. government uprooted
over 120, 000 Japanese Americans despite the fact
that two thirds of them were citizens by birth
(Nash 558).

Families were given little advanced
warning before they were torn from their homes and
forced into brutal and unsanitary internment camps
(Hsu, 2). At these camps, they were called names
such as Fat Japs or Ching Chong Chinaman. Names
and experiences that occurred in these camps would
follow Japanese people into the future and
encourage stereotypes from all people who were not
of Japanese origin. Before long, societys
interpretation said that Japanese people werent as
capable or as smart as others. The Chinese
encountered much of the same after their
immigration onto U.S. soil.

They were repeatedly
told by dominant whites that keeping to themselves
and keeping their place was their only worth and
duty in life. Therefore, the first generation
Chinese spent their lives working nineteen to
twenty hour days with their highest hope and goal
being to escape the torment from whites. The sons
and daughters of these were more determined to be
worth something and dreamt of equality. They
worked towards breaking away from Chinatowns and
adapting to the middle class way of life (Hsu 10).
With all this taken into account, Japanese and
Chinese literature was at a standstill until the
third and fourth generation took the reins. When
writing began to grow among the Asian people,
publishing and proper recognition was ignored due
to the white dominated society. As a result, many
determined writers began to use a pen name to
disguise their ethnicity (Hsu 11).

the powerful words of writers lost their meaning
in the translation to English. However, through
hard work, determined Asians triumphed. In 1854 a
Chinese newspaper was published in San Francisco
(Hsu 13). Autobiographies were the next step on
the ladder. The earliest autobiography, When I Was
A Boy In China by Lee Phan Phou was publeshed in
1887. It dealt with daily life in China such as:
food, ceremonies, and games.

The theme of life in
China echoed in the writings of many others. The
authors believed this was the way to gain
acceptance in a white, Christian society (Nash
558). The opposite was accomplished when many
works failed to modify stereotypes, and rather
confirmed them. The unpopularity of these
autobiographies resulted in a twenty year time
lapse before Asian people would attempt to write
again (Hsu 10). When they did, it was greater than
ever. Authors such as Hong Kingston and Amy Tan
brought an awareness that Asian people had a
literature all of their own and put Asian American
aspects into a mainstream U.S.

culture. Amy Tan,
whose name means, blessing from America, was born
in Oakland, California in1952 to John and Daisy
Tan (Ducksworth 559). John Tan studied in Beijing
to become an electrical engineer and Baptist
minister. During WWII, before immigrating, he
worked for the U.S. information service. He
immigrated to the United States in 1947 making him
a first generation Chinese American.

A few years
after immigrating, he married Daisy Tan (the exact
date is unknown). Daisy Tan, was also a first
generation Chinese American who immigrated to the
U.S. in 1949. Daisy was a busy woman working
nights as a vocational nurse to help with family
expenses. She was the mother of three children:
two sons Peter and John Junior and one daughter,
Amy. She lost her husband and her son within two
years of each other; both due to brain tumors.
Thinking she was cursed in America, she moved her
family to Montreaux, Switzerland and tried to
control the lives of her children (Ducksworth 559
and Henry 370).

Amy Tan completed grade school and
began high school in California. After moving to
Europe, where she graduated high school early, Tan
enrolled in Linfield College in McMinnville,
Oregon 1969. After two semesters there, Tan
decided to follow her boyfriend to San Jose City
College in California. Once enrolled there, she
changed her major from pre-med to a double major
in English and linguistics and she received a
Bachelor of Arts degree in that field. After
accomplishing this, she studied toward a doctorate
at the University of California Santa Cruz and
Berkeley. However, she dropped out of the program
in 1976 to become a language development
consultant for the Alameda County Association for
Retarded Citizens.

Setting out into the work
force, Tan started her own business of drafting
speeches. She had great success and acquired
clients as big as IBM. Unfortunately it turned out
to be too much and Tan had to start therapy for
workaholics. She decided to quit the freelance and
concentrate on her own works. Tan wrote her first
story called Endgame around1985. Because of its
success in the magazines, Tan wrote two sequels
and titled the series Wind and Water.

In 1986 she
signed a contract with Sandra Djidstra. Wind and
Water was renamed The Joy Luck Club, delivered to
a publisher in May of 1988 and published in March
of 1989. Her success continued as she wrote
Kitchen Gods Wife which was published in 1991 and
The Moon Lady published in 1992. (Ducksworth
559-562) The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tans most
successful book, is a series of short stories
about Chinese mothers and their American born
daughters. The book emphasizes the difference in

Research essay sample on Analysis Of Asian American Culture In the Joy Luck Club