Free Study Guide: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - BookNotes|
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THE JOY LUCK CLUB: FREE STUDY GUIDE / BOOK SUMMARY
Lena St. Clair
Another daughter of the Joy Luck Club and the wife of a successful American businessman, Harold Livotny. He exploits her, refusing to share his wealth with her. Although she is a talented interior decorator, she suffers from her unhappy marriage, is anorexic, and feels she leads a hollow existence.
Jing-Mei’s mother and the founder of the Joy Luck Club. As she tires to survive war-worn China, she abandons her twin infant daughters, hoping their lives will be spared. After she marries Canning Woo and comes to America, she desperately tries to locate her daughters in China. At the opening of the novel, Suyuan has died, and Jing-Mei carries out her mother’s goal in life - to find the twins.
Rose’s mother and a member of The Joy Luck Club. An-Mei witnessed the sufferings of her own mother, who killed herself in an effort to insure her daughter’s freedom. At a young age, An-Mei managed to escape to America, where she married and had seven children. She considers herself to be an independent and strong woman.
Waverly’s mother and a member of The Joy Luck Club. As a young girl in China, Lindo was married off to an impotent husband. She manages to escape her husband and his mother and come to America, where she marries Tin Jong and has three children.
Ying-ying St. Clair
Lena’s mother and a member of The Joy Luck Club. Unlike her friends who came out of poverty in China, she hails from a wealthy Chinese family. When she was a young woman, she married and became pregnant. When her husband abandoned her, she aborted the baby. She later married an American named Clifford St. Clair, whom she grew to love.
Suyuan’s second husband and Jing-Mei’s father. He asks his daughter to take the place of his wife in The Joy Luck Club and later accompanies her to Shanghai to meet his wife’s lost twin daughters.
Clifford St. Clair
Ying-ying’s husband and Lena’s father. He is a good-hearted man who loves his wife but does little to boost her morale.
A Cantonese man who woos and marries Lindo while she works in a fortune cookie factory. An unassuming man, he remains in the shadow of his wife and daughter.
A wealthy, insensitive old merchant who rapes An-Mei’s mother and forces her to become his fourth wife.
An-Mei’s grandmother. She disowns her daughter for becoming Wu Tsing’s concubine, not realizing her daughter had no choice. Popo acts as the guardian to An-Mei until her mother takes her away.
An unattractive boy in the neighborhood. Lena is terrified she will one day have to marry him. When he dies from the measles, Lena feels responsible for his death and develops an eating disorder.
A medical student who marries Rose and then leaves her.
An architect who establishes his career with the support of his wife. He refuses to acknowledge her contribution, however, and obtusely insists on dividing their household bills down the middle. His wife comes to resent their mechanical life and tells him she is unhappy.
A successful tax-accountant in a reputed firm. He loves and becomes engaged to Waverly Jong. He accepts her child, but makes many well-intentioned mistakes trying to impress her family.
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. 11 May 2008