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''The Joy Luck Club'' is an 1989 novel by Creator/AmyTan, which was adapted into a 1993 film, directed by Wayne Wang.

The book centers around four mother-daughter pairs living in SanFrancisco. The mothers are Suyuan Woo, An-Mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair. The daughters are, respectively, Jing-Mei (June) Woo, Rose Hsu Jordan, Waverly Jong, and Lena St. Clair. All of the mothers immigrated from China during their lives, and much of the book talks about their relationships with their mothers, with the exception of Suyuan Woo. The book is structured in sixteen chapters, each narrated in first person by one of the characters; the first four are told by the mothers, the next eight are told by the daughters, and the last four are told by the mothers, all with the exception of Suyuan Woo, who is dead at the beginning of the novel, so Jing-Mei takes her chapters. Most of each chapter is dedicated to a flashback of the narrator's childhood, usually regarding a particular incident or series of events involving that character's mother.
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!! Film and book ''The Joy Luck Club'' provide examples of:

* AbusiveParents:
** Abusive aunt and uncle in young An-Mei's case.
** Lena thinks she encounters one in the apartment next to her as a child, but it turns out the mother and daughter are only playing.
** In Lindo's case, a forceful abusive mother-in-law who puts a lot of pressure on Lindo and her son to conceive a child.
* AdaptationDistillation: The film kept most of the stories (with some changes), but trimmed some parts.
* AdaptationExpansion: Some parts were added to the film.
* AdultFear:
** Being forced to abandon your baby girls to the elements in the ''desperate'' hope someone will find and take care of them, because you simply ''can't carry them any more.''
** Waverly running away from her mother in a busy street as a child.
** 4-year-old Bing's death. While at the beach, he is left unattended for a moment, and ends up accidentally drowning.
** Having to make a bargain that when your four-year-old child turns 15, she will leave and marry a SpoiledBrat, and you will never see her again.
* ArrangedMarriage: Lindo's first marriage, to a SpoiledBrat.
* ArtisticLicenseMusic: At the end of the section Two Kinds, she mentions playing two songs from Robert Schumann's ''Scenes from Childhood'', ''Pleading Child'' and ''Perfectly Contented'', thereafter realizing that the two songs are actually two halves of the same song. The two songs, actually known as ''Bittendes Kind'' and ''Glückes genug'', are actually separate songs from the same book, ''Kinderszenen'', only that they are beside each other. At least the German names were translated into the English names properly.
* BaldOfEvil: Lena's boyfriend Harold's baldness is a visual cue to his cold soullessness, along with the grey clothing and furniture. His replacement is notable for having thick, luxurious hair, symbolic of his warmth and goodness.
* BatmanGambit: Lindo's plan of getting out of her first marriage.
* BreakTheCutie[=/=]BreakTheHaughty: Varying cases through all of the characters.
* BrokenBird: Young An-Mei, An-Mei's mother, Ying-ying.
* CheerfulChild: 4-year-old Ying-Ying in "The Moon Lady."
* ChildByRape: The film adaptation directly indicates An-Mei's half-brother is a product of this.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Most of the mothers.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Arguably, the fate of Ying-Ying's first baby in the movie. In the book, Ying-Ying gets an abortion. In the movie, Ying-Ying carries it to term but later drowns it, acting listless the whole time.
* DefiledForever: An-mei's widowed mother is raped by a strange man, and is then forced to marry him because she is considered defiled.
* DestructiveRomance: Rose comes to realize that she's living in one.
* DomesticAbuse: Lena's husband is of the financial abuse variety. Ted grows into an emotional abuser to Rose.
* DullEyesOfUnhappiness: Poor Ying-ying.
* DrivenToSuicide: Well... it's a long story in the case of An-Mei's mother.
* TheEighties: The novel's set time.
* ExtremeDoormat: Tan makes it pretty clear on just how terrible the consequences can be if a woman acts as such.
* {{Flashback}}: All the mother and daughter stories up to the present.
* HeroicSacrifice [[XMeetsY Meets]] MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: An-mei's mother, trapped into a horrific marriage to her rapist, commits suicide by poison, but does so two days before the new year. Folklore states that the third day after death is when a spirit returns to settle old scores -- and you do ''not'' want a spirit angry with you on New Year's Day. An-mei's mother ensures her daughter and son will be cared for.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: The extent of Lindo's relationship with her first husband.
* LoveMartyr: Rose's believes that her submissive respects her husband Ted. Of course, she outgrows this mindset.
* MeaningfulName: Loads. "Rose," in reference to her demureness in her marriage. And Lindo's intentionally invokes this with "Waverly."
* MementoMacguffin: The jade necklaces.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: In the film, Ying's reaction after she kills her child.
* OddNameOut: Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing.
* ParentalAbandonment:
** ''Entirely'' unwillingly, on [[spoiler: Suyuan's]] part.
** An-Mei's mother, due to her circumstances. She takes An-Mei so she could live a better life in a wealthier household, ironically committing this again by abandoning An-Mei's younger brother (it's implied that taking her son to a house where she served as a concubine would be frowned upon).
* PetTheDog: The introduction of Second Wife seems to be this. She gives An-Mei a "genuine" pearl necklace as a welcoming offer. Then An-Mei's mother exposes the necklace as fake to An-Mei, hinting to Second Wife's conniving and manipulative nature..
* PoorCommunicationKills: Mr. St. Clair could never understand his wife fully because of this, resulting in a marriage run mostly by tolerance than true love. Even Lena realizes that her father can merely "put words in her mother's mouth." Also a common case between the mothers and daughters.
* PrecisionFStrike: In the film adaptation, Ted gives this to his own mother after she makes remarks towards Rose.
* PrettyInMink: Waverly's fiance giving her a mink coat.
* RapeAsBackstory: An-Mei's mother in "Magpies."
* RapeAsDrama: Tyan-yu and Lindo in "The Red Candle." Huang Taitai enables and condones this because she wants an heir. However, nothing happens anyway. In the film, Tyan-yu thrusts something at Lindo and makes her scream -- but it's only his pet lizard! His mom is in SelectiveObliviousness.
* RichBitch: Ying-ying in her youth, before she was broken by her terrible first marriage. The Second Wife in An-mei's story is this to a T.
* TheRoaringTwenties: In the sequences with the mothers' childhoods. More evident in An-mei and Ying-ying's stories, given how they were raised in wealthy families with some Western influence.
* SexlessMarriage: Lindo's and Tyan-yu's marriage, being he has no interest in her.
* StageMom: Suyuan and Lindo in regards to their daughters' piano playing and chess playing. Suyuan especially counts since the only reason Jing-Mei picked up the piano in the first place was because Suyuan was trying to force her into being a child star.
* TrophyWife: Wu-Tsing engages in concubinage to attain a few of them.
* WellDoneDaughterGirl: Waverly and Jing-Mei feel this about their mothers, who constantly compared each of their daughters to the other's.
* WorldWarTwo: Most prominent in Suyuan's story.
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Implied by Mrs. Jordan when she speaks to Rose at an outdoor barbecue.
* [[YouKnowWhatTheySayAboutX You Know What They Say About Asians]]: Again implied by Mrs Jordan to Rose.
* YourCheatingHeart: Rose's husband and, even more severely, Ying's first husband.
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