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Study on the Joy Luck Club from the Perspective of Existentialism

Author ShiYanXia
Tutor JiShengLei
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords existentialism nihility free choices
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Existentialism is one of the most influential philosophical schools in the 20th century. It emphasizes the absurdity of the world and the nihility of human life. And also, it stresses free choice and action for individuals.The Joy Luck Club is the first and most successful novel by Amy Tan. It has caused great attention since its publication. Amy Tan describes a chaotic and absurd world in the novel. The protagonists experience different conflicts and live in predicaments. Despite the absurdity of the world and nihility of human life, the protagonists struggle against the reality and testify their values.This thesis is divided into three parts. The First Chapter discusses the absurdity of the world reflected in this novel. By depicting war, disaster and cultural conflicts, the novel presents us an absurd world, in which people live in predicaments and form absurd relationships.In Chapter Two, nihility of life is revealed by analyzing mothers’emancipation from the stuffy background, daughters’silent revolt against their mothers and husbands’passive choices. All these made them alienated from reality.In the end, people make free choices and reach a compromise between mothers and daughters and between two cultures. Humanity is refound.

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