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E-AMERICAN WOMEN IN AMERICAN CULTURE In Amy Tans novel The Joy Luck Club there is one episode Waiting Between the Trees illustrating major concerns facing Chinese-American women Living with their traditional culture in American society Chinese-American women suffer the problems of culture conflicts While their American spouses are active and assertive they are passive and place their happiness entirely on the goodness of their husbands At one time this passiveness can be seen as a virtue at other time it is a vice or a weakness In studying the lives of two personalities Ying-Ying and Lena St Clair a Chinese mother and a half-Chinese daughter one can see these conflicts more clearly and determine why they exist Ying-Ying St Clair was born into a rich family She was very pretty when she was a young girl She was educated like every Chinese woman used to be To be obedient to honor ones parents ones husband and to try to please him and his family Ying-Ying was not expected to have her own will and make her own way through life The result of this education was a disaster She was married to a bad man who left her after a short time to follow other women Her love for him turned to hate and she killed her unborn baby This act gave her remorse for all her life since she considered it a murder Tortured by this incident she had a mental breakdown for a period of time when her second son -- with her second husband St Clair -- died at birth She saw it as a punishment for her previous behavior After leaving her first husbands house and returning home she abandoned herself to whatever life offered her She lived like a shadow letting other people or events to decide for her When she met St Clair she passively let him believe that she was from a poor family Ying-Ying also let him
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