The Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, is a novel about four young women and their mothers, and the struggles they have encountered throughout their lifetimes. Although the book may appear at first glance to be a novel with a bunch of stories woven together, there is much more to the Joy Luck Club than meets the eye. The Joy Luck Club is a book of teaching, learning, experiencing, emotions, preserving culture and history, and taking on the challenge of a life different than the one you know. This novel is full of meaning and blends aspects of the author's real experiences, history, religion, fairy tale, and tradition to create a novel that is much deeper than it may appear on the surface.
Amy Tan takes her own experiences, her mother's experiences, tradition, and religious upbringing to create this novel. Amy represents the daughters and their struggle to want to be "American", and her mother represents all of the mothers who want to preserve their culture and heritage. Tan grew up wanting and needing to fit in with her American friends, and rebelling against her Chinese heritage. Tan's mother wanted Amy to become Americanized, but still wanted her to hold on to her culture. .
Tan targets women with this novel, especially ones of a culturally different background. She intends the book for this audience because women are more emotional and understand the struggle between mother and daughter for communication and understanding. Tan struggled with her identity, not knowing who she was, and wanted to relate this to all young women who struggle with their identity.
This novel does a number of things in the way of purpose. This book is fiction, so one would believe that it was written solely for entertainment. However, Tan incorporates real historical facts, and real historical information, so one might be inclined to say that this novel was also informational in regards to history.