Amy Tan uses thoughtful laughter in her novel, The Joy Luck Club, to make a point through laughter or humor. Thoughtful laughter is effective because it grabs the attention of the reader and expresses a point, whether the reader knows it or not. One scene that provokes thoughtful laughter is in the chapter “Best Quality” while the family picks crabs to eat. When there was only two crabs left, Jing-Mei Woo tries to choose the crab with the missing leg, so her mom would have the better crab. On page 227 during the meal, Jing-Mei Woo says “That's the way Chinese mothers show they love their children, not through hugs and kisses but the stern offering of steamed dumplings, duck gizzards, and crab.” The Chinese mothers in The Joy Luck Club show affection to their daughters differently through non-obvious manners, such as showing off their daughters or giving their daughters steamed crabs, rather through the American way of hugs and kisses. In the book, The Joy Luck Club, the diverse cultures between the mothers and daughters creates miscommunication, in which Amy Tan uses to incorporate thoughtful laughter to express a point.
There are many qualities in the scene that makes it humorous. An example is how everyone picks the best looking crabs. So when Jing-Mei tries to pick the crab with the missing leg, so her mother would have the better one, she gets yelled out by her mother. The comical in this scene is how Jing-Mei gets criticize for being generous by taking the worst looking crab, so her mom would have the better looking one. Another comical situation in the scene is how Jing-Mei Woo says that Chinese mother show their affection to their children with “steamed dumplings, duck gizzards, and crab.” It is humorous because it is not common to show the amount of love or affection with dumplings, duck gizzards, and crabs. However, the bond between Jing-Mei Woo and her mother strengthens when Jing-Mei Woo accepts the crab.
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