The Cultural Dilemma of the Yemeni and Chinese Migrants: Mohammad Abdulwaliâ€™s <i>They Die Strangers</i> vs. Amy Tanâ€™s <i>The Joy Luck Club</i>
Keywords:Nation, diaspora, dilemma, Mohammad Abdulwali, They Die Strangers, Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club
This research is intended to analyze Mohammad Abdulwaliâ€™s They Die Strangers (1971) and Amy Tanâ€™s The Joy Luck Club (1990) with the aim of examining the cultural dilemma of the Yemeni and Chinese migrants. Although the two novels were analyzed in some scholarly works, all previous research investigated them separately; none investigated the two novels to highlight the similarities and differences between cultural dilemma of the Yemeni and Chinese migrants. The theoretical framework in this research has been derived from the notions of Â nation and diaspora as discussed by Jana Braziel, Anita Mannur, William Safran, Adnan Mohammad Zarzour, Kamaludin Rifaat, Gastanteen Zureiq, Timothy Brennan, John McLeod, Bill Ashcroft, Fred Riggs, Caren Kaplan and Robin Cohen. The discussion and analysis conclude that the cultural dilemma of the Yemeni and Chinese migrants is analogous as shown through the charactersâ€™ memories about their ancestral land in both novels, and also in their sense of displacement, fragmentation and loss in the land of domicile. In contrast, the two stories diverge in manipulating the cultural dilemma of migrants. The Chinese in the USA are different from the Yemenis in Ethiopia in their hybridity. While the Yemenis dream of homecoming, the Chinese want to forget their homeland and stay abroad forever. They try their best to mingle with the new culture. This indicates that the Chinese traditions are more oppressive than the Yemeni traditions. In short, the culture, traditions, and folklore of the two countries are obviously observed in these stories, but while They Die Strangers focuses on the migrantsâ€™ nostalgia of homecoming, The Joy Luck Club centers on their hybridity and forgetting their homeland.
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