For some unexplained reason I thought that Battle Royale (the movie) was done prior to Battle Royale (the novel). Apparently, the book was released a year before and I don’t remember all of the details in the movie, but it seemed pretty close to the story in the book. (With the exception of little unimportant in my opinion details.)
My knowledge about the theme of the book started about 8 years ago when I first watched the movie Battle Royale. It was powerful and quite original, and I was happy to have had such experience. Then I forgot all about it, until last year when I picked up The Hunger Games trilogy and then it all came back to me. For some time I couldn’t understand why the storyline was so familiar, until I realized that it reminded me of the Battle Royale. Later on, reading some reviews and articles I found out that there is a book and ever since then I wanted to read it.
The Joy Luck Club is a book about differences: between mothers and daughters, between China and America, between old and new life. It is about understanding why we are all so different, why we so often don’t understand each other.
From first pages I absolutely LOVED the book. It reminded me so much about my own country and the way things are there. The things we were taught, the things we grew up with. I guess as a new immigrant I’m more like those mothers, than their daughters:
“There is a school of thought,” I said, “that parents shouldn’t criticize children. They should encourage instead. You know, people rise to other people’s expectations. And when you criticize, it just means you’re expecting failure.” “That’s the trouble,” my mother said. “You never rise. Lazy to get up. Lazy to rise to expectations.”
This is so true. The Chinese (Russian, Ukrainian, you name it) way of thinking in comparison with American/Canadian way.
“The eponymous Emma is a victim of the smug, self-deluding French bourgeoisie that Flaubert despised. Trapped in a marriage to a second-rate provincial doctor, she escapes the suffocating confines of her existence by immersing herself in sentimental novels.”
Well, yes, maybe… But! Was that marriage that bad, really, or the husband so second-rated. I mean, yes, he was no genius but how many are there on Earth anyway. I think Emma’s major problem was that she was spoiled by her father, who probably saw a much brighter future for her that could have been given in reality. (Aren’t we all doing the same for our children?) She wasn’t bad at all, but the books she chose to learn from weren’t the ‘right kind’, they idealized the world around Emma and she was literally expecting a prince on the white stallion.