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Chinese Elements in The Joy Luck Club and Conceptual Blending

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the Chinese American female writer, is rich in Chinese elements, such as Mahjong, the Five Elements and Yin-yang. This article addresses Chinese elements in The Joy Luck Club from the perspective of a cognitive model known as Conceptual Blending Theory. Developed by Fauconnier and others, the theory combines individual chunks of meaning together to produce new meanings. It serves as an effective tool to manifest the complex unity of the text’s meaning in the conceptual blend networks. Additionally, built upon a cognitive linguistic approach, the paper suggests the complementarity of the cognitive linguistic and literary approaches. The conceptual blended networks prompted by dialogues among protagonists and narrative setting throughout the text can better demonstrate the metaphorical meanings through cross-space mapping with its uses and functions in order to explore the writer’s writing intention. It is hoped that this paper will contribute to the development of cognitive linguistics.

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