1. Women and Feminism: For the mothers in this novel, and the mothers of the mothers, life as a woman was extremely restrictive in China. The model wife and daughter-in-law is an obedient, filial woman who works hard, bears many children, never complains, and hides her own unhappiness. 2. Dreams and Hopes: Much of the actions and the decisions made in the book are based on looking forward into the future. The four mothers immigrate to America in a large part because they have a vision of their children having a better future in the U.S. than in China. The mothers hope that their daughters will be able to live happy, successful lives and still maintain their Chinese character. 3. Language and Communication: In The Joy Luck Club, linguistic barriers are an extremely important reason the mothers and daughters continually misunderstand each other. The daughters were all born in the U.S. while their mothers are Chinese immigrants who speak poor English.