Ying-ying’s husband and Lena’s father. He is an American of English and Irish descent, who meets Ying-ying in China while completing military service. He barely speaks Chinese, which creates a large emotional barrier between them throughout their marriage. Clifford dies of a heart attack a few years before the beginning of The Joy Luck Club.
The timeline below shows where the character Clifford St. Clair appears in The Joy Luck Club. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 2: The Voice from the Wall
...Lena in Chinese that the baby’s death was due to bad decisions in Ying-ying’s past. Clifford, unable to understand, asks Lena to translate her mother’s rapid Chinese. Lena decides to purposely... (full context)
...without her baby. She wanders around like a ghost, and retreats from social life, worrying Clifford and Lena. Lena tries to convince herself that her life is at least happier than... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Rice Husband
...family, not any way to stop them from happening. For example, Ying-ying predicted her husband Clifford’s fatal heart attack based on a dying house plant’s inability to get water up its... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2: Waiting Between the Trees