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The booksTwo kinds by Amy Tan and Whos Irish by Gish Jen - Book Report/Review Example

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America has always been a country, hospitably of which attract people from other countries. Being created by the colonists from Europe, the USA continues to build its power and superiority by hands of people arriving all over the world. …
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14 April Comparison contrast essay The books“Two kinds” by Amy Tan and “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen. America has always been a country, hospitably of which attract people from other countries. Being created by the colonists from Europe, the USA continues to build its power and superiority by hands of people arriving all over the world. Chinese community in the USA is one of the largest ethnic groups in the country - in 2008, Chinese Americans accounted approximately 3.7 million people. This is why it is not surprising that a large number of scientific researches as well as imaginative literature are devoted to the relations of two quite different peoples and two absolutely different cultures. A good example for comparison of connections and interpenetration of American and Chinese way of life are the books by Amy Tan, “Two kinds” and Gish Jen “Who’s Irish”. Both of the writers are the second-generation Chinese Americans, both are successful self-made women, both are interested in Chinese-American relationships in the branch of culture and everyday life. The books deal with Chinese values represented by mothers’ generation and American values, represented by daughters. The differences in values are primarily based on the differences in mentality of the both countries. While Chinese older women are depicted as hard-working, conservative, strict and goal-oriented, the younger generation is obviously influenced by U.S. spirit of freedom. They are more light-minded, less conservative, more democratic and permissive. At the same time the daughters in both books preserve pure Chinese temper and character but it is significantly moderated by American way of life. The environment wins the national features and in “Who’s Irish” we can see that the granddaughter Sophie reminds a Chinese girl only by her appearance: “She is not like any Chinese girl I ever saw”. So, what are the Chinese values the both writers are depicting? Both Chinese women arrived to America having a strong idea of this country as of a country of endless opportunities…for those who work hard: “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America” (“Two Kinds”). “I am work hard my whole life. … When I come to this country, I have no money and do not speak English. But my husband and I own our restaurant before he die. Free and clear, no mortgage” (“Who’s Irish?”) Mother from “Who’s Irish?” despises American way of life full of leisure, weakness of character, depression (“We no use this word in China”) and low self-esteem. Both mothers have conservative views on children’s upbringing. One of them thinks that her daughter’s American method “Use your words. … In America, parents not supposed to spank the child. It gives them low self-esteem“ is not efficient and from time to time spanks her granddaughter Sophie “Not too hard”. And this helps. Mother from “Two kinds” believes that through hard work a person can become a prodigy. Her way of upbringing is traditional – she makes her daughter do things the latter doesn’t like and when her daughter does not obey, she angrily says: “Only two kinds of daughters. Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (“Two kinds”). What about the American values defeated by daughters? The representatives of younger generations are free from Chinese norms of behavior, from Chinese views on labor, family, upbringing. The three-year old granddaughter from “Who’s Irish?” is already free from any authorities. “She is no like any Chinese child”, she is stubborn, egoistic and self-willed. And her mother encourages such behavior. “A Chinese mother would help, but American mothers, they look at you, they shake their head, they go home. And, of course, a Chinese child would give up, but not Sophie” (“Who’s Irish?”). Daughter from “Two kinds” obeys her mother at first but later the spirit of freedom wins: she does not want to be a prodigy, she wants to be herself. “"No!" I said, and I now felt stronger, as if my true self had finally emerged. So this was what had been inside me all along."No! I won't!" I screamed” (“Two kinds”). In their books the two writers raise a subject of the eternal conflict of generations. However, this is not the main point. Amy Tan and Gish Jen want to draw reader’s attention to the problem of importance to preserve the best features of the two great nations, which, being combined will make powerful, willful and free people of the future. Works Cited Tan, Amy.   "Two Kinds".   Literature:   An Introduction to Reading and Writing.   8th ed.   Eds. Gish Jen. “Who’s Irish?” Alfred A. Knopf (Jun 1999) Read More
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