The short story by Amy Tan entitled “Two Kinds” perfectly illustrates the wide gap or the cultural differences between an immigrant mother and her native-born daughter in America. In this story, the mother is always haunted by her sad and tragic experience in China in which…
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The mother sees being in America a tremendous opportunity to succeed in life, as when she said, “of course, you can be a prodigy too.” This is synonymous with her dreams of making it big in America and be a success in life through her own daughter. In fact, she believed anyone can be anything what one wanted in America (open a nice restaurant and be an entrepreneur or be self-employed, work in government and get a good salary and a good retirement package too, buy a house with little or no down payment at all, to get rich, or to become famous).
In other words, the conflict between the mother and daughter in this story is that of the clash of cultural norms, attitudes, and values in which the mother saw the need to work hard to be successful while the daughter sees it differently. Her daughter wanted to be left alone, so to speak, to pursue her own desires and dreams, to be not dictated by anybody, not even her mother. Their personal conflict is intensified due to this cultural difference, in which the two of them are working on different paradigms (or mindset). In other words, the title “Two Kinds” could mean an entirely different thing, that of two worlds, China and the United States (Bloom, 2009, p. 2).
In the case of Maggie, people would naturally be sympathetic to her because of what had happened to her. She got burn scars when their house burned down, which some readers had suspected to be set by Dee because she intensely disliked their old and run-down house of which she is ashamed to even invite her own friends over to their old house. Besides, the character of Maggie is that of a shy girl, introverted and demure to the extent she did not bother to attend the school in their area to get a proper education. In a sense, she is the epitome of what a good kind of daughter that every mother wants a daughter to be, one who is obedient and submissive.
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“Two Kinds and Everyday Use Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1627213-two-kinds-and-everyday-use.
While Tan explores how the pressure of high expectation of a mother on her daughter forces the latter to rebel, Walker on the other hand shows the contrast between two daughters in the eyes of a mother.
It is very easy to picture the scenes described, to feel the constant strife between mother and daughter as the mother pushes her daughter to be something better, while the daughter rebels, doubting her abilities and wanting only to “be herself,” not realizing that she does have it in her to be anything that she wants.
The mother is a happy woman, who loves her life and is proud of it despite the fact that she is not endowed with wealth. On the other hand, Dee is different from her mother. Unlike her mother and her younger sister, Dee is educated, and considers herself to be in control of her life, with the capability of doing and getting anything she wants.
In her attempts to be accepted by her sister, Maggie agrees to everything that Dee has to say. Dee takes advantage of this, using every opportunity she has to point out what is wrong in both her sister’s life, comparing Maggie to her own apparently successful life.
In “I stand here ironing”, Tillie Olsen presents a mother who seems to only acknowledge one of her daughters. In "Two Kinds”, Amy Tan talks of a mother who does takes good care of her daughters while in “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker describes the favour a
The place may vary, the social conditions may vary, and even the culture may be different. But, the basic maternal love and desire cannot be different. If a mother is not intelligent enough to study and understand the different kinds of pressures under which she brings up her child, the relationships with her daughter may become strenuous
Mrs. Johnson is financially not very sound, yet she is physically much stronger and bulkier than most women of her age are. “In real life I am a large, big.boned woman with rough, man.working hands” (Walker). She is an independent