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Two Kinds and Everyday Use - Essay Example

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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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Two Kinds and Everyday Use
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"Two Kinds and Everyday Use"

Download file to see previous pages 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
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.
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