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Parents, Children and Family - Essay Example

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It takes love to make a family. Love, though sometimes misdirected, is the best of all intentions. When family members love each other, there is hope…
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Parents, Children and Family Section One A family is a group of people connected through birth or circumstances, such as adoption, marriage or otherfamilial bonds. It takes love to make a family. Love, though sometimes misdirected, is the best of all intentions. When family members love each other, there is hope for the family’s future.
In Two Kinds, the mother and daughter have a complex relationship. This relationship is based on the mother, Suyuan Woo’s, expectations for the daughter, Jing-mei’s, life. Because of the tragedies in Suyuan Woo’s life, she foists her dreams upon her daughter. In the story, Jin-mei interpreted her mother’s wishes as the following,
“My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. America was where all my mother’s hopes lay. She had come to San Francisco in 1949 after losing everything in China: her mother and father, her family home, her first husband, and two daughters, twin baby girls.” (Tan 1208).
Jing-mei only wanted to be herself. The mother and daughter’s conflict revolved around each of their perceptions of one another. Even though Suyuan Woo loves Jing-mei, sometimes that isn’t enough to make a happy family. Even though Suyuan Woo has high expectations for her child, there is no malice in her actions. “At the core of a happy family are parents and children, connected to one another in a way that is mutually satisfying, pleasing and enduring.” (Lezin, Rollen, Bean and Taylor). Though this family has endured, both parties, Suyuan Woo and Jing-mei, are not pleased or satisfied with each other. Sometimes being a family, does not always mean being a happy family.
I Stand Here Ironing relates a tale of a daughter, Emily, and her mother. Emily’s mother is standing at an ironing board ironing, while speaking to the audience. As she irons, the mother muses about her failures as mother, even though she was a single parent. She felt Emily did not receive enough attention because of her work, trying to support Emily and her four siblings. The book relates that Emily’s father left before she was a year old with only explanation “he could no longer endure.” (Olsen). Emily’s mother had no choice but to raise her daughter to the best of her abilities, even though she felt that Emily needed more. The relationship between Emily and her mother is more common today than it was when this story was set. “More than half of all children will spend some of their lives in a single-parent family. Currently, 90% of these families are headed by women.” (Hare and Gray). To sum up this situation, single parents do the best they can. At least they stay and try to cope with their children, not abandon them because of the stress.
Section Two
Mrs. Johnson should give the quilts to Dee for two reasons. The first is that Maggie does not need the quilts to remember her heritage. Maggie knows first hand what her heritage is. In the story this is proven by Maggie when she says “She can have them, Mama…I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts.” (Walker 413). The second reason is to help Dee remember her heritage. Dee has embraced her African heritage, but neglects her American side. If Dee received these quilts, maybe not now, but in the future she can come to appreciate her American heritage like Maggie does.
Excerpt from The Dew Breaker, by Edwidge Danticat paragraph 2, page 40
When the customs man took out my pack of feathers, I could have died of embarrassment. His cold eyes looked right through me. He knows that I have used those feathers to reach an orgasm. How many women have brought these feathers through customs? Please don’t ask me what this item is used for. Let me pass into my new country. With disgust the customs man threw my precious feathers away. To my relief, he waved me through without a word.


Works Cited
Danticat, Edwidge. The Dew Breaker. Knopf Publishing Group. 2005.
Hare, Jan and Gray, Lizbeth A. “Nontraditional Families: A Guide for Parents”.
CYFERnet. 14 Oct. 1994. Oregon State University. 18 Feb. 2006 http://www.cyfernet.org/parent/nontradfam.html.
Lezin, N., Rollen L., Bean, S., and Taylor, J. Parent-child connectedness: Implications for
Reseach, interventions and positive impact on adolescent health. Santa Cruz, Ca: ETR Associates 2004.
Olsen, Tillie. Tell Me A Riddle, Lippincott, 1961. Reprinted, Rutgers University Press, 1995
Tan, Amy. "Two Kinds." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York:
HarperCollins, 1991.
Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Literature: Reading, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay.
4th ed. Robert DiYonni, Ed. New York. McGraw Hill, 1998. Read More
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