Neither is shown to be without flaw, in a quite true-to-life scenario. Major common themes in this story are the generational differences among a family of immigrants as well as mother-daughter relationships, focusing specifically on the relationship between Jing-mei and her mother. 'Two Kinds' is a great example of this differential conflict. "Why don't you like me the way I am?" I cried.
Juggling four children, cooking, cleaning and adjusting to a new society puts pressure on Alice’s mother. Since both mother and grandmother are such strong personalities, arguments between the two of them are not uncommon. They both attempt to entice information about one another out of young, unsuspecting Alice, so that they have something to use against each other during future conflicts. Alice describes their ways of deceit as, “Constantly sighing and lying and dying – that is what being a Chinese woman means, and I want nothing to do with it.” (-Part 1, page
Towards the end of the tale, Kingston tells of a song Ts’ai Yen sings: “Her words seemed to be Chinese, but the barbarians understood their sadness and anger…her children did not laugh, but eventually sang along” (209). In the scene, Kingston alludes to a conversation that goes beyond understand or interpretation and transcends to a state of peace between the two cultures, barbarian and native. Without even knowing the language or the culture, the barbarians understand the truth of the words. Music is a universal expression that unites. Although the children, representing Americanized Chinese, are rather separated from their mother’s culture, they still find a tune they can relate to.
Being born in China but living in America, she seems ashamed of her roots and that is why she is embarrassed when her mother speaks broken English (Tan 142-146). But, although she tries hard to be American speaking and writing good English, she realizes that she has deviated from her true self. She finally makes peace with her mother and she starts appreciating her “Mother Tongue”, which consequently affects her writing positively. This shows just how peoples’ native languages are important in their lives. Our “Mother Tongue” is what gives us identity; it defines who we are, and therefore, people should value their native languages.
To make her point clear she uses a lot of pathos and a lot of examples from experiences with herself and her two daughters, Louisa and Sofia. At the beginning when she tells the stories about her daughters trying to fight back you think ’what a terrible mother’, but she uses this feeling to support the view the readers have on the Chinese mothers as being mean to their kids so that afterwards she can tell how it turned out good and therefor the way she raises her kids is the best. Amy Chua has a high ethos because she is a professor at Yale which is a very respected job, and as a parent it makes her more reliable because she tells the reader that her parents treated her the same way that she treats her daughters, and as we can see she has been very successful. Also she uses loghos: ”In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70 % of the Western mothers said either that ”stressing academic success is not good for children” or that ”parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun”. By contrast,
written by Gish Jen demonstrated a double consciousness. Through her racial lens she detects the differences between the Chinese, the Irish, and the White Americans; she is always racially conscious and suspicious. When her Shea in-laws continuously comment on her granddaughter Sophie’s skin color she makes a remark implying more racial breeding thus ceasing conversation and invoking an apology. Further in the text Chinese grandmother says, “Nothing the matter with Sophie’s outside, that’s the truth. It is inside that she is like not any Chinese girl I ever see.” Her statement gives insight on how the granddaughter may pass through the veil with her exterior as Chinese but her interior passes for American, a dual identities within one person.
However, the tone quickly changes as Song begins to miss and need China. After describing an unfriendly run in with a landlord Song says “You find you need China: your one fragile identification, a jade link handcuffed to your wrist” (Song). Here we see Song relating to the sister across seas and knowing that she needs to be back with her family and the people that love her, like her mother. These two contrasting section of the poem are used to show that even though life may be tough and strenuous in China, the life lived in America can also be not as forgiving. Family and culture seem to always win the battle against rebellion to a new land, resulting in the speaker’s sister’s
The daughters in the stories thought their mothers were very pushy about some things and they did not like it. However, what they did not realize is the intention their mother had for them to be in a better, more independent situation then they were. Jing-Mei Woo was one of the daughters in chapter eight titled Two Kinds and it stated, “I hated the tests, something inside of me began to die”. (Page 141) When Jing-Mei’s mother saw other people excelling, she thought it was necessary for her daughter to do the same thing. She had been put on a pedestal in her mind as a type of prodigy.
The Joy Luck Club Assignment The film the Joy Luck Club was an excellent account of four different accounts of Asian American women and their grown up assimilated daughters. It dealt with the marked discrepancy in the story of the rough relationships of first generation Asian American mothers and the daughters’ complete assimilation. It was interesting viewing the mothers’ adherence to their customs and beliefs clashing with their daughters’ acceptance of the American lifestyle. In addition, the stereotypes that were perpetuated by the movie were intense, mainly of Asian men and women. By showing the beliefs and customs of the Chinese still done here in America, the film makes a massive effort to reinforce negative stereotypes such of Asians as sexist, poverty-ridden, cruel, and strange, exotic, and
She often portrays herself to be overbearing with her disconcerting ramblings over her children, but we know that it is out of love for them. She clings to her past with such desperation: “Possess your soul in patience-you will see! Something I’ve resurrected from that old trunk! Styles haven’t changed so terribly much after all…Now just look at your mother This is the dress in which I led the cotillion….See how I sashayed around the ballroom Laura?” (Williams 1987). Her fading youth only makes her more desperate for attention for herself and her daughter.