Analysis Of My Mother Pieced Quilts

Improved Essays
In North Korea most people don’t know what “freedom” means, in China most people don’t know what “opinion” means, in the Middle East most people don’t know what “solution” means, and in America most people don’t know what “the rest of the world” means. From shaping personalities to affecting perceptions, culture is the invisible bond that ties individuals together in a society. At a young age, people absorb cultural values and beliefs which are manifested through one’s lifestyle. Culture strongly influences the ways of thinking and living. The differences in these factors is what causes diversity among cultures in several parts of the world. Culture is associated with the progression of one’s attitude and influences the way to approach living. …show more content…
In the piece “My Mother Pieced Quilts,” Teresa Palma Acosta describes the hand knit blankets made by her mother and its connection to her family and their relationship. From the first line of piece, she confronts a common assumption made by others by writing, “they were just meant as covers in winters as weapons against pounding January winds.” Someone could interpret the literal meaning of quilts and use it solely for warmth and comfort; but the author held a much deeper value. Acosta describes the value behind these quilts and states, “stretched out they lay... armed/ready/shouting/celebrating knotted with love... the quilts sing on.” Acosta reveals the world of emotional connection to her mother’s quilts and it brings out her identity while giving insight upon her life and family background. Because of her culture, family connection, and cherished experiences, she is able to embrace the meaning behind each piece of fabric in the quilt. Furthermore, Acosta informs the reader about her reactions to these quilts by writing “oh mother you plunged me sobbing and, laughing into our past.” Because of the numerous amount of stories and recollections attached to the blankets, she was brought to tears and rejoice. As a result, the writer would support the notion of culture affecting someone’s interpretation on traditional objects. Others may encounter objects on a daily basis that trigger a reaction and cause them to …show more content…
At a young age, many children are forced to pursue a destined dream. Children are sometimes expected to pursue what their parents desire. Many are not comfortable with this norm, but fear to let their parents down. “Two kinds” by Amy Tan reveals the morals and goals of an Asian family with the hopes for their daughter to become a piano prodigy. Like any parent, Jing-Mei’s mother pushes her to success but realizes she may have pushed her daughter too hard. Different cultural families have unique ways to interpret ideas. However, they have the common intention of chasing “The American Dream”. The narrator was confronted with this when informing the reader, “We didn’t immediately pick the right kind of prodigy. At first my mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley temple.” Coming from a foreign country, this showed how her mother wanted her to become spectacular and prestigious. Jing-mei’s main purpose was to please her parents. This is shown when she states, “I was filled with a sense that I would soon become perfect; my mother and father would adore me.” This shows how she was brainwashed at such a young age to become what her mother wanted her to be. Finally, Jing-Mei snaps and screams to her mother “Why don’t you like me the way I am?” This portrays how parents focus immensely on cultural expectation, which blinds them from seeing their children for who they are, instead of a rising

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    “You have natural talent.” (828) Once her daughter had found a talent, she feels as if her daughter will have something in which no one can take from her. As the mother’s ambition rises, so do the standards for the daughter. “You could be a genius if you want to.” (828) Her mother is well meaning, but to the daughter she is overly forceful. Her mother looks back at her life in China, and wants a better life for her daughter. The exposition of “Two Kinds” is when Jing- Mei’s mother moved to the United States and had dreams of her daughter being a prodigy.…

    • 1326 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Amy Chua Analysis

    • 1956 Words
    • 8 Pages

    She admits that her husband, Jed, furiously tells her that she is producing “overgeneralizations” (171). I do believe that she does make some overgeneralizations like the ones she makes when she presents the three big differences between the Chinese and Western parental values. Her first point being that Western parents are more worried about their child’s self-esteem. Second, Chinese parents are assured that their children owe them everything. Lastly, Chinese parents declare that they know what is best for their children and overrides the child’s wants.…

    • 1956 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Woo’s push for control and her unreasonable expectations are anchored in her cultural heritage. She wants the best for her family, though she chooses to push her daughter against her own wishes, her intentions are positive and in the best interest of her family’s future. She is adamant, as most mothers can be, that her child is destined for greatness, and is determined to expose her daughter to the world to unearth her prodigal talent, “’Of course, you can be a prodigy, too,’ my mother told me when I was nine. "’You can be best anything.’” Jing- Mei on the other hand is motivated by a newer culture, as she is far removed from her mother’s Chinese enriched culture. This newer American culture does in fact include a focus on success, but more predominantly it focuses on self fulfillment and contentment, which is perfectly narrated by Jing- Mei, “Unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could only be me.” This is alluring in comparison to the environment and resentment created by her mother, “And after seeing, once again, my mother 's disappointed face, something inside me began to die.…

    • 780 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    To me She would actually treasure these quilts forever. Wangero even said after Mama asked her what would she do with the quilts; Dee’s response was simply to hang them. Seems like Dee wanted to have a little family history at her place. Even though Mama tried to give Dee a quilt way back when she was going away to college. I guess back then that was to old fashion for her and out of…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Instead of the mother trying to let the daughter find her future, she forces her to do things that she does not want to do because the mother believes that anything can happen in America. In the beginning, the daughter does these crazy things because she really wanted to please her mother. She thinks that if she does this it will make her mother proud of her. Yet as time goes on, all her mother does is criticize her and would compares her to famous child prodigy. For example, she tries to become the famous Chinese version of Shirley Temple, but because the barber mess up her hair, the mother tells her she looks like a negro Chinese person.…

    • 746 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Furthermore, in this story, Jing-Mei’s mother had her mind fixed on thinking that she needed to become someone to be successful. Therefore, in Jing-Mei’s journey, she is looking for her own identity. In addition, Jing-Mei says, “then I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me”(2). Unlike Chinese culture, Jing-Mei starts to revolt against her mother. As a result of her mother living vicariously through her, Jing-Mei starts to act defiantly.…

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the story “Two Kinds”, by Amy Tan, an Asian-American daughter is faced with the pressures her mother puts upon her of expectations of success; in particular, the expectation is to become a young prodigy. Throughout the story, Jing- mei faces external and internal conflicts while struggling to find her own identity. While facing the struggles brought in her life, Jing- mei comes upon the realization that her mother believed in her and only wanted her to be the best that she can be. The theme the author tries to portray in this short story is the idea of the American dream. Many people that come to America believe that a person can be anything they want to be.…

    • 715 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Representation of Two Kinds In “Two Kinds”, Amy Tan writes about a relationship between a mother and a daughter. Jing Mei’s mother strives to persuade her daughter to become famous, but Jing Mei just wants to be herself and make her own decisions. Jing Mei’s mother knows what great opportunities are provided for her daughter because of the “American Dream”. The mother hopes Jing Mei will be a successful prodigy and even refers her as a future “Chinese Shirley Temple”. When Jing Mei’s acting career fails her mother decides that she should become a pianist.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Leading to the reason why most parents make decisions for their children because they believe they know best for them. They think for their future just as Chua has done for her daughters. Chua thinks counterfactually about the future of her daughters often because she believes “Chinese parents … know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children’s own desires and preferences” (54). Chua wants her daughters to succeed no matter what, even if she makes every decision for them that will be beneficial to them in the future. She makes them do all the hard work until they excel in it while she thinks counterfactually about their future.…

    • 1217 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    She always has the sense of inferiority in United States since she can 't speak English well and only do some bottom works. She hopes her daughter can be successful and help her to gain respects from other people and achieves the American dream. The sense of inferiority cause her tries to teach her daughter under the Chinese style education and always push her daughter to become one of the top students in school. However, the second generation like Waverly Jong doesn…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays