Comparison Of Culture In By Any Other Name And Two Kinds

Decent Essays
Culture is defined as the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellence in arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Culture informs the way a person views others and the world because everything he or she does is based off culture. Two critical factors that shapes one’s culture are traditions and opinions which are illustrated in “By Any Other Name” and “Two Kinds” written by Santha Rama Rau and Amy Tan respectively. In the novel “By Any Other Name” Santha Rama Rau expresses the idea that culture shapes the way a human views others along with the world through traditions. In her memoir, she includes the traditions: names and food. “Oh, my dears, those are much too hard for me. Suppose …show more content…
Amy includes the opinion of her mother and the opinion of her love/hate relationship of the piano to express this central idea. “You want me to be something I am not!” I sobbed. “I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be” (Tan 28). This dialogue from “Two Kinds” paints a picture of the opinion Amy has on her mom, and in a matter of fact her opinion isn’t the best on her mother. Tan’s opinion is the idea that her mother is too harsh on her and doesn’t accept her for who Amy is. One can infer this idea because Amy shouted at her mother that she’ll never be “that” daughter her mom dreamed of. Amy’s opinion on her mother changed the way she viewed the world we call Earth because her perception on her mother got interchanged to the idea that she is a cruel and stingy person. Another representation of opinions in Amy Tan’s fictional narrative is her opinion on the keys on the piano that construct a soundtrack for her delicate ears and the love/hate for her piano. “And after I had played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song” (Tan 29). This configuration of words arrays the conception that one’s assumption is shifted based off of culture because at first Amy didn’t enjoy her piano, but later on her perception changed and she admired the piano. Amy came to the …show more content…
An example of how culture does not affect one’s look upon the world is in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”. “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” she said. “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use. (Walker 80)” This quote from “Everyday Use” provides an example of how all the factors that tie up culture do not correspond with the outlook on the environment around someone because Alice is not aware of what the quilts mean to the Walker family. The quilts epitomizes Alice’s family heritage and past life experiences and she does not realize that. Alice almost seems naïve because she believes that one should adopt and use the quilts every day, but in reality the quilts should not be used for anything expect decoration. Alice should understand the importance of the quilts, but since that is not the case Alice’s cultural heritage is not influenced by traditions or opinions. Some people might agree with the fact that culture has little to nothing to do with one’s perception, but even with this case in “Everyday Use” Alice comes into consideration of the true meaning of the quilts towards the tail end of the story, which means overall her culture influenced her interpretation of the

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