Culture In An Indian Father's Plea, Everyday Use, And Two Kinds

Improved Essays
For many people culture has influenced them in one way or another, as a result culture informs and affects how people view others and the world around them. Despite arguments others may have against it, it all depends on their upbringing. In the stories "An Indian Father's Plea", "Everyday Use" and "Two Kinds", there are copious examples that can be drawn supporting this claim. Not only are these from authors real experiences, they also showcase the extent to which one's culture affects their perspective on others.
In "An Indian Fathers Plea" by Robert Lake (Medicine Grizzlybear), An Elementary school teacher and a Native American father clash between their opposite perspectives on education. Wind-Wolf has been labeled as a "slow learner"
…show more content…
Jing-Mei's mother aspires for her daughter to become a child prodigy, Jing-Mei's mother stays with her traditional Chinese culture while Jing-Mei is born into the average American culture, the practice of two different cultures in one home caused conflict between the mother and daughter. At a young age her mother forced different types of prodigy's until she found the right subject, or so she thinks. In the beginning Jing-Mei actually enjoyed the thought of being a prodigy until the constant disappointment she brought onto her mother. She hated the hopes and high expectations her mother had for her, Jing-Mei looked in the mirror with disgust saying "such a sad, ugly girl!" (Tan 14) Until she saw the prodigy side of her, "I looked at my reflection, blinking so that I could see more clearly. The girl staring back at me was angry, powerful. She and I were the same." (Tan 15). From then on Jing-Mei listlessly preformed and practiced. As a result, Jing-Meis mother wanted her to be a prodigy so bad that she falsely bragged about Jing-Meis capabilities. "Our problem worser than yours. If we ask Jing-Mei wash dish, she hear nothing but music. It's like you can't stop this natural talent." (Tan 43) At that point Jing-Mei was determined to put a stop to her foolish pride. Jing-Mei continued to go to the piano lessons until one day she decided to ignore her mother and not go. Not only did her mother find that disrespectful but she found it extremely disobedient for example, "Only two kinds of daughters," she shouted in Chinese. "Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter" (Tan 67). Comparatively Marcella went through the same situation, her Grandma wanted her to be a boy. She had forced her to play stereotypical male sports, cut her hair, and wear

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    So they don’t want to let their children been look down to be an unknowledgeable person. As a result, In China, mothers are strict to their children, but their rigour to their children are all good for them. In The Joy Luck Club, when June’s mother told her to practice piano and she refused it, her mother shouted, “Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (Tan, 153).…

    • 1759 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Despite the fact Jing Mei was uncooperative and fought the thought of being a successful pianist her mother boasts about her daughter which only caused Jing Mei to resent the idea even more. Jing Mei spends more time fighting her mothers ideas because she wants to create her own life and become successful in something she is interested in so she spends all of Smith 2 her time when she should be practicing intentionally playing badly. Jing Mei’s mother comes up with enough money to buy a secondhand piano for Jing Mei in hopes it would help her strive to be successful. Jing Mei is set to play a song at the church talent show but hasn’t practiced nor does she know the piece she is supposed to play.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jing-Mei stated,“You want me to be something that I’m not!” I sobbed. “I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!”(66) Meanwhile, Jing-Mei’s mother replies, “Only two kinds of daughters,” she shouted in Chinese. “Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! (67) It shows the conflict erupting between both mother and daughter because Jing-Mei is used american culture which screams freedom, while her mother expects an obedient daughter that will do everything she says to like chinese culture. Jing-Mei’s mother has incredibly high expectations and hopes for her daughter.…

    • 953 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    In this quotation of the short story we see how much Jing-Mei tries to be the “perfect” daughter for her mother but can achieve her demeans, she is devastated when her mother says “you look like a negro Chinese” because it was not like if she was doing this by purpose. Amy Tan used…

    • 1617 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    An-Mei Hsu has a similar problem with her daughter Rose. She does not agree with the way Rose thinks. This is because of the different difficulties each woman had when they were growing up. “I know this, because I was raised the Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people’s misery, to eat my own bitterness”(Tan 241). An-Mei Hsu is talking about how her daughter is too busy complaining instead of trying to fix her marriage.…

    • 1485 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great 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
  • Improved Essays

    Jing- Mei’s mother had many ideas of changing her to be “Shirley Temple” or to be like “Peter Pan”. In reality, her mother wanted her to be optimistic and perseverant and she was just going about it the wrong way. Each time Jing- Mei was tested and failed it caused more self- doubt and low self-esteem to her confidence. She said, “If you don’t hurry up and get me out of here, I’m disappearing for good, and then you’ll always be nothing.” (Tan 1) As the failed expectations piled up, Jing- Mei fought to not let her mother try to make her be what she was not. Due to this self-doubt, this builds up an internal conflict with herself to where she fears she will never be special to her mother, and she will never be worth her mother’s sacrifices.…

    • 715 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Something pulled me back” refers to her mother’s death making her realise that she wants to get to know her roots and making her want to stop hiding from it. Jing-mei realises that she needs to learn about her Chinese heritage to get to know her mother because accepting her roots and herself was what her mother had tried to get her to do since she was young. “The voice of reason I forgot I had” suggests that Jing-mei had always misunderstood her mother and thought that her mother did not love her, she “forgot” her mother’s unconditional love and concern for her. This can be observed when she thought that her mother had “given up hope” on her after the failed piano recital which thus caused her to be insecure about herself and constantly “fall short of (Suyuan’s) expectations” even as an adult. She “didn't get straight As”, “didn’t become the class president”, “didn’t get into Stanford” and “dropped out of college”.…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I hate you, Meanie!” (Jen 64).Clearly, she does not like her grandmother because her grandmother doesn’t let her do certain things that the other American children in the park were doing. In the same way, Waverly has this rebelling personality. An example is when she becomes very frustrated with her mother towards the end of the story and runs away. She shows her darker side here by being frustrated at her mother and she also disrespects her Chinese heritage of respecting her parents. On the contrary, Waverly’s feelings for her mother changes as her mother demonstrate a lack of knowledge of American culture.…

    • 838 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jing-mei’s mother pushes her to become a prodigy. As a child, she would quiz Jing-mei about random topics and push to enter beauty pageants. Eventually, Jing-mei tires of her mother’s constant wishes for her to be perfect. After a particularly frustrating day, Jing-mei thought, “I hated the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations. ...…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays