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Mother-Daughter Relationships in Everyday Use, by Alice Walker and Two Kinds, by Amy Tan

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No two mother and daughter relationships are alike. After reading “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker and “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan I realized that the two stories had the same subject matter: mother and daughter relationships. These two stories show different cultures, generations and parenting methods. Although the two mothers act differently, they are both ultimately motivated by the same desire: to be a good parent. In addition, while researching related articles, I realized that there were two recurring themes of mothers and daughters: respect and diverse ways of parenting.
When I think of what respect means to me, my definition is: listening and being mindful of what someone is saying or doing. The dictionary on Google has respect listed as: “admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements” (Google). I have never associated with respect with admiring someone’s abilities, qualities, yet along their achievements. The two different mothers in the stories view respect differently as well.

In “Two Kinds”, the mother is constantly demanding respect from her daughter. It reminded me of when a friend of mine said, “I’m my own Chinese mother” while she was preparing for finals week. Is it culturally understood that Chinese mothers are strict? At the end of the story, the mother, very upset, demands:
“Only two kinds of daughters…Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (Lawn).
June’s mother is displaying her rules for respect. Obviously she does not care to know what June thinks about this, she does not even have a choice in this matter. It is opposite in the t...


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...h conclusion about my struggles with my mother. Mothers (and fathers) do what they can with what they know. That is all. They believe that they are doing the right thing, and we as children must learn to appreciate that.



Works Cited

Farrell, Susan. “Fight Vs. Flight: A Re-Evaluation of Dee In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”.”
Studies In Short Fiction 35.2 (1998): 179.Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
"Google." Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Healy, Sarah. "The Importance of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Two Kinds." Review. Web
log post. Reflections. Blogspot.com, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. .
Lawn, Beverly. 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's,
2001. Print.



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