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Amy Tan's Two Kinds and Maggie Scarf's The Beavers' Scale of Family health and Competence

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Why are children, pianos, and bad mothers a recipe for disaster? Maggie Scarfs essay” The Beavers scale of Family health and Competence” may be able to answer this question that haunts many families. Maggie Scarf compared and contrasted many families and was able to come up with the Family scale that puts these families on 5 different levels. Level 5 being the worst while level 1 being the most docile and best family unit. Using Scarfs essay we will be able to help the reader understand the level 4 family type to explain Amy Tans essay called” Two Kinds” were Jing-Mei battles her mother for self-control and her own social freedom. Scarfs assertions from her essay will help us understand why the tyrant in level 4 families eventually loses control and why there is never any healing done on both sides of these types of families. According to Scarf” [Polarized families] have nothing but inflexible black and white rules- rules designed not only to control the actions, but the thoughts and feelings of everyone within the intimate system” (4). In other words, there is no gray area or bending the rules. The family members are forced to follow with no ability to be themselves. In polarized families there is no way to fight back due to all the family members are emotionally like puppets on strings. Scarf's passage about how Level 4 families help the reader understand Jing-Mei's resentment towards her mother. Jing-Mei has already shown that she is not talented or a genius but, Jing-Mei's mother insists that there is one thing that her daughter is good at. Jing-Mei asks her mother why she can’t be loved for who she is. Her mother responds stating that she only wants her daughter to be her best for herself. The word “inflexible” in Scarfs ... ... middle of paper ... ...vers Scale of Family Health and Competence”. The reader is able to see thru the foggy patches of an emotionally disfigured family and why the factor of control aids in ending the essay in the tragic way it did. Thru these assertions we are able to have a deeper understanding of both sides of the story. The mother who only wants the best for her child, but yet the child has already given up and is in a way being groomed in that fashion for the rest of her life. Many of these problems come from the “polarized” view of level 4 families which pretty much destroys any hope of forgiveness or self-identity. Families should learn boundaries with their children and be more supportive instead of detrimental to their children. The control will always be lost by the tyrant because there is no freedom and even after the family unit is separated there will never be any healing.
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