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Culture Clash in "Two Kinds" and "Dead Mans Path"

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Introduction

Essay - Culture Clash in "Two Kinds" and "Dead Mans Path" The culture clash in Two kinds occurs between Amy Tan who has become "Americanized" and her mother who is still very much under Chinese influence. Amy's mum believes strongly in "The American Dream" "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America" Shows the large amount of Aspiration and hope in her mother's mind about the future for Amy. Her mother continues the idea that Amy could be a star in America when she says "You can be best anything" Not only does the statement reflect her ambitions for Amy and beliefs but also her broken English represents that she is still very much Chinese. Amy takes a rebellious stance when her hair cut goes wrong, and claims she likes it as it was not what her mother wanted "I liked the haircut; it made me look forward to my future fame" The phrase not only shows her rebellious side but also that she believes what her mother has said about being famous. Amy's views are filled with a degree of irony in being what her parents wanted her to be "I was filled with a sense I would soon become perfect" The italics in the phrase represent the irony of it and also the certain amount of insecurity Amy feels. ...read more.

Middle

that said she had lost everything" The phrase is powerful as her mum had lost everything, and Amy was her last hope. Her mum continues her methods of Chinese belief a few days later when in an argument she shouts at Amy on the basis that daughters in China are obedient "Only one type of daughter can live in this house, obedient daughter!" This is one of the more important lines as it really shows the Chinese culture that children should be obedient and Amy is not. Amy's American beliefs and nature are brought up when she says "For unlike my mother I did not believe I could be anything. I could only be me" This emphasizes the fact she is not a traditional Chinese daughter the way her mum wants her to be instead she has her own beliefs and lifestyle. The first line of Dead Man's Path emphasizes a culture clash, as the headmasters name is Michael Obi. Michael being a western name. So he obviously has western influence. And his clash begins with his views "He was outspoken is his condemnation of the narrow views of these older and often less educated ones" Michael is critical of the older generation, which is probably a western influence but in most Nigerian towns the elders are to be respected showing a clash between his and African views. ...read more.

Conclusion

The conversation later grinds to a halt with neither parting with their idea's or culture "I have no more words to say" Shows the priest has been defeated by ignorance, and that the conflict between the cultures will not be resolved. Both stories have culture clashes neither ending with particularly happy endings, However I feel that in Dead Man's Path the culture clash is more straight forward in that it is traditional against modern. However two kinds is slightly more complicated as at first Amy seems to be trying to be traditional and try hard where as Michael never wanted any sort of tradition right from the start. Both culture clashes involve arguments and verbal disagreements, and some degree of action. Amy ruining her piano piece in Two Kinds and the Michael blocking off the path in Dead Man's Path. These are followed up by more action from the other culture; Amy's mum continues to make Amy learn claiming she could still be a prodigy whilst the villagers tear the school apart. In Dead Man's Path it is an antithesis however I feel that Two Kinds is less so and the ideas are more intertwining however I still feel there is a large culture clash. In both stories however it is clear to see that both traditional and modern views find it hard to live side by side. James Windsor 10L 13/07/2009 1 1,381 Words ...read more.

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