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Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Under Pressure by Carl Honor are two texts which both examine the significance and underlying meanings of a mother-daughter relationship.

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Gabriela Kassing February 27, 2012 Paper One – Section B Texts: Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting (2008) by Carl Honoré “Do not live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable” (Wendy Wasserstein). Expectations -- the belief to achieve something great in one’s life – are universally accepted. For many of us while growing up, our mothers have been an important part of who we are. Thus we as children learn to depend on them because they are always there when needed the most. Similarly, Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Under Pressure by Carl Honoré are two texts which both examine the significance and underlying meanings of a mother-daughter relationship. These extracts are prime examples of a mother trying to live her life through her child. Two Kinds is a short story, which creates a dynamic connection between mother and daughter, demonstrating how the daughter best complies with her mother’s idealistic expectations. The extract focuses on the idea of power and territory on the mother's side, while the daughter, for entertainment purposes, obeys her mother at a cost without questioning. ...read more.


This word comes from the German word, Übermensch, meaning a super-human, in the sense that this human being has strengths and other skills uncommon to people. This explains the word uber-child, and the wish for parents to have a child, who is beyond human proportions. Through his word choice Carl Honoré wanted to emphasize of the fact that each child is unique, and although driving a child onwards is good, too much pressure might ruin the child’s self-esteem and hope. In other words, Two Kinds and Under Pressure demonstrate differences in the voice of the narrator. Second, Under Pressure and Two Kinds demonstrate contrasting organizational styles as literary features. Both Amy Tan and Carl Honoré use short sentences written in both active and passive voice, which allows for a more flexible sentence structure. Firstly the short story by Amy Tan is told from the perspective of a young immigrant girl, who is trying to please her mother. Her mother considers the American Dream to be true, and believes that “everyone can be anything they want to be”. Amy Tan portrays her moral to the reader through a tale. ...read more.


Both texts come to the conclusion that pushing a child to hard at an early age will end badly and lead to the break down of a child. Through these shared ideas, Tan and Honoré were able to show a shared similarity in purpose. Two Kinds and Under Pressure are two extracts that employ differences in voice, organization style, and the characterizations of children as contrasting literary features while sharing a similar purpose. Each text focuses on the pressure of mother’s high expectations influencing a difficult mother-daughter relationship. Although the authors have the similar message their written work varies greatly in literary features. Two Kinds uses a voice of loss hope and confusion written from a child’s perspective while Under Pressure uses a more formal register to inform the reader. The extracts portray the yearning of parents for their children to be prodigies as well as the mother’s bitter resentment when the daughter fails over and over again. The authors of the text depict these two themes through different literary techniques and devices, making them different and similar from one another. Therefore Tan and Honoré in Two Kinds and Under Pressure respectively use the contrast of literary features of voice, organizational style and the characterization of children, while sharing the similarity of purpose. ...read more.

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