• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the importance of family relationships in two of the stories you have studied in Opening Worlds

Extracts from this document...


Neeraj Shah 10/03/04 Consider the importance of family relationships in two of the stories you have studied in Opening Worlds In 'The Young Couple', Jhabvala illustrates the difficulties Cathy experiences in family relationships upon moving to India after her marriage to Naraian, whereas in 'Two Kinds', Amy Tan describes the difficulties Jing-mei, the heroine, faces in her relationship with her mother. Part of these difficulties are caused by the 'clash of cultures' that the heroines in both stories experience. Cathy feels that she does not fit in to Indian culture and Jing-mei has to live with a mother who, at crucial times, shows that she lives her life according to Chinese principles, whereas Jing-mei prefers the independent, American lifestyle. From the beginning of 'The Young Couple', Jhabvala makes clear how life is run in India. She describes how the couple's flat was obtained for them through an "uncle's influence" and that Naraian's friends' jobs were found through the "influence of some relative". We see how these people's wellbeing depends on their families, as Naraian and his unemployed friends live at "the expense of their families" and as Naraian's family is "supporting them completely". Many of the difficulties Cathy faces are due to the fact that she has married into an Indian family. ...read more.


This acceptance signifies the complete integration of Naraian back into his family, and the loss of the independence that he has had from England. It also means that the couple are now completely relying on the family (as it is the family's job), which in Cathy's view is her entrapment by the family. Cathy's pregnancy is another event that allows Naraian's family to 'tighten their grip' on the couple. They send a car to pick them up on Sunday mornings, and when they arrive at the house, seeing Cathy being brought by the family car and seeing her in the state that she is in cause the women of the house to smile "triumphantly". The use of the word "triumphantly" suggests that they have won something, which is that they have Cathy using the family car, and they have her under their influence. Also, they must be happy to see the couple's independence slowly slipping away from them, as they are further integrated into the family. Finally, even at the end of the story, at the reconciliation of Cathy and Naraian, the family play an important part. This reconciliation seems to be superficial; as our final view onto the couple's life is of the "room that was being got ready for them" with the same oppressiveness Cathy feels, in the "heavy, shiny furniture" and "ample satin bedspreads". ...read more.


Jing-mei herself shows how her mother is so important to her. After her piano recital, she is describes as having "felt the shame", but seeing as she actually set out to "put a stop to this foolish pride", surely she should be satisfied that she has achieved her goal. The fact that she feels the shame of her parents means that she is unhappy herself after seeing her mother's "stricken face", showing how only the unhappiness of her mother can affect her. Also, she obviously feels guilty as she "failed her so many times", and the thing that frightens her most is to ask her mother why she had given up hope. Again, it is at her mother's unhappiness and loss of faith that affects Jing-mei the most, showing how her mother's feelings are so important to her. The way the two stories differ in their portrayal of the importance of family relationships, is that in 'The Young Couple', the influence of the family has a negative effect on the couple, and this does not get resolved, as Cathy still pictures the room being got ready for them at the end, whereas in 'Two Kinds', even though Jing-mei's mother's insistence and pressure makes Jing-Mei humiliate herself and her mother, the reader still gets the impression that the fighting and pressure does not have a lasting effect on her, as she is eventually "perfectly contented". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Emily Bronte essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Caravaggio - A Canadian thief whose profession is legitimized during the war when he puts his skills to use for the British intelligence effort. Caravaggio, whom we first know only as "the man with bandaged hands," proves endearing despite the fact that his actions are not always virtuous.

  2. Women in Dracula, A Street Car Named Desire and Birthday Letters

    Under 'Sadism in Women,' he describes case 42, a women's who s****l history prefigures that of Stoker's Lucy: ' A married man presented himself with numerous scars of cuts on his arms. He told their origins as follows: When he wishes to approach his wife, who was young and somewhat

  1. Write about the way characters are created in the three text studied you have ...

    Throughout the novel the readers see an intense development in Amir's character; dealing with inner-conflict he doesn't know whether what is right or wrong. Just like Elizabeth Bennet, Amir is described to have flaws in his characteristic mainly because he longs for his father's love which brings down his character

  2. Discuss the ways in which Frayn introduces the key features of Spies in the ...

    "I can never trace it," confirms the uncertainty and mystery over the smell as well as reflecting the narrator's state of mind of confusion and agitation. Frayn develops this theme of confusion and perception, throughout Spies. In Chapter Five Stephen does not know the meaning of "x."

  1. `Compare and Contrast the Presentation of Family Relationships in Atonement (TM)and(TM) Oranges Are Not ...

    largely by certain events she witnesses between her sister and Robbie, especially after she wrongly accuses Robbie. Briony should have come to her mother with her suspicious thoughts rather than let them grow in her undeveloped immature mind, 'If she had would not have committed her crime.

  2. Everyday Use: Defining African-American Heritage

    These personality traits, along with her style of dress and speech, establish her identity as a symbol of the Black Power movement. It is important to recognize that Walker is not condemning the Black Power movement as a whole. Rather, she is challenging that part of the movement that does

  1. Compare and Contrast the Presentation of Family Relationships in Oranges Are Not the Only ...

    Unmarried women are spinsters, therefore frowned upon by society. Neither Rachel, whose marriage to Fredericks was merely out of justification of acceptance in society, nor Alice, find any kind of fulfilment from their marriages to Frederick Barker as "a sullen drunk with an insatiable appetite for gambling" (p.33) Similar experiences happen to the women of the next two generations.

  2. A comparison of the satirical techniques in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock ...

    This notion is presented both through her own actions and indirectly through the speech of other characters. Indeed, Canon Chasuble comments on her actions in reconciling the two warring brothers: "You have done a beautiful thing today my child". Gwendolyn appears to suggest that her nature is reflected even in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work