Amy Tan "Two Kinds" and Kurt Vonnegut "Miss Temptation"

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ENGLISH FINAL TERM ASSAY

This essay will address the question that whether dreams have benefitted the main characters and those around them, or instead have caused them only harm and unhappiness and do dreams give hope to the characters during difficult situations. Some dreams are manipulated by powerful figures to make weaker characters act according to them or perform certain tasks as per their will. The reaction of characters when their dreams do not come true or when they discover that what desired was unattainable or illusory. Amy Tan’s story ‘Two Kinds’ talks about a mother’s dream for her daughter to be famous and successful. It is an introduction of a mother’s interpretation of the American dream. Amy Tan tells us the story through the eyes of a little girl who initially follows her mother’s dream but eventually rebels against her. Her mother is entirely devastated when her daughter doesn’t perform well in the piano competition, so much that she doesn’t even reacts. The mother dream for her daughter to be famous and successful caused trouble for the daughter because the continues persuasion by her mother eventually lead to rise of frustration that parents and children feel when obsession takes place of nurturing. In the story ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinback, the nature of dreams and aspirations of two men and how the forces work against them is described. George’s and Lennie’s dream to own a little farm of their own is the central theme of the story. To George, this dream of having their own farm mean independence, being their won bosses and most importantly being ‘somebody’. To Lennie, his dream is to pet soft animals as much as he wants. Although having and sharing the same dream are not enough to bring to fruition, some obstacles have to be crossed. Some of these obstacles were like the threat from Curley’s wife or Curley’s violence, Lenny’s uncontrollable strength and his need to touch soft things. For George, the greatest threat to the dream was Lennie itself. In reality, it because of Lennie that George is forced to leave every job he takes up and this keeps him from getting closer to fulfilling his dream. Dreams do give characters hope in difficult times. When Lenny accidently killed Curley’s wife and everyone in the farm was out to kill Lenny. He knew that he was in trouble and he wasn’t going to get out of this one, but when George started telling him about the dream to own a farm, he forgot about how much trouble he was in. Listening and imagining the dream helped Lenny to forget about the danger he was in. George was frustrated because he was forced to move from each and every place he was working in due to the problems caused by Lenny and because of this he was unable to get closer to completion of his dream of owning his farm. His frustration was clearly seen when he and Lenny were resting near the pond while going to the ranch, George became enraged due to some reason and started shouting at George and blamed him for the frequent changing of work places and the troubles he caused due to which George suffered. In the story ‘Of Mice and Men’ dreams did not cause any troubles for the characters but instead kept on motivating them to endure the situations and to keep on going. The dream of owning land and ultimately attaining happiness is the main thing which motivates everyone on the farm. After hearing about the dream of George and Lenny, Candy quickly offers his pension so that he can be a part of their dream’s reality. Even Crooks, who suffering has been turned into worldly and cynical, asks if he may pick over a patch of garden on Lennie’s farm one day. Although Curley and his wife’s dream is not the same as George and Lennie’s, their dreams are also typically American. Curley wishes to gain respect and authority over the workers of the ranch and Curley’s wife reveals before her death how she “coulda been in the movies”. The point of having these dreams is lost. Before even the story begins,...
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