Two Kinds: the American Dream as a Theme

Topics: Amy Tan, Mind, James Truslow Adams Pages: 2 (818 words) Published: April 17, 2006
Different Views of the American Dream
Upon entering the fictional world of the story, "Two Kinds", thought up by the author Amy Tan, we can easily target one of the author's main themes, which is the American Dream. Tan demonstrates this idea through the different interpretations the two main characters have of the American Dream. These two characters being the mother and the daughter, they have very different visions of the American Dream, which will be reflected through their personality and their actions.

Firstly, throughout the story, we can always perceive the mother's interpretation of the American Dream when we observe her keenness to ameliorate her daughter and make her into a prodigy. Although the text is written with a first person, limited omniscient point of view, the daughter's, the mother's belief in America is thoroughly expressed as soon as the first paragraph. "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous."(p.84) These were the optimistic beliefs the mother upheld during all of her time living in America. Also, like many immigrants, she thought that through hard work, courage and determination one can achieve prosperity. Tan let's the mother's views of the American Dream transpire through all the attempts she makes of transforming her own child into a prodigy. The mother became a sort of manager for her poor daughter, who was supposedly destined to become either, the next Shirley Temple, a quiz know-it-all, a piano prodigy, etc…All the while, the mother incessantly repeated, "Of course you can be prodigy, too."(p84), reinforcing the reader's idea of her interpretation of the American Dream. Furthermore, due to her belief in her view of the American Dream, she we went as far as to buy for her daughter, with her meager salary, a...
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