Comparison: ?Two Kinds? By Amy Tan And ?Teenage Wasteland? By Anne Tyler Essay, Research Paper
The stories “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan and “Teenage Wasteland” by Anne Tyler havemany similarities, yet are different in many ways. Both of these stories contain a conflictbetween parental figures and their children. The conflict in “Teenage Wasteland”involves Donny and his two parents, Daisy and Matt. They want Donny to succeed inschool, both gradewise and socially. Donny, on the other hand, has a hard time in schoolwhether it be because he doesn’t fit in or because he doesn’t apply himself. Donny’sparents want him to be the average “all American” kid and they try their best to getDonny to fit into this groove. Donny’s parents even go as far as hiring a tutor for himthree times a week to help Donny get back on track. Nikan has a similar situation in “Two Kinds” where a mother expects herdaughter to fit a certain type a person that she doesn’t want to be. Nikan mother wantsher to have some special talent that sets her apart from other kids her age. Nikan on theother hand just wants to be herself and nothing more. Trying to act like a child prodigyor a pianist just didn’t appeal to Nikan. Her mom was persistent though in trying toconform her daughter into both of these things. These two stories are also similar in that they both contain disappointments. Thisdisappointment in “Teenage Wasteland” by Donny is when he runs away at the end of thestory. His parents tried and tried to help Donny and provide as much as they could forhim only to find out that he ran away and most likely will not come back. Donny’s momand dad are involved in Donny’s life as much as they can, only to have their son fail inthe end. With Donny seeing Cal regularly, his parents though he was improving, but inreality, he wasn’t getting much help from Cal. He was basically just having a good timethree times a week with no parental supervision. Cal was, for the most part, just a goodfriend to Donny and was someone whom with Donny have fun with. This ultimately ledto both parents being disappointed in Donny after he leaves home. The same kind ofdisappointment was experienced by Nikan’s mom by her daughter. Nikan’s mom spent alot of time and work trying to get her to learn how to play the piano. Her mom thoughthat Nikan was doing great with the piano. She was practicing everyday and soon shewas to be in a talent show. Her mom was looking forward to the show so she would havesomething to brag about to her friends. Unfortunately, Nikan really blew the talent show. For some reason she though she was magically going to perform flawlessly when calledon at the show but she did just the opposite. Nikan’s mom was extremely disappointed. Like Donny’s parents, she had put a lot of time and effort into something that she thoughtwould help her child, only to be let down by her daughter. Another similarity between “Two Kinds” and “Teenage Wasteland” are the twokids, Nikan and Donny, respect towards their parents. The both show very little respectto them. The situation at the end of “Two Kinds” where Nikan says that she wished thather wasn’t her mother’s daughter and furthermore wishes that she was never born likeher other sisters was extremely disrespectful. A child should never talk in that manner totheir parents no matter how upset. This was a turning point in both of their lives. Themother, being astounded at what her daughter said looks at her as a different person fromthen on, and it seemed harder for Nikan to talk face to face with her mother from then on. Donny, in “Teenage Wasteland” shows complete disrespect for his parents throughoutthe story. His parents are doing all they can to try and help Donny, but he never putsforth the effort to help himself. He was getting into trouble as school, barely gettingpassing grades, and skipping school. When his parents asked him about where he wasgoing, Donny got an attitude. Even after Donny’s parents paid for a tutor, Donny stillwould not tell them what was going on in his life or even how we was doing in school. This information was always given to them by the school faculty. His parents had to beembarrassed in front of teachers and the principle many times. This seems verydisrespectful on Donny’s part for them to have to meet with the school to discuss hismisbehavior. Both Donny and Nikan caused a tremendous amount of pain a suffering intheir parent’s lives. They were both disrespectful and unthankful towards their parents.