Children And Families Essay, Research Paper
Scott Berman 9/12/99
Advanced Writing Ms. Adams
Children and Families
A mother’s love for her children is supposed to be something that never dies. The problem is, this “love” can be expressed in many ways. Sometimes, the love is shown in such a way that there is no doubt that this woman would do anything for her offspring. Sometime, this love can be viewed, as a way that that the mother is trying to mold her daughter into what she believes is the “right” way to behave. Other times, the mother is trying her best to make sure that her child is doing HER best. These three types of “love” are expressed in the three short stories “Girl,” “Gravity,” and “Two Kinds.”
The mother in “Girl” is portrayed as an overbearing monster. For some unknown reason, she has given her daughter many guidelines by which she has to live by. The reason may be that the mother was a rebel in her childhood. It could be that the mother has a vision of what her daughter is to be like. The reason is unknown. But what is known is that this mother won’t take anything less than what she thinks a lady should be like. To the knowledge of the reader, the child has done nothing wrong to have to receive this reprimanding. The most demeaning section of the tirade is when the mother says “…` so to prevent you from becoming the slut you are so bent on becoming.’” (Kincaid 13) This mother, for whatever reason it may be, has the idea that her daughter, who she is SUPPOSED to love with all her heart, has her young mind set on becoming a slut.
Every time the daughter tried to throw in a comment, it goes all for naught. The mother does not even respond to the comment that her child says. The problem is this story might have been resolved; it might have not been resolved. No one will know. But, the odds are that if the mother will act like this now, there are no signs of her changing anytime in the near future. The daughter in this story has to live with the reality that her mother has a mindset of what a woman is. Unfortunately, it appears to be virtually impossible to fill the mold that her mother has for her.
In “Gravity,” the mother has been put into an awful situation. Her son, who seems to be about 30 years old, has the AIDS virus. He has grown weak and feeble. He basically relies on his mother for all his needs. This mother is portrayed as a mother that will (and unfortunately has to) do anything for her son. Even when he was a little child who could not see, his mother lent him her glasses so he could see “Fiddler on the Roof.” She did this with full knowledge that she would be forced to squint for the entire showing. The mother herself has her own sicknesses, which she has to deal with. But, even still, she puts her son’s well – being before hers… just like she has when he was a little child who couldn’t see.
The mother not only does things to help her son physically, she does things to help him emotionally. When she and her son are in a shop purchasing a gift bowl, she tossed the $500 glass bowl to her feeble son. To the surprise of her son and everyone else in the store, he held on. Theo, the son, was overwhelmed with joy that he didn’t see a pile of glass in front of his feet.
As good as a mother as she is, she does have some flaws. First, she somewhat gives the impression that she has been annoyed with the situation. She also feels that people are always looking down on them.
Eventually, it is assumed that the son will pass away. To this day, no cure for AIDS has been found. No matter what, Theo, has always known, and always will know, that his mother would have moved the world to see him with a smile on his face. After all, she had been doing whatever it took to make him happy since he was a little child.
“Two Kinds” is a story in which a mother believes that her daughter could be the absolute best at something… as long as she put her mind to it. Unfortunately for the mother, she and her daughter did not see eye to eye in this.
The mother in this story is a Chinese immigrant who left basically everything to start her life over in the USA. She has always had the belief that anyone can become anything they wanted in the US as long as they put their mind to it. She would sit in front of the TV or read a magazine and see all these child prodigies. Whether it be Shirley Temple on the “Ed Sullivan show” or a three-year-old boy who could name all the capitals in the United States and even the capitals of some European countries, the mother had her mind set that that could be her daughter.
Her daughter, has the opposite belief. She believes that there is no conceivable way that she could become one of these prodigies. Her mother tests her intelligence as well as her musical ability, but it all is to no avail.
After seeing a piano recital on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” her mother made up her mind that her daughter was going to be a world-renowned pianist. Her mother signed her up for lessons with an old man in their apartment building. Since her daughter believed that it was impossible for her to become to prodigy in piano, she didn’t try anything close to her maximum ability. Then, during a musical showcase, her daughter tried to perform a song. It was a disgrace. There were mistakes left and right. It broke her mother’s heart to see that her daughter wasn’t great at something.
Soon after the disaster at the recital, Nikan had a fight with her mother about the whole piano situation. The fight got to the point that Nikan said to her mother “Then I wish I weren’t your daughter. I wish you weren’t my mother.” (Tan 34) Her mother was in complete shock over what she had just heard.
The events that took place that afternoon were never mentioned again. The two had moved on almost like it never happened. Her mother no longer pushed her to become something her daughter believed she never could be. She either accepted her daughter for what she was, or she finally realized that her daughter had no desire, in anyway shape or form, to become a star. She didn’t want to live the “American Dream.”
Mothers do what they feel best for their children. Maybe the children do not believe that they are meaning well. But, if you look deep into the heart of the situation, you will see that “love” is being expressed.