Comparison Of Short Stories Essay Research Paper

Comparison Of Short Stories Essay, Research Paper

The stories “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan and “Teenage Wasteland” by Anne Tyler have

many similarities, yet are different in many ways. Both of these stories contain a conflict

between parental figures and their children. The conflict in “Teenage Wasteland”

involves Donny and his two parents, Daisy and Matt. They want Donny to succeed in

school, both gradewise and socially. Donny, on the other hand, has a hard time in school

whether it be because he doesn’t fit in or because he doesn’t apply himself. Donny’s

parents want him to be the average “all American” kid and they try their best to get

Donny to fit into this groove. Donny’s parents even go as far as hiring a tutor for him

three times a week to help Donny get back on track.

Nikan has a similar situation in “Two Kinds” where a mother expects her

daughter to fit a certain type a person that she doesn’t want to be. Nikan mother wants

her to have some special talent that sets her apart from other kids her age. Nikan on the

other hand just wants to be herself and nothing more. Trying to act like a child prodigy

or a pianist just didn’t appeal to Nikan. Her mom was persistent though in trying to

conform her daughter into both of these things.

These two stories are also similar in that they both contain disappointments. This

disappointment in “Teenage Wasteland” by Donny is when he runs away at the end of the

story. His parents tried and tried to help Donny and provide as much as they could for

him only to find out that he ran away and most likely will not come back. Donny’s mom

and dad are involved in Donny’s life as much as they can, only to have their son fail in

the end. With Donny seeing Cal regularly, his parents though he was improving, but in

reality, he wasn’t getting much help from Cal. He was basically just having a good time

three times a week with no parental supervision. Cal was, for the most part, just a good

friend to Donny and was someone whom with Donny have fun with. This ultimately led

to both parents being disappointed in Donny after he leaves home. The same kind of

disappointment was experienced by Nikan’s mom by her daughter. Nikan’s mom spent a

lot of time and work trying to get her to learn how to play the piano. Her mom though

that Nikan was doing great with the piano. She was practicing everyday and soon she

was to be in a talent show. Her mom was looking forward to the show so she would have

something 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 called

on 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 thought

would help her child, only to be let down by her daughter.

Another similarity between “Two Kinds” and “Teenage Wasteland” are the two

kids, Nikan and Donny, respect towards their parents. The both show very little respect

to them. The situation at the end of “Two Kinds” where Nikan says that she wished that

her wasn’t her mother’s daughter and furthermore wishes that she was never born like

her other sisters was extremely disrespectful. A child should never talk in that manner to

their parents no matter how upset. This was a turning point in both of their lives. The

mother, being astounded at what her daughter said looks at her as a different person from

then 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 throughout

the story. His parents are doing all they can to try and help Donny, but he never puts

forth the effort to help himself. He was getting into trouble as school, barely getting

passing grades, and skipping school. When his parents asked him about where he was

going, Donny got an attitude. Even after Donny’s parents paid for a tutor, Donny still

would 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 be

embarrassed in front of teachers and the principle many times. This seems very

disrespectful on Donny’s part for them to have to meet with the school to discuss his

misbehavior. Both Donny and Nikan caused a tremendous amount of pain a suffering in

their parent’s lives. They were both disrespectful and unthankful towards their parents.


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