A Mother's Dream and a Child's Choice
Lit/210 - World Literature
October 20, 2013
A Mother's Dream and a Child's Choice:
A comparison of A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and Two Kinds, by Amy Tan
While it is true that every mother should have a dream for her child, she should never burden him with it because the child will grow up believing he has disappointed or failed her in some way. There is an old Jewish proverb that says, "A slave shows his true character not while enslaved, but when he becomes a master." (Author unknown). In ...view middle of the document...
Another author, Joan Ryan (1989), used a compilation of interviews from over 100 former gymnasts, trainers, and professional ice skaters in her book that indicated the methods used and treatment of these young girls border on child abuse. Many of the girls interviewed had a history of depression, feelings of isolation from friends and family, weekend bones, low self-esteem, and a general sense of a lost childhood. There are also documented cases of fatal injuries, and suicide (Ryan, 1995). In both stories, A Raisin in the Sun, (Hansberry, p. 724), and Two Kinds, (Tan, p. 386); the mothers had a dream for their children. In Raisin in the Sun, Mama (Lena) wanted her son to by like his father. She wanted him to be responsible, to take care of his family, have integrity, and to be proud of who he was. Similarly, the mother in Two Kinds wanted her daughter to be her best at whatever she chose to do with her life. Their dreams were not what the problem was. They were reasonable on the surface. It was how the mothers presented their desires to their children that caused the problems in each of the stories. For example, Lena ‘knew’ she could not trust Walter with making a good decision with the money, so she only gave him what was left, after she made the decision for the family to buy a house (p. 762). Similarly, the mother’s intention in Two Kinds, was to ‘help’ her daughter Jing-Mei find what she was good at, no matter what her daughter thought about it. She said, “Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (Tan, 1989, P. 393)
The first reason a mother should never burden her child with her own dreams for him, is because it will have a direct impact on his self-image, and his drive to succeed. By pushing him, she risks causing him to choose a path he was never meant to take in his life. Parenting style is about how the parent and the child interacts with each other. Including expectations, beliefs, and values that surround how the parent supports or punishes the child. Dr. Mathew J. Miller, Psy, D. (2013) describes the authoritarian style of parenting as more about rules than the relationship of the people involved (The Impact on Children, p. 1). These parents demand their children do as they are told. The child has no rights and is not allowed to voice any disagreement to anything. Good behavior, and high standards are not what is wrong in this situation. It’s the way the parents go about reaching their goals. As a result, they hurt their relationship with their child, which often carries over into their adulthood. These children are afraid to disobey their parents. They are afraid of punishment, and afraid the parents will not love them, so they comply to their parent’s every demand. As they mature, they may begin to feel unloved or accepted by their parents. Often punishments are more severe than they should be, even for little offenses. Some cases in the studies indicated parents withheld affection so...