Amy Tan Foils

767 Words4 Pages
Examining Generational Change toward the American Dream in Two kinds
Two kinds, a short story by Amy Tan, explores the relationship between an immigrant mother and her first generation daughter. The mother, who has faith in the American dream, values the belief that to be happy, you have to be famous and change yourself; Ni Kan, the daughter, yearns for a personality of her own. Tan characterize these women as foils to each other. As a result of them being foils, they’re relationship is strained and they never have a close bond until Ni Kan grows older. Tan uses these characters to show that with each generation the American dream is changed. Amy Tan demonstrates that different generations of people have different views on the American dream through Ni Kan ‘s mother dream of fame and fortune for her child, and Ni Kan’s dream of finding an identity. Tan believes the cause of the barrier between mother and daughter is due to their foiled dreams.
At the start of the short story, the narrator’s mother is first introduced as an immigrant, who has moved to America to seek a
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Tan used these characters as foils through their conflicting dreams and hopes; their bond is broken because of their conflicts. As a result of Ni Kan losing her mother, Ni Kan realizes that she had fulfilled her dream of finding her own identity. Ni Kan, without her mother, explores her own personality. This exploration is included in Ni Kan’s dream to express Tan’s belief in the American dream. Tan believes that the American dream is not one relative dream but a dream that evolves and grows through generations. Tan uses her belief to impact the reader and the characters. Ni Kan’s mother never realized her dream because her dream was outdated and needed to change. Amy Tan expresses her opinion on the American dream and how it is a relative term through the mother-daughter relationship in her short
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