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Two Kinds And Teenage Wasteland 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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