Two Kinds vs. Yellow Wallpaper Essay Example
Two Kinds vs. Yellow Wallpaper Essay Example

Two Kinds vs. Yellow Wallpaper Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Upon analyzing two different pieces of literature, it is evident that although they share various similarities and differences, they also possess numerous distinct qualities.

By comparing and contrasting the short stories Two Kinds by Amy Tan and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we can observe their similarities and differences. Both authors drew inspiration from their own lives to craft these captivating tales. Additionally, they carefully developed their characters' personalities. In Two Kinds, Amy Tan introduces a girl who describes her mother's aspirations for her during her childhood. The narrator reveals that her mother immigrated from China to America with the belief that one could achieve anything they desired in this new land (pg.

383) The mother had strong belief in her daughter's potential to become a Chinese version of Shirley Temple. She h


eld extremely high standards for the young girl and encouraged her to do whatever it took to achieve success. This is evident through the mother's habit of telling the little girl "Ni kan" (you watch) whenever Shirley Temple appeared on TV. Additionally, the mother insisted on ballet lessons and other activities that were necessary to fulfill her vision of a "Chinese Shirley Temple." Consequently, the young girl began to perceive herself in this role too.

The narrator's desire for perfection is driven by her parents' approval, especially that of her mother. Over time, the mother becomes more and more desperate to showcase her child's abilities and begins subjecting the little girl to various tests. Unfortunately, these tests only serve to make the girl feel uninterested and annoyed, as she constantly feels like a letdown to her mother. Eventually, she is enrolled in piano lessons

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

with a deaf instructor. Because the instructor cannot hear, the narrator starts playing incorrect notes, leading to a chaotic recital performance.

The story follows a pattern of ups and downs as the little girl and her mother both experience excitement and disappointment. At the end, a heated argument erupts between them, resulting in the girl expressing her feelings that she can never meet her mother's expectations and wishing she weren't her daughter. This argument eventually leads the mother to lose hope. The story concludes with the grown-up girl reflecting on her mother's belongings after her passing, and realizing the truth in something her mother said when she was younger. Contrastingly, "The Yellow Wallpaper" centers around a woman who claims to be ill and lives with her husband John. The story consists mostly of journal entries consolidated together due to the author's husband disliking her writing (pg 731), while she only writes when he is not present.

The author and her husband have an unconventional relationship depicted throughout the story. The author consistently narrates John's disapproval of her actions and provides explanations for his opinions. The story itself is skillfully written, incorporating vivid imagery and detailed descriptions of the settings. Initially, the author is repulsed by her new "yellow wallpaper," but as the story progresses, she starts perceiving hidden figures within its patterns. These designs include a mysterious woman lurking in the wallpaper, leading the narrator to believe that she is a trapped soul. Eventually, the narrator locks herself in the room and tears off the wallpaper to liberate herself. Both stories revolve around love relationships and present intriguing dynamics between the characters involved.

The little girl in Two

Kinds and the wife in The Yellow Wallpaper share striking similarities. Likewise, the mom in Two Kinds and the husband in The Yellow Wallpaper exhibit resemblances, particularly their difficulty in being satisfied. Additionally, both the wife and the little girl make earnest attempts to please the other characters, but eventually abandon the desire to impress them. Both authors excel at creating vivid settings, enabling readers to visualize the locations and rooms described. Despite diverging plots, themes, and settings, another significant distinction between the two stories is the narrative perspective employed.

The novel Two Kinds recounts the memories of a young girl reflecting on her past, while The Yellow Wallpaper presents itself as periodic journal entries written by John's wife. These two texts diverge in their use of literary devices, with Gilman employing imagery more frequently compared to Tan. Reading The Yellow Wallpaper stimulated my mind to envision the landscapes detailed within, whereas Amy Tan focused more on evoking emotions within the mother-daughter relationship through her use of imagery.

Born in Connecticut in 1860, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was the author of The Yellow Wallpaper. Tragically, her father abandoned her soon after her birth. In 1884, she wedded an artist and gave birth to their sole child the following year. Subsequently, Gilman experienced intense depression and ultimately separated from her husband to relocate with their daughter to California. She later remarried in 1990 to her first cousin who unfortunately passed away four years later.

Both Charlotte Gilman and Amy Tan faced difficult circumstances in their lives. Gilman tragically ended her life in 1935 to escape the pain of cancer, while Tan grew up in a traditional Chinese household as the

daughter of Chinese immigrant parents in California. Despite these different challenges, both women experienced conflicts and disagreements that impacted their relationships. In college, Tan chose to study English and linguistics, leading to a two-year period of silence between her and her mother.

Amy Tan wrote her debut novel after visiting China, focusing on the lives of traditional Chinese mothers and their families. The novel, titled Two Kinds, revolves around three primary characters: the narrator's mother, the narrator herself, and the piano teacher named Old Chong. Both the narrator and her mother possess obstinate dispositions and frequently clash due to their contrasting desires. However, Old Chong plays a crucial role in the story as he is partially deaf, which prompts the narrator to abandon her efforts in playing the piano correctly. Consequently, this failure during her recital results in a strained relationship between the narrator and her mother, leading to limited communication between them.

At the end of the story, the narrator, who is now older, gains insight into her mother's expectations for her in her youth. The Yellow Wallpaper revolves around three central characters: John, the narrator's husband; the narrator herself; and Jennie. The narrator, who is recovering from an illness, feels heavily controlled by her husband, John. She resides in a room within a rented mansion adorned with yellow wallpaper. As her stay progresses, the narrator's emotions towards the wallpaper transition from hatred to a sense of connection.

The narrator's husband, John, is an extremely domineering individual who consistently belittles her by referring to her as "little" and treating her as if she were a child. He also restricts the narrator from engaging in any creative activities

during her recovery, notably writing. Additionally, John's sister, Jennie, serves as a housekeeper and assists in taking care of the narrator and the household during her illness. It appears that both authors have deliberately selected these character personalities with specific purposes in mind.

Both "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "Two Kinds" portray characters that carry significant symbolism. Gilman's female characters, for instance, represent the subjugated roles of women. Ultimately, it is apparent that these two literary works share both similarities and differences. Moreover, both short stories appear to have been crafted from a personal place, as if the authors were reliving their own childhoods and reflecting on their upbringing.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds