The two texts that I’m going to be explore are “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan and “No Witchcraft for Sale” by Doris Lessing. “Two Kinds” is about a mother and daughter and their two different cultures that they have which is set in the USA. This story explores the issue of culture through, the mother and daughter. “No Witchcraft for Sale” is about a black servant and his white employees. This story is set in the 1950 in Africa, and the reason why the issue of culture brought up is because one cultures has power other the other.
In “Two Kinds”, the idea of cultures is brought into the relationship of the mother and the daughter because they have different backgrounds and different cultural identities. Which are American and Chinese.
The mother has strong and complex to the Chinese culture. This can be seen when it says “She had come here in 1949 after losing everything in China”
This show that China was a bad place for her and it was a place that made her every unhappy. However, the mother also feels constricted to the Chinese culture, because all of the decision that she makes that is to do with her daughter is all based on the on the value and obedience that is within the Chinese culture.
Her relationship to the American culture is pointed out very clearly when is says, “You could buy a house with almost on money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous”. She felt that the American culture was a very glamorous thing and anything was possible.
However, these leads to her believe that the American culture could be leant and this is how she wanted her daughter to be. Because of this she made her daughter watch may of the of the Shirley Temple films and even make go to beauty training. She also made her take up piano class to pursue the American dream that she saw around her.
She wants to create the ideal mix of the two cultures this is shown in the symbol of the little piano player. It consists of the Chinese obedience and the American dream. She has difficulty to deal with the two cultures. This is shown when she watch’s the TV with her daughter and she has to keep on getting up and down to get a better picture. The sound also starts to play up as it keeps producing loud and quite sounds each time she moves.
This shows that the mother smuggles to understand the American culture in her own way. She only understands half and she is going about it all the wrong way.
The daughter’s relationship to the two cultures is different she is American and this is were she grow up. An all her early memories are American but her mother is Chinese values. This is shown when it says “the sound was comforting and remained me of the cows jumping over the moon” this shows that she did not find anything Chinese comforting and she has grown but with American society. At first she attempts her mother ways and was very obedient, but the she starts to question it and thinks that she should be able to think freely.
This reveals the difficulty in their cultural understanding the mother is Chinese inside and American on the surfaces and the daughter is vice veers. This is made clear in the symbol of her face in the mirror. This shows that the daughter wants to be herself and not what her mother wants her to be. These ideas are the very images of what she is inside.
The title is therefore important because they are two kinds of people in the same world. Also they are two kinds of generation with different.
The issue of culture that is brought up in the relationship between Teddy and Gideon because of the two different types of cultures and the realistic changes that happens. At first they are friends and their color of there skin does not get in the way of their friendship. But Gideon knows that things are going to change embrace it.
Later, however Teddy says “He’s only a black boy, and laughed. Then Gideon turned away from him without specking, his face fell. This shows that Teddy has learnt somewhere about the power that his has over the black people without being told.
The two culture are presented as having a very different attitudes to what is around them and the way that they treat people. Their beliefs are different to because Gideon knows that one boy is going to grow up to be a servant. This was because he was a mission boy and this is where he grow up and they taught this black children that this was all they could be, an Teddy was going to be a baas.
Similarly, their relationships to the land seem to be very different. Gideon believed that there was an ancient wisdom of the leaf, the soil and the season. when Teddy is outside playing a tree snake spat in his eye Gideon went out in to the bush to get to get something for it so he would not go blind. Whereas the Farquars beliefs of the land was that it is their to make them money. This is seen when Gideon says “A little yellow head, how you have grown! Soon you will be grown up with a farm of your own…..”
This goes on to show that they have different attitudes to knowledge. The Africans think that land is a place of magical drugs, which is the black mans heritage and that it should be kept. This is seen when they want Gideon to show what he used to help Teddy get better. But he does not instead he makes them walk around for hour and say that he can not remember what leaf it was. The Europeans think that they can just seat back and talk about what everyone already knows.
It seem that the two cultures different values in many of the things that is around them.
The Europeans want their way to win, because they want to have power over the other culture. This is clear in the story when the scientist comes and wants to take away Gideon knowledge that he has of the land and what lies within it. Gideon however mange’s to keep some of his power because he does not revel the secret of the land.
In conclusion the two stories explore similar issues , because you have to generations and a relationship between two people. They are also similar because they both deal with culture that are different but are set with the same thing around them.
They are different however in the sense “two kinds” is that the mother and daughter are both Chinese but in “no witchcraft for sale” you have two different brackgrounds.
Show preview only