When Bad Kitties Turn Good Essay

1243 words - 5 pages

What happens when a mother's dream becomes her child's nightmare? Sometimes the intention and goal of a parent may be the same as their child's. Yet, the path to the end may not take the same route. Often times, mothers may pass many things on to their children. Whether a dream or cliché, the intention is always with a heartfelt confidence that the child will somehow take on some piece of her soul and desire. In Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" and Russell Baker's "Gumption," this story of a mother's dream for what is best for her child, and the child's path to success both show how a conflict of interest, may turn out to be two paths crossing in the end. A conflict of interest could result in the abandonment of an ideal, yet in the end things always seem to work out. (According to some mothers.)Most mother's wish that their child surpass them and reach their own personal goals. Surpass them in intellect, success, financial stability, and most of all effort. For a child to fulfill a mother's dream is for both child and mother to be a success. In Baker's "Gumption," his mother's desire is for Baker to have a little gumption, or motivation. She firmly believes that "The Lord helps those who help themselves" (80). She wants her son to go forth in the world and "take it over", Baker, on the other hand, has quite a different thought. He has "no more gumption than a bump on a log" (79). He was content with Dick Tracy and Stooge Viller. His idea of a perfect day included much inactivity. That is his way of being, but his mother had a "rare determination to make something of [himself]" (81). She forced him to become a salesman of the Saturday Evening Post. She was determined that he "would not grow up like him [his father] and his people, with calluses on their hands" (83). Her desire was for him to have an easier life, yet to Baker, his life was harder once he had to try; harder to find himself on a path he did not choose for himself. Tan also walked on a path that was not her own. Her mom "believed that you could be anything you wanted to be in America" (878), and desired that Tan become a child prodigy. She made Tan watch TV and try to mimic Shirley Temple. She would constantly test Tan on various subjects that she believed would make Tan unique and talented. Finally, like Baker, Tan was pushed into something that she had no real motivation to do. Her mother set her up to learn how to play the piano. Although exited at first, she quickly found the shortcuts. She learned how to "be lazy and get away with mistakes, lots of mistakes" (882). She was "determined not to try" (882). Her mother purports that if, "'she had as much talent as she has temper, she would be famous now" (881). This is of course referring to Tan's lack of effort in learning to play the piano. Tan is resentful because her mom does not appear to like her just the way she is. Just like Baker, Tan failed to reach her mother's goals. Both of them lacked the effort needed to succeed.In order...

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