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Literature & Language
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ENG 220 Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds,” American Literature Essay (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
ENG 220
American Literature
 
PAPER #1
Length:   1000 words
Format:   MLA format. 
Note 1:   Papers can be submitted only in the following formats:
Word documentPDFRich Text
Note 2:   Essays will not be accepted without a Works Cited page.
 
      
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You are not required to do outside research for this essay.If you do consult outside sources, these must be properly documented. This includes (but is not limited to): Both in-text and Works Cited documentation.Citations for quotes, paraphrases and ideas that you got from another source.
Papers that are not properly documented automatically earn an F.
Assignment: CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.
David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross depicts the dog-eat-dog world of the American workplace. Evaluate this cutthroat environment. Using the play/film as a basis for your analysis, is the American Dream the cause of the harsh conditions faced by the salesmen? Why or why not? Should we consider this a negative side of the American Dream? Why or why not?
Does the Wounded Knee Massacre suggest that the American Dream is available to everyone or not? In what ways did the Ghost Dance reflect the hopes of Native Americans for a better future? Use at least one of the readings (the songs, Black Elk, Eastman or MacGillycuddy) to discuss what this pan-Indian apocalyptic movements (the Ghost Dance) tells us about the American Dream.In Sister Carrie, Carrie travels to Chicago to start a new life. What does Carrie want? What role does Carrie’s unsatisfied desire play in the excerpt we read? Consider the nature of consumer society, the distinction between imitation and the genuine, and the book's portrayal of social attitudes toward women’s desire.
In Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds,” the Chinese-born mother is obsessed with turning her daughter into a prodigy. What view of the American dream does the mother have? How does it influence her actions and desires in the story? To what extend does or doesn’t she achieve her goals? What costs do these goals have for her and her daughter?
NOTE 1: Your paper should have a clear argument that runs throughout. Each point that you make should be related to this argument.NOTE 2: Remember to use (and explain!) quotes from the readings/films. Engage in a dialogue with the texts.
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American Literature
In Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds,” the Chinese-born mother is obsessed with turning her daughter into a prodigy. What view of the American dream does the mother have? How does it influence her actions and desires in the story? To what extent does or doesn’t she achieve her goals? What costs do these goals have for her and her daughter?
Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” is a short narrative which takes the credence or certainty in the American Dream to great lengths. Narrated in the first person, this tale recalls the infancy of a young girl who is the daughter of a Chinese immigrant. The mother cleans the houses of wealthy people intending to make her child a genius. She lost a set of twins before departing from war-torn China. Additionally, she endured the privations and terror of war as well as the hardships of settling in a new environment and culture. Hence, this has made her strive to ensure that her daughter, Jing-mei excels in life. However, this comes at a hefty cost because a battle of control ensues between mother and daughter. The mother wants her to become a child wunderkind whereas the child wants to pursue her happiness. Regardless of her attempts, the mother is not able to achieve her goals.

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