Thursday, September 19, 2019

Generational Gaps And Conflicts Essay -- Literary Analysis

In the short story Who’s Irish by Gish Jen and Everyday Use written by Alice Walker, both authors address generational conflicts between mothers and daughters, as well as struggles to coexist while living in very different cultural mindsets. The moral of both stories is that cross-cultural issues exist in every family tree and we often find comfort in unlikely places. While a mother may not agree with her daughter’s choices she never loses love, and while a daughter may not like decisions that are made by their mother she never loses respect. Both are stories about women going through struggle to integrate and adept into modern American life, two mothers struggle to understand their daughters and the lives they are immersed in. Gish Jen is trying to communicate a sense of loss a mother experiences because she does not understand her daughter and struggles to adapt in Who’s Irish. The authors point is that American life through the eyes of an elderly foreigner is hardly understandable, things like, the wife being the bread winner, career oriented women, marital problems, and gender specific roles that are too rigid. Through the grandmother's voice; the author develops these themes with humor and sympathy, written in broken English, the she intends for the reader to see how difficult the world is to express in a language that is foreign to you the reader, perhaps as a way to contrast how different her thinking is compared to the world she lives in, America. The author emphasizes the grandmothers love for both her daughter and granddaughter throughout, her love for her family never ends in spite of her confusion over their culture and the way they choose to live, constantly comparing the way situatio ns and people are to the wa... ...ish was more thoughtful and caring in trying to become accustomed to her daughters ways, whereas Mama in Everyday Use was more rigid, she preferred her lifestyle the way it was and she had no intention of changing, nor could she couldn’t understand why Dee would want anything more, as she and Maggie were happy where they were at. The irony of both stories isn’t hateful or bitter but a message of love and caring despite differences. In the end we are left wondering whether the results of the quandaries are right or wrong, and to question our own motives with our families, relationships, and lives. Works Cited Jen, Gish. "Who's Irish." 1999. Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 1. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 105-10. Print. Fiction. Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use." 1973. Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 1. Boston: McGraw- Hill, 2010. 608-13. Print. Fiction.

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