Compare and contrast "Two Kinds" and "Harlem" and "Same in Blues" by Langston Hughes.We are comparing one story and two poems and we need to compare the 3 and write an essay on how these each have...

Compare and contrast "Two Kinds" and "Harlem" and "Same in Blues" by Langston Hughes.

We are comparing one story and two poems and we need to compare the 3 and write an essay on how these each have to do with the deferment of a dream or dreams

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the story "Two Kinds," Amy Tan borrows from elements of the Yin-Yang philosophy, in which two opposing forces complement each other to form a whole.  In this case, we have a mother-daughter relationship instead of the traditional Yin (female) and Yang (male) complement.  Much of Hughes' poetry makes no gender distinction, but in "Same in Blues" he mentions a "Daddy," suggestive of a father-son complement.

The dreams deferred in Hughes' "Same in Blues" follow three conditions: (1) "There’s a certain amount of traveling in a dream deferred"; (2) "A certain amount of nothing in a dream deferred"; (3) "a certain amount of impotence in a dream deferred." The first condition is the most applicable to "Two Kinds."

In the story Jing-Mei and her mother defer each other's dreams, out of spite.  Jing Mei thinks her mother's dream is for Jing-Mei to be a piano prodigy, mainly because Waverly is a chess prodigy.  Jing Mei tries to taint her mother's dream by saying she wishes she were like her forgotten Chinese twin sisters: "dead."  And it works.  She forgoes future piano recitals.

Later, when Jing Mei is 30, and her mother sends her a piano, Jing Mei is amazed at how well she can recall the two piano pieces she butchered at the recital: “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented.”  Though two halves, they sound like complementary pieces (hence, the Yin-Yang).  Though not a prodigy, Jing Mei somehow fulfills part of her mother's dream by understanding this philosophy.

Her mother's full dream deferred, of course, is for Jing Mei to be reunited with her twin daughters in China.  Jing Mei realizes that she must do a "certain amount of traveling" in order to better understand her mother and herself.  By fulfilling her mother's dream deferred, she has fulfilled her own: she discovers the twins, her Chinese identity, and her mother's long-cherished wish.

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