Comparative and Contrast English Literature Essay

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Two kinds and Borders

Two Kinds and Borders are two texts that explain about commitment. There are chances for everyone to develop and get what they want in life. Many people have done the right things and have achieved greatness in America while others who are not willing to do their best could not get the privilege. People have become famous as young as nine. For people to achieve greatness, it does not require anyone to have a talent or be gifted in anything but what is important is for everyone to be determined and work hard. In the story, ‘Borders’ we see Letitia who has been committed at her seventeen, and she was able to cross the border to Salt Lake City and find a good life. On the other hand, Jing-Mei is being pressured by her mother to focus and concentrate on what she is doing, and she will be successful. It is true that according to the American dream, anyone in America can become what they want. In Borders and Two Kinds, this is explained. The two stories explain how hard work pays as seen in Letitia’s case.

There are conflicts identified in the two stories and evidence of the fruits of determination and hard work. In Two Kinds, Jing-Mei’s mother is positive that anybody in America can achieve what they want. The truth that they are coming from a war tone country, China and she lost her children and husband, she is sure that with commitment and hard work, her child would become great and be her pride. Suyuan is determined to push Jing-Mei to the wall and make sure Jing-Mei achieves the best. Even though Suyuan is determined to make Jing-Mei a great person in life, Jing-Mei is determined to oppose that because she thinks she has no talent that can lead her to achieve the greatness her mother wants her to display. Suyuan pushes her daughter to different activities with the aim of seeing her shine and bring pride to her. Jing-Mei thinks that since she has no talent, she cannot do anything extraordinary. Her mother pushes her to do a lot of mathematics and Geography so that she can become a child prodigy but because Jing-Mei is not a genius, she fails to achieve what her mother forces her to do. Suyuan thinks her daughter has hidden genius quality but she cannot be a child prodigy, so she decides to push her by telling her that hard work and determination brings success and not being a genius (Tan, 133).

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On the other hand, the Borders, we find a character named Letitia who is determined to get what she wants. Letitia is determined to follow her own will and impulse as she ignores what people say about her. Letitia is strong-willed, and she can cross the border to Salt Lake City without the help of anybody. Letitia went to Salt Lake City and settled for a good life through her efforts. It is a great show that determination provides success. Letitia is successful, unlike Jing-Mei who is not determined to do what has to do and thinks she is unlucky (King, 270). In the Borders, there are series of conflicts which are witnessed. There is a conflict between man and a man. Letitia’s mother conflicts with every individual in the border. She conflicts with all the guards. When they want to know about her citizenship, she insists its Blackfoot, and she is not ready to change, the guards are daring her to change and say she is coming from either America or Canada, but she is not ready to change that (King, 169).

When her persistence continues, the guards lose patience with her, and they stop being friendly altogether. In Borders, we can also testify a conflict between man and society. There is a great conflict where the author wants to raise awareness about the society. The society is always adamant in accepting their society which the First Nations are against. Letitia’s mother’s pride drives to fight injustice. Though she is delayed at the border for long and she undergoes some unfair treatment, her perseverance leaves the conflict resolved. In the story, Two Kinds, there is a great conflict between a mother and her child. Jing-Mei is determined to please her mother and make her proud. But as much as she tries to win the happiness of her mother, a difference occurs where her mother wants her to be outstanding in something special in which she has no talent. Her mother will never accept that she does not have talent. Suyuan wants her daughter to shine the way her age mates are doing less knowing that Jing-Mei’s age mates are talented. In the efforts to meet her desires, Suyuan forces her daughter to do extraordinary things in search of her talent.

She forces her to become a prodigy, a Chinese Shirley temple and a piano player all which fail. Each trial never succeeded so Jing-Mei became resentful, and she planned to follow her will which was against the will of her mother. Success is yielded through determination and hard work. No matter who you are and what your background is, your determination will yield your greatness. Letitia moved from reserve and moved to Salt Lake City and started a life and she got a great lifestyle. Letitia’s mother and her son were determined to go to Salt Lake City without changing their origin, Blackfoot and they managed to move there even though they faced a lot of challenges (King, 172). In contrary, Jing-Mei was determined to make her mother proud, and her mother was very supportive, and she was ambitious that her daughter will be great with or without talent. Jing-Mei’s believe that only talented people are lucky to achieve what they want to pull her to become nothing in life and she led a miserable life.

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Even after her mother sacrificed to pay for her classes to learn piano, she could not become outstanding because of her ignorance. If she could have been determined and given her all, she would be a great pianist, and she would make her mother proud and earn greatness in America (Tan, 135). In American, anyone can become what they want to be provided they show will and determination to achieve greatness. Letitia was determined she will live a good life and she moved from reserve and led a wonderful life in Salt Lake such that her brother admired to live there. If she could have accepted to live a reckless life like Jing-Mei, she would have ended up being disappointed. Everyone can live the life they want. All we need is determination and hard work.

Works cited

King, Thomas. “Borders.”? World Literature Today? 66.2 (1992): 269-273.Tan, Amy. “Two kinds.”? The joy luck club? (1989): 132-48.

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Comparative And Contrast English Literature Essay. (2019, Jan 21). Retrieved from