Two Kinds And Teenage Wasteland The stories Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Teenage Wasteland by Anne Tyler have many similarities, yet are different in many ways. Both of these stories contain a conflict between parental figures and their children. The conflict in Teenage Wasteland involves Donny and his two parents, Daisy and Matt. They want Donny to succeed in school, both gradewise and socially. Donny, on the other hand, has a hard time in school whether it be because he doesnt fit in or because he doesnt apply himself. Donnys parents want him to be the average all American kid and they try their best to get Donny to fit into this groove.
Donnys parents even go as far as hiring a tutor for him three times a week to help Donny get back on track. Nikan has a similar situation in Two Kinds where a mother expects her daughter to fit a certain type a person that she doesnt want to be. Nikan mother wants her to have some special talent that sets her apart from other kids her age. Nikan on the other hand just wants to be herself and nothing more. Trying to act like a child prodigy or a pianist just didnt appeal to Nikan.
Her mom was persistent though in trying to conform her daughter into both of these things. These two stories are also similar in that they both contain disappointments. This disappointment in Teenage Wasteland by Donny is when he runs away at the end of the story. His parents tried and tried to help Donny and provide as much as they could for him only to find out that he ran away and most likely will not come back. Donnys mom and dad are involved in Donnys life as much as they can, only to have their son fail in the end. With Donny seeing Cal regularly, his parents though he was improving, but in reality, he wasnt getting much help from Cal.
He was basically just having a good time three times a week with no parental supervision. Cal was, for the most part, just a good friend to Donny and was someone whom with Donny have fun with. This ultimately led to both parents being disappointed in Donny after he leaves home. The same kind of disappointment was experienced by Nikans mom by her daughter. Nikans mom spent a lot of time and work trying to get her to learn how to play the piano.
Her mom though that Nikan was doing great with the piano. She was practicing everyday and soon she was to be in a talent show. Her mom was looking forward to the show so she would have something to brag about to her friends. Unfortunately, Nikan really blew the talent show. For some reason she though she was magically going to perform flawlessly when called on at the show but she did just the opposite. Nikans mom was extremely disappointed.
Like Donnys parents, she had put a lot of time and effort into something that she thought would help her child, only to be let down by her daughter. Another similarity between Two Kinds and Teenage Wasteland are the two kids, Nikan and Donny, respect towards their parents. The both show very little respect to them. The situation at the end of Two Kinds where Nikan says that she wished that her wasnt her mothers daughter and furthermore wishes that she was never born like her other sisters was extremely disrespectful. A child should never talk in that manner to their parents no matter how upset.
This was a turning point in both of their lives. The mother, being astounded at what her daughter said looks at her as a different person from then on, and it seemed harder for Nikan to talk face to face with her mother from then on. Donny, in Teenage Wasteland shows complete disrespect for his parents throughout the story. His parents are doing all they can to try and help Donny, but he never puts forth the effort to help himself. He was getting into trouble as school, barely getting passing grades, and skipping school. When his parents asked him about where he was going, Donny got an attitude. Even after Donnys parents paid for a tutor, Donny still would not tell them what was going on in his life or even how we was doing in school.
This information was always given to them by the school faculty. His parents had to be embarrassed in front of teachers and the principle many times. This seems very disrespectful on Donnys part for them to have to meet with the school to discuss his misbehavior. Both Donny and Nikan caused a tremendous amount of pain a suffering in their parents lives. They were both disrespectful and unthankful towards their parents.