Two Kinds Themes

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American Dream

Anthropologists and other scholars who study the immigrant experience in America have long noted that the American dream exerts a powerful influence on new arrivals in the country. These scholars have also pointed out the burden of these dreams usually falls more heavily upon the shoulders of American-born children of immigrants.

Often immigrant parents are willing to sacrifice everything, including careers, family, and property, to pursue new lives in America. Realizing that they may not achieve the American dream of material success and social acceptance, they tend to transfer those ambitions to their children.

The narrator's mother in "Two Kinds," for example, insists that "you could be anything you wanted to be in America." She ticks off the possibilities to her daughter: "You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down...

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This section contains 717 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Two Kinds Study Guide
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Two Kinds from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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