When Bad Kitties Turn Good

Essay by srmikeoneCollege, Undergraduate July 2004

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What happens when a mother's dream becomes her child's nightmare? Sometimes the intention and goal of a parent may be the same as their child's. Yet, the path to the end may not take the same route. Often times, mothers may pass many things on to their children. Whether a dream or cliché, the intention is always with a heartfelt confidence that the child will somehow take on some piece of her soul and desire. In Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" and Russell Baker's "Gumption," this story of a mother's dream for what is best for her child, and the child's path to success both show how a conflict of interest, may turn out to be two paths crossing in the end. A conflict of interest could result in the abandonment of an ideal, yet in the end things always seem to work out. (According to some mothers.)

Most mother's wish that their child surpass them and reach their own personal goals.

Surpass them in intellect, success, financial stability, and most of all effort. For a child to fulfill a mother's dream is for both child and mother to be a success. In Baker's "Gumption," his mother's desire is for Baker to have a little gumption, or motivation. She firmly believes that "The Lord helps those who help themselves" (80). She wants her son to go forth in the world and "take it over", Baker, on the other hand, has quite a different thought. He has "no more gumption than a bump on a log" (79). He was content with Dick Tracy and Stooge Viller. His idea of a perfect day included much inactivity. That is his way of being, but his mother had a "rare determination to make something of [himself]" (81). She forced him to become a...