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In the first essay, “We’re not…” by Andrea Roman discussed the cultural conflicts when she lives in America with her Bolivian family, especially her strict Bolivian mother. However, in the second essay, “The Undercurrent” by Kelly Young emphasizes about her mother’s overly protective desire to keep her as safe as possible.
Both of two essays are written about the relationship between mother and daughter. A comparison between of them shows some essential things in two sides, such as differences and similarities. Roman’s mother and Young’s mother afraid about losing her daughter, but they express their fear in different ways. Thus, the authors with the position as the daughters have both similar and different reactions.
First and foremost, the similarities are realized easily. Two mothers try to keep their daughter be in the right manners in their thoughts by controlling them. Both of them are scared of losing her daughter. Therefore, they use their anger to prevent their daughters from going beyond the frameworks of behaviors. Moreover, the mothers use lots of disagreeing sentences to object their daughter, and they want two girls to understand that they are not pleased with the girls’ ways to behave. With Roman’s mother, “I told you no.” (p.255) in Spanish is used to refuse her offers. With Young’s mother, “No, you cannot do that.” (p.203) is used to hinder her risks. Besides, the several questions are used to ask their daughter without giving them chances to explain. The mothers put their ideas on the girls no matter what. As an illustration, Roman’s mother usually asks, “Why would you do that?” (p.256). Similarly, Young’s mother “scream in her mind”, “What are you thinking? Do you want to die?” (p.203).
As well, both of two daughters respond to their mothers’ viewpoint by doubting. They do not think that what they want to do, or what they did are wrong. Nevertheless, they must act on their mother’s claim until they move out. With Roman, “I learned that what my mother said was the rule in the household” (p.256). With Young, “my mother’s in my head is something that I cannot shake or hide from.” (p.205).
Last and not least, the differences are turned up clearly between two essays. Two mothers have their own fear, and they put effort to stop it by their different ways. On the one hand, Roman’s mother has her fear that she can lose her daughter because of American culture. She repeated as “a generic formula for strict rules”, “We’re not American, Andrea. Why do you have to American?” (p.254). Every time, she compares American lifestyle to Bolivia’s one. She stresses the importance of Bolivian values, but she ignores the American values although now her family is living in America. Roman’s mother feels that it does not make sense when her daughter does something that “In Bolivia, we do not do that.” (p.255). In Roman’s mother opinion, these kinds of acts are unacceptable, like thinking about borrowing another girl’s sweater as “an insult to the family in saying that we cannot to take care of our family.” (p.255), denying a sleepover with her girlfriends because “Everyone has their own house for a reason.” (p.255), and feeling the disappointment about completing homework on Sunday because “Sunday which is a family day, is to worship God and be thankful for family.” (p.256).
On the other hand, Young’s mother has her “interjections and fears about the horrible things that can happen in life.” (p.203), additionally, “natural disaster and the obvious everyday life-threatening situations.” (p.204). She keeps going to fulfill her daughter’s life with the numerous warnings when Young was little up through high school. As Young said, “Her love is thick and binding, and as my mother, she has always felt responsible for my safety.” (p.203). Using plenty of humorous images, she shows her mother’s worries and effort to “know better than to take risks that could (and would!) prematurely cut short our lives.” (p.203). Young’s mother repeats the question to make sure her daughter cannot be harmed for any reason, “Kellie, did you hear what I said?” (p.203), or “Are you listening to me, Kellie?” (p.205). Her mother’s carefulness is necessary with her thoughtlessness about the experience of an accident on a rainy day in childhood. As Young pointed out, “she determined that if I lacked the capacity to think ahead, she would do it for me.” (p.204). Looking by Young’s mother eyes, extremely bad things can happen to her daughter, for instance, “a rapist or mugger waiting in the shadows to attack as she walked by herself on a sidewalk of lonely street”, “kidnappers ready to seize when she was with a bunch of friends at the mall”, “germs, disease or death can be caused from touching the seat in public restroom with her bare skin” (p.204).
As a result, the two authors must confront their mother’s worries and ways to express, hence, they have their own ways to respond. In Roman’s case, she appreciates the method that her mother brings her up, and she has not “left behind that Bolivian girl” (p.257). Though, she still was a mixture of both identity and culture, “I have an American flag next to my Bolivian one.” (p.256). Moreover, she accepts and embraces her one of a kind identity, half Bolivian and half American, “showing pride in another country would not take away from my heritage.” (p.257).
In Young’s case, she lacks confidence and decision because of her mother’s overly caution attitude, “I often feel overwhelmed by the number of decisions that seem to overrun my life”, “I often find myself torn between several paths”, or “Once an ingenious, spontaneous idea strikes me, it is abruptly and violently reeled back in.” (p.204). But she cannot deny that her mother’s active is helpful, “However, I make these decisions fully aware, consciously and carefully.” (p.205).
To conclude, in both essay, the relationship between mother and daughter have their own problems and reactions, but every person expresses these fear in similar and different ways. However, they have their own way to communicate, understand and sympathy to overcome these dilemmas, and they join a hand to build a sound relationship.
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