This essay compares and contrasts the theme of loss of innocence, the point of view and the symbolism used in the short stories The loons and Two kinds.
The theme Loss of innocence: The short story Two kinds by Amy Tan clearly demonstrates the theme of loss of innocence. When Jing-Mei's says that she wished that she was dead and that she does not feel proud that shes her daughter is an example of loss of innocence(Tan,98). This illustrates that she lost her interest and feelings of sympathy towards her own mother and her innocence. Concern for the misfortunes and sympathetic pity describes the end of innocence. She was in a state of feeling no guilt of crime. The loss was brought by lack of experience with the world or the bad things that happen in her life. The narrator and main character of the story Two kinds defends the young 9-year-old girl on the Sullivan show after being harshly critiqued by saying why are you picking for her, she's pretty okay and is trying very hard however she may not be the best. She starts to cry when she feels bad for her father. She was compassionate after she destroyed Mrs. Lottie's magnolias. She realized that she did a big mistake. Lizabeth lost her feeling of innocence, when she destroyed Mrs. Lottie's plants. The occurrence of this event creates loss of sympathy for Lizabeth, much as Jing-Mei said the hurtful to her mother. The short story "The Loons" by Margaret Laurence the theme lack of innocence is also illustrated when human beings destroy the natural habitats for the loons. There is lack of innocence as the loons show lack of interest in humans(Margaret, 122). Piquatte also stopped to care about other people. She behaves and acts differently to her environment; there is no single part of the story where her heartfelt feelings are expressed. The birds become used to the environment and live next to their invaders. They get the opportunity to adapt to the civilian life. A white man marries Piquatte and also has the opportunity to live a new life. However, both Piquattes and birds attempt fail. They have to find another way of living. There ways of living has been destroyed by the new inhabitants, and have not got used to the lifestyle of the white people which is unyielding. The phrases maybe they had gone away to a far place of belonging. Perhaps they were unable to find such a place and might have simply died out, having forgotten to care any longer whether they lived or not. These occurrences demonstrate lack of innocence as they are ejected off their inhabitants and taken by new comers. This is a unique way to describe the birds and might be directly relating to Piquatte entirely. They were unable to find the far place which is the old way of Indians simply because they were invaded by the Europeans. In the end of the story she ceases to care whether to live or not. This is illustrated through her drinking a lot and her indifference to her wellbeing. She finally dies due to this. Piquatte was the only person who heard the crying of the loons. She had experienced the same experiences as the birds.
The point of view of the story The loons is illustrated through a girl, Vanessa, who only comes into contact with Piquatte through her father. The short story, Two kinds is written in the daughter's point of view. The mother Mrs. Woo is an immigrant of China. Her life has been full of struggles, she tries her best to make her daughter successful and get the opportunities she did not receive. Jing-Mei states that her mother believed that anyone is capable of becoming anything she wants in America. She tells this from her own point of view as the daughter and she has not clearly understood why that was very important to her mother. Jing-Mei tells her mother that she regrets being her daughter. The reaction from the mother probably could have been of real sadness. She regrets yelling at her daughter but it was out of frustration. Jing-Mei intentionally tries to her mother when she sees her mother starting to get angry. The phrases when I recalled the babies she had lost in China, those they never talked about. Then she ascertains that she wished that she was never born. She exclaimed loudly, I Wish I were dead! Her mother says it is a terrible thing to say and only walks away. This perhaps illustrates that the mother is shocked that her own daughter would be that ungrateful and hurtful and have a feeling that she really does not understand. In the real sense her mother only wants her to have what others did not have.
Symbolism: The story also includes some types of birds and the loons. There is comparison between Piquatte and the loons. The loons are symbolically used in the story. They are shy of man and are only heard at night. It is believed that any person who hears the cry will not ever forget it and that symbolic too. Invasion of humans into the habitats of the loons symbolizes the invasion of white people to the Indian Territory. The loons are also symbolic in Vanessa's life. She relates the crying of the loons with the memories of her childhood. Together with the transformations that have occurred around her. The disappearance of the loons symbolizes that her childhood is long gone. Jing-Mey is presented as an innocent girl. She is naive as she follows her mother's rash ambitions of a prodigal rise to glory and fame. She is so intent to becoming perfect to an extent that she has an internal monologue with herself to comfort and validate her own existence. From her mother's view she will be absolutely nothing if she is exceptional to anything. The breaking moment in the story comes about when her mother insults her harshly and she snaps while promising herself that she won't be what amnot. The paradigm shift in the narrator's thinking process is the moment when her innocence is cast aside, in favor of a much higher dire and less hopeful view on the world. She purposefully stymies her flourishing intellect and her own creative to conform to mediocre standards, and in the long run developing an intriguing metaphor for the condition of human beings.
Both of the short stories the loon and the two kinds are of two different settings. The setting helps in describing the actions in the books. The short story the loon is set in India.
"The Loons by Margaret Laurence."123HelpMe.com. <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=4086>. Date cited 08 Jun 2015
Tan,Amy. Two kindsBoston -Thomson Wadsworth 2007.Print.
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