literature 61

Read stories by two contemporary authors, Alice Walker and Amy Tan. Both had best-selling novels adapted into major films, The Color Purple and The Joy Luck Club. Amy Tan’s story “Two Kinds” is one of the stories from the 1989 book The Joy Luck Club. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker first appeared in a collection of short stories, In Love and Trouble, published in 1973. Both of these stories are anthologized in numerous high school and college texts.

Similarities in Stories

In both stories, the authors explore complicated mother-daughter relationships while also depicting complex questions about race and ethnicity in the United States. As you read, consider what each writer says about cultural identity, heritage, and family. Note how issues of cultural identify are interwoven into the mother-daughter relationships.


What do the piano and the quilt represent to the mothers and daughters in the stories, and what is significant about this representation to these women?

word count 300

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