Won-Jin Chang
Ms. Taylor
09/12/2009
Essay: Pick at least one mother-daughter pair, and examine to what degree each has fulfilled the American Dream. How does the importance and/or definition of the American Dream change between generations?

My daughter, you are my hope and dream

Waverly was Mrs. Lindo’s greatest pride and most beautiful daughter in the world. Lindo wanted to raise her child to be the greatest character in America. When Waverly was young, she was good at playing chess and she knew how to win people, who are older than her. The age, height, gender, and race, it would not matter for Waverly. The day, when Waverly won Chess Championship league, Lindo had the happiest moment of her life. Waverly got an honor to be on popular magazine, and Lindo walked on China town street with magazine front her chest to brag her daughter. Waverly was so embarrassed, she told her mom that she is going to quit playing Chess, every conflict started from there. Lindo and Waverly had different characteristics, and that may be very obvious because they grew up in different country and different environment.

Lindo’s main American Dream was to raise her child in a proper environment because she did not want her daughter to experience what Lindo had to experience during her childhood. In China, Lindo had unfortunate life because her own mother gave up on her. When she was only two years old, Lindo’s mother made a promise that when Lindo becomes fifteen years old, she would go live in her future husband’s house, and match maker guaranteed that Lindo’s face looks like to get many sons, the match maker kept bragging Lindo “An earth horse for an earth sheep. This is the best marriage combination”(44). At that time in China, woman’s main job was to make sons especially for prominent families because they had to maintain their posterity to lead families. The first day at her husband’s house, she wished her husband is not too ugly or not too old; however teenage Lindo realized that she overly hoped because her first husband was younger than Lindo. Her life started to become near tragic, she wanted to run away from her new family, but she could not take an action because it was her promise between her mother and Lindo. If Lindo had a son then she probably had earned some respects from her family, but she avoided to sleep with her little husband, Lindo “thought of this boy more like a troublesome cousin” (46). Therefore, Lindo always had to listen complaints from Huang Taitai, who is husband’s mother. One day Lindo came up with great idea, which was using her nightmare. She claimed to whole family that family’s ancestor was on her dream with angry face because of her marriage. She told Huang Taitai about three signs, what ancestor had told Lindo. The first sign was a mold spot on her husband’s back “Huang Taitai quickly turned to Tyan-yu and pulled his shirt up” (61), which Lindo have seen, when her husband was sleeping, the second sign was Lindo’s own teeth, “He said my teeth would start to fall out one by one” (61) and the third sign was a pregnant servent, “He said the servant girl is Tyan-yu’s true spiritual wife. And the seed he has plated will grow into Tyan-yu’s child” (61), it was a fortunate that Lindo eavesdropped slaves’ conversation. In couple years later, Huang Taitai let Lindo leave her family. When she arrived in America, she promised herself that she will never forget her mother, Lindo loved her, but Lindo’s mom made the greatest mistake to Lindo. Lindo’s American dream was different from typical American Dream. Lindo wanted Waverly to live with her favorite husband, who only loves Waverly. Lindo’s American Dream, and hope were Waverly. Waverly was a figure that cannot be exchanged with anything.

Waverly grew up in America unlikely her mother; however, she still has an American Dream. Her American dream was making her mother happy, Waverly knew that Lindo’s only hope and dream were herself. When Waverly was young, she disappointed her mother greatly by not playing chess. Young Waverly was so embarrassed that she could not understand her bragging mother, “I jerked my hand out of my mother’s tight grasp and spun around, knocking into an old woman. Her bag of groceris spilled to the ground” (102). In couple of months, Waverly kept expecting from her mother to bag Waverly to play Chess again, but Lindo didn’t even mention it as she have never played CHESS* at all. The power, the strong belief herself, was draining away, and she felt that she is becoming ordinary. The day after Waverly quit playing chess, her mother became cold to her own daughter, and Lindo always criticized Waverly. Waverly had divorced once with Chinese guy, he gave a grand daughter to Lindo, but Lindo acted AS IF divorce were all Waverly’s fault. When Waverly started to meet Rich, she wanted to show her mother that she started new life with a great guy. Waverly showed her new home, belongings that Rich bought for Waverly, “I went to the closet and then came back with a mink jacket that Rich had given me for Christmas. It was the most extravagant gift I had ever received. I put the jacket on” (186), but the response was criticizing her mom’s voice. Waverly could not understand her mother, Waverly always wanted to show only good sides in her life, and she knew that’s the only way to make her mother to achieve American Dream.

The definition of the American Dream change between generations. The second generations understood the most part of first generation’s American Dream, but it is almost impossible for them to understand completely. As we have seen in the story, Lindo’s first marriage, and Waverly’s marriage seem very different. At least Waverly had a choice to choose her favorite husbands, but Lindo’s case was quite ridiculous because her husband was chosen when she was two years old. Usually first generations’ goals are passed to their second generations. Therefore, Lindo wanted to raise her child in the best environment with great supports. Lindo always criticize her daughter and husband because she had been worrying about her daughter all the time. Also Lindo worried Waverly because Waverly always thought about present event, but she never thought about future. In Lindo’s opinion, thinking about future is the best way to prepare from future regretation. Although it took awhile for Waverly to understand her mother, she knew what was her mom’s American Dream, but she did not realize deeply; therefore, Lindo and Waverly had conflicts for a long time. Nevertheless, Lindo did not and will not gave up on Waverly because Waverly is a daughter, who can deliver mother’s unaccomplished hope and a dream. Lindo’s hope and dream are still ongoing.

I think this is a very good essay. Both thoughtful and analytical. I made some grammar corrections with bold font. -Jinhyeok

Eddy-