Generational Gaps And Conflicts Essay

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In the short story Who’s Irish by Gish Jen and Everyday Use written by Alice Walker, both authors address generational conflicts between mothers and daughters, as well as struggles to coexist while living in very different cultural mindsets. The moral of both stories is that cross-cultural issues exist in every family tree and we often find comfort in unlikely places. While a mother may not agree with her daughter’s choices she never loses love, and while a daughter may not like decisions that are made by their mother she never loses respect. Both are stories about women going through struggle to integrate and adept into modern American life, two mothers struggle to understand their daughters and the lives they are immersed in. Gish …show more content…

But Sophie is wild, Sophie is not like my daughter Natalie, or like me” (Jen 105). As a mother-in-law she struggles to understand the Shea’s and their problems, in her thoughts they should have no problems and be rich because they are white, “Why the Shay family have so much trouble? They are white people, they speak English” (Jen 105). Not only does she not understand the Shay’s who are Irish but she also fails to understand the dynamic of her daughter’s marriage, “I especially cannot understand my daughter’s husband John, who has no job but cannot take care of Sophie either. Because he is a man, he say, and that’s the end of the sentence”(Jen 105). The mother has an overall lack of understanding of the American family system and the daughter, Natalie is overall very abrasive with her mother and does not take time to try and close the culture gap, “Look my daughter say. I have a big presentation tomorrow”(Jen 107). The mother is also painfully aware that her daughter has little time, “In China, daughter take care of mother. Here it is the other way around. Mother help daughter, mother ask, Anything else I can do? Otherwise daughter complain mother is not supportive”(Jen 106), once again a comparison between China and America and a lack of understanding. She speaks of Natalie with as much love as a person can have, even when her daughter is doing the hateful thing of making her mother move out of her home,

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