Lit210 Comparative Essay

The two works that I chose to write my comparative essay on are The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and Two Kinds by Amy Tan. The reason I chose these two pieces is because I feel that I they are similar in the sense that they both talk about expectations.

The House on Mango Street

In this story, the narrator, whose name is Esperanza Cordero, speaks of a house that her parents described to her and her siblings. She and her family have moved several times and this last house they moved from was probably the worst of all. The pipes were broken and the landlord would not fix them because the house was too old.   The move to the house on Mango Street was not what she had expected. When her parents told her and her siblings that they would be moving to a house that would be their own there were a lot of expectations. This house was supposed to be white, two stories, and have a big unfenced yard. The house on Mango Street is nothing like she had imagined.

Two Kinds

In this story Jing-mei is dealing with the expectations of her mother that she become a child star. (enotes, 2009). Jing-mei does not want to disappoint her mother, but feels that she needs to be her own person. When her mother takes her to get her hair cut and curled to look like Shirley Temple and it does not turn out right, her mother tries to blame it on her. Her mother watches the Ed Sullivan show and sees a little Chinese girl who bore much resemblance to Jing-mei playing the piano. Later that week her mother tells her that she will be starting piano lessons. Jing-mei is upset with her mother for making her take the lessons. She says to her mother “Why don’t you like me the way I am?” She realizes that nothing she ever did would satisfy her mother’s expectations.


Both Two Kinds and The House on Mango Street are alike in that they both deal with expectations. In Two Kinds, the narrator, Jing-mei, is dealing with the fact that her mother expects her to become a...