Stereotypes In Amy Tan's The Tiger Mom

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A stereotype may stem from a presumed truth, but the presumption may not only be inaccurate, but also a stereotype that paints only a fragment of the entire picture. A preconceived and fixed idea may be biased, leaving a skewed picture that alters one’s view of an individual. Generalizations can lead one to see only part of the entire story and lead to inaccurate and slanted views, which may then foster prejudice and discrimination. Stereotypes may suggest a single individual can be conformed to a broad generalization. This limits the complexity of individuals and categorizes a broad idea as truth. A common stereotype with Chinese parenting is known as ‘The Tiger Mom’, who is depicted as a mother who stresses high levels of achievement…show more content…
The Chinese culture plays a significant role in the raising of adolescents by influencing mothers to bear remarkably high expectations for their children that are hard to live up to. The notion that the child’s success is primarily the parent’s responsibility could stem from the mother associating her own worth with her child’s performance. If a child is not particularly proficient in a specific subject, the child not only feels obligated to excel, but the parent may also feel the burden. Amy Tan sheds insight on Chinese parenting:” ‘parents shouldn’t criticize children. They should encourage instead. You know, people rise to other people’s expectations. And when you criticize, it just means you’re expecting failure’” (Tan 31). Tiger Mothers are known to negate their children’s preferences in order to fulfill their own dreams for their child, which consequently has repercussions on their relationship. The child may feel an abundant amount of pressure from their parents as the burden to attain perfection ultimately results in failed expectations. Moreover, Tan’s novel exhibits the child’s response to Tiger parenting when Jing-mei says, “For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me” (Tan 142). The child might turn from the mother’s pressure and realize that they can only be themselves.…show more content…
Both positive and negative stereotypes affect one’s judgment and perception eventually provoking future generations to come to acquire this same stereotype. Cultural generalizations also create barriers within one’s family. For example, Jing-mei explains that, “ mother and I spoke two different languages, which we did. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese” (Tan 33-34). A stereotype can cause an immense impairment on those who are being affected by it, sometimes even causing them to believe the stereotype themselves. Prejudice and discrimination have lasting negative effects on not only those who are doing the action, but also on the ones who are surrounded by it in their daily lives. The presence of stereotypes during an adolescent’s upbringing can alter an individual’s attitude towards certain people, ultimately leading to a life with more narrow views. A child that has been brought up with these stereotypes is also more susceptible to the belief that these slanted portrayals are, in reality, factual. This could cause a lasting effect as future generations may also pass on the same stereotypes during their years of childhood leading to repeated deception. Cultural stereotypes can lead one to make assumptions, which are often distorted. It affects how one views others on a daily basis, as one neglects the minority of the

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