In David Mametís essay "The Rake: A Few Scenes from My Childhood" and Amy Tanís story "Jing-Mei Woo: Two Kinds," the authors describe their personal experiences. The essay and story are based upon the authorsí childhood memories. There are many similarities and differences in Mametís and Tanís works. Both authors describe a childhood conflict; however, Mamet does not resolve his conflict whereas Tan does resolve it.

The conflict between Tan and her mother occurs because her mother pressures her into being a prodigy, and Tan cannot do that. When Tan rebels against her mother, Tanís mother says, "Only one kind of daughter can live in this house! Obedient daughter!" This proves that Tanís mother is concerned with her daughterís obedience toward her. It is impossible, however, for Tan to become a prodigy. Tan is frustrated because she cannot live up to her motherís standards and she disobeys her motherís wishes because they are unachievable.

Mamet and his sister conflict with their parents as well, because of an abusive relationship within the family. Mametís mother, like Tanís mother, does not want her daughter to rebel. For example, when Mametís sister does not eat dinner, the mother prohibits her from performing in her school play. Mametís sister is not hungry because she is nervous, and her mother punishes her severely for something that is uncontrollable. This unfair treatment is similar to Tanís because both Tan and Mametís sister are unable to fulfill their parentsí standards.

Although the conflict and parentsí responses are similar, Mamet responds to his childhood in a different manner from Tan. Mamet learns from his abusive childhood that it is acceptable to use violence toward women. When Mametís sister says something that makes him angry he throws a rake at her face and severely hurts her. There is no resolution to Mametís conflict because Mamet leaves the house without making up with his family; instead of resolving his conflict, Mamet escapes from it.

In contrast, Tan does resolve the conflict with her mother. Her mother offers her the piano when she becomes an adult, and she describes it as a shiny trophy she won back. Tan also has the piano tuned and reconditioned, and even tries to play it again. The piano is a symbol for her childhood, and when she restores the piano, she overcomes her childhood conflict with her mother. The song that Tan uses to symbolize her adult life, "Perfectly Contented," is evidence that Tan settles the conflict with her mother. It proves that Tan does not blame her mother; rather, Tan forgives her mother for the childhood conflict Tan dealt with.

Mamet and Tan describe their childhoods similarly, because they have similar disagreements with their parents. However, the major difference between the two authors is the way they grow out of their childhood conflicts. Mamet does not resolve the conflict with his family with his family whereas Tan makes up with her mother in the end. Whether or not a person settles a conflict is not reliant on the nature of the conflict itself. Resolution depends on the personalities and morals of the people involved.