A Literary Analysis of Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay example
976 WordsAug 29th, 20114 Pages
The title of this short story “Two Kinds” is describes the theme of this story. The mother had stated that there are only two types of daughters. “Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind.” (pg 412) Jing Mei did not understand the truth or meaning behind that declaration until after her mothers death. Jing Mei realized that her mother only meant that she could be an obedient child by listening to her mother while at the same time follow her own heart and want her own prodigy in life. The last paragraph in this story also indicates the theme of two halves being equal to one. The two songs “perfectly contented” and “pleading child” was actually two halves of one song. Despite Jing Mei and her mother’s differences…show more content…
When she looked herself in the mirror (pg 407) she saw just an ordinary face and began to cry. She then saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of her self. She saw an angry powerful girl that only wanted to use that energy to resist her mother hopes for her. Through out the story Jing Mei seems to be a complicated character having many inner and outer conflicts. The mother comes across as being controlling and constant on push her daughter to become famous.
Early in childhood Jing Mei dreamed of finding her prodigy and being a famous Chinese American, mostly because of the views and actions her mother placed on her. Her mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. (pg 405) Her mother was always pushing new tests and talents on Jing Mei. She even went as far as having her daughter Jing Mei models her physical appearance and actions after a child-star Shirley Temple. Her other was always testing her with many different things trying to discover Jing Mei’s talent. Later Jing Mei started to feel like her mother was just trying to make her into someone she was not and started to just fail and not try to do anything right hoping her mother would give up. When her mother died she had realized what her mother had been trying to do. Her mother had only wanted her to do her best. She had then to realize what her mother had
Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay
981 Words4 Pages
In the short story, "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, a Chinese mother and daughter are at odds with each other. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy, while the daughter (like most children with immigrant parents) seeks to find herself in a world that demands her Americanization. This is the theme of the story, conflicting values. In a society that values individuality, the daughter sought to be an individual, while her mother demanded she do what was suggested. This is a conflict within itself. The daughter must deal with an internal and external conflict. Internally, she struggles to find herself. Externally, she struggles with the burden of failing to meet her mother’s expectations. Being a first-generation Asian American,…show more content…
At first, the daughter was to become a Chinese version of Shirley Temple. When that didn’t work, her mother told her that she would be attending piano lessons.
The daughter did not like the idea of playing the piano. “Why don’t you like me the way I am? . . . I am not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could, I wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!” (492-493). Here, Tan is conveying the fact that parents and children have disagreements on what the child should do, and who the child is to become. For example, parents may have an idea where they want their child to attend their college education. The child, on the other hand, may want to go to a different college as suggested. Ultimately, it is the decision of the child. We cannot live how others want us to live. It is the path of our own making that truly makes us happy.
Some may see the mother trying to live her life through her daughter. She invests time trying to make her daughter a prodigy because she was her last hope. The mother lost two children in China and moves to a new country. Coming to America, she felt that immigrants have to prove that they are as talented as or more talented than Americans. This belief is supposed to be the basis for the determination, that the mother has, for Jing-mei to become a prodigy.
The mother in the story tries everything in her power to make Jing-mei famous in some way. Yet Jing-mei was content to being herself.