Literary Analysis

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  • Published : September 19, 2005
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In the short story "Two Kinds," by Amy Tan. Amy Tan displays two different kinds of daughters, the ones who are obedient and the ones who aren't obedient. I believe that the story is about the differences between the mother and the daughter. Jing-mei's mother was born and raised in China. But left because she believed in America that you could be anything you wanted to be. She left behind her mother, father, her family and home, and two daughters that were twins. She left them and never looked back. She left in hopes of a new life, a new start.

She soon remarried and had a child who she named Jing-mei. Jing-mei remembers sitting in front of the TV as a little girl and her mother forcing her to watch Shirley Temple movies, because she wanted Jing-mei to become a Chinese Shirley Temple. Her mother kept telling her you could be whatever you want but Jing-mei didn't want to be famous, she didn't want to be a genius, she didn't want to have a talent, all she wanted was to be normal. Jing-mei's mother would test her daily in hopes she knew the answers but after so many tries she stopped. Jing-mei saw the disappointment in her mother's eyes and this hurt because she felt that she couldn't do anything. Every time she looked in to her mother eyes she could see that she was a disappointment and this was killing her inside. Her mother had all these dreams for her but every time her mother tried, she would let her down. Until one day, "I looked in the mirror above the bathroom sink and when I saw only my face starring back—and that it would always be this ordinary face—I began to cry."(126) this shows that Jing-mei wanted to impress her mother but every time she tries she just disappoints her. She wants to have her mother proud of her, she wants to have to have trophies and she wants her mother to brag about her to her friends but she can't because she feels she's a disappointment to her mother and everything she does isn't right.

Jing-mei's mother sees...
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