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The Conflicts Between Mother and Daughter in “Two Kinds”

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The Conflicts Between Mother and Daughter in “Two Kinds”

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  • July 2012
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Zheng Wang
ENC 1102 RXB3
Final draft
The Conflicts between Mother and Daughter in “Two Kinds” In the story “Two Kinds”, author Amy Tan, who is a Chinese-American, describes the conflicts in the relationship of a mother and daughter living in California. The protagonist in this story Jing-mei Woo’s mother is born and raised in China, and immigrates to the United States to escape from the Chinese Civil War. For many years she maintained complete Chinese traditional values, and has been abided by it deliberately. This kind of traditional Chinese culture has also affected her daughter profoundly. However, Jing-mei is born and raised in the United States. Despite she has a Chinese mother; she is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with Chinese culture. Jing-mei’s mother wants Jing-mei to do her best to become a pianist, to be famous in the society. When Jing-mei finds out about her mother’s decision, she becomes anxious and has some feelings to resist it in her subconscious. So she pays no interest in playing the piano on purpose, after her awful performance on the talent show of the Chinatown, she has a fierce quarrel with her mother and refuses to play piano anymore. Instead, she has her own lifestyle and does anything she wants to. Twenty years later when Jing-mei memory the past after her mother died, she still finds it hard to understand her mother’s motivation. Amy Tan reveals the conflicts between mothers and daughters who are educated under different cultural background by writing this story. There is no doubt that all mothers, under different cultural backgrounds, have a common wish, which is for their children to have a good future. To achieve this goal is very complex, especially if the family members are raised in different cultures. For a variety of reasons, conflicts will occur in the society at all levels, especially for immigrants. I think the key to understanding the story is to understand why such severe conflicts would happen between Jing-mei and her...