The protagonist in Two kinds is a young Chinese girl named Ni Kan. Ni Kan's mother is an immigrant from China that wants more than any thing for her daughter to be a prodigy. She believes that in America, her daughter can be a child star. So she tests her, and finds out what other extraordinary kids her age can do, and tries to see if her daughter can also do these things. Then one day she decides that her daughter could be an excellent pianist. So she finds a teacher and sets her daughter up for piano lessons. Her daughter does not like the lessons or the tests so she decides to rebel against her mother and start failing the tests on purpose. She proceeds to fail on purpose for the rest of her life and in the end she realizes the irony of her situation in a song that she tried to play for a talent show when she was a child. The song is important because its two parts are "Pleading Child" and "Perfectly Contented" which represent the change in thinking between an adult and a child.
The structure of two kinds is very straight forward. It is a basic, single conflict plot that revolves around the disagreements and actions of the daughter and mother. This story used selective memorization to great effect in telling about the girls life.
The plot in this story was slightly generic. The Exposition was the family being foreign and hearing about all of the opportunities in America, and wanting their daughter to be successful at a young age. The complication occurs when the mother decides she needs to test her daughter to see if she is a prodigy at anything. The crisis occurs when the daughter decides to stop taking the tests and cheat on the piano lessons. The climax occurs at the recital when the daughter plays horribly and the mother refuses to give up on her. The resolution comes when the daughter receives the piano and learns to appreciate her mother for what she did for her daughter.
The selective memorization was used throughout the telling of...