"Two Kinds" by Amy Tan

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"Two Kinds" by Amy Tan

By | June 2012
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"Two Kinds"
The story "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan represents the theme that parents cannot control their children, but can only guide them. A Chinese mother and daughter Ni Kan are at odds with each other in story. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy of some sort, her daughter does try to follow her mother's orders but has she gets older she realizes she wants to find her own self and not to be what her mother wants her to be. They both have conflicting values, which is the theme of the story. The daughter seeks her own individuality, while her mother demanded her to do what she feels is best for her daughter. In the beginning of the story, the mother tries to control her young nine year old daughter’s life, trying to mold her into a prodigy. “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America.” “America was where all my mother's hopes lay." Ni Kan was excited about becoming a "Chinese Shirley Temple." Both mother and daughter shared the American dream and pursued to make Ni Kan to be the next great American prodigy. Ni Kan felt that if she is successful then both her mother and father would adore her and she would never need to sulk. Therefore Ni Kan thinks that being a prodigy will make her "perfect." However Ni Kan starts to get impatient and her wanting to become a prodigy starts to fade away. Ni Kan's mother starts making up test. She would presents them to Ni Kan in an effort to make her stand out, like the amazing children her mother would read about in different magazines The test were silly, consisting of knowing the capitals, multiplying numbers in her head, finding the queen of hearts in a deck of cards, standing on her head without using her hands, predicting daily temperatures in different cities, and looking at Bible verses for three minutes to see what she remembers. The test got harder and harder for Ni Kan and her mother would push her to be like the children she read about. After many failed test Ni Kan could see...
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