Tonye A. Martial
“Two Kinds” is the story of Jing-Mei, a Chinese-American girl whose mother believes that anyone living in America can be what they want to be and is so determined to help her daughter discover her talent. Her mother lost everything in China and is committed to offering a different and glamourous life to her sole daughter. Her mother draws her into a chain of tests in order to reveal any kind of talent but she keeps disappointing her mother and herself as well. She is then determined to thwart any of her mother’s attempts at making her a prodigy or any talent holder. In this story, Tan through Jing-Mei, performs a retrospection and shows that it is impossible to force one’s ambitions. She comprehends Jing-Mei’s excitement at very first, understands her decision to remain herself even if not being talented and shares her regrets as she looks back in the past as a grown girl. Tan’s point of view highlights the story’s leitmotiv by showing us how as a child she coped with her mother’s expectations and disappointment when she decided not to force herself to be the person she is not. Tan draws the reader’s sympathy by showing Jing-Mei’s excitement at the very beginning as she envisions herself being a famous person. She includes herself in every single attempt of her mother’s. “We didn't immediately pick the right kind of prodigy. At first my mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley Temple. We'd watch Shirley's old movies on TV as though they were training films.” (Tan 715). Jing-Mei is repeatedly tested by her mother hoping to reveal a talent. From Shirley’s compulsory daily video sessions to Cinderella or even Peter Pan, went through lots of characters she had either to impress or to resemble. Also, in order to increase the likelihood for Jing-Mei to be a prodigy, she has to pass those nocturnal tests taken for diverse magazines her mother takes home from people she work for. “Every night after dinner my...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document