Two Kinds

Topics: Piano, Short story, Amy Tan Pages: 3 (1210 words) Published: March 30, 2011
The story “Two Kinds,” written by Amy Tan, has a plot that many people can relate to while growing up as a child. The theme of the story is that there are two kinds of people: the one the mother wants her to be and the one Jing-mei (the protagonist and narrator of the story) strives to be. Both mother and daughter in the story have a very complicated relationship. The mother believes that you could become anything you wanted in America. The author emphasizes that Jing-mei’s mother tries to dominate and control her life in every possible way you can imagine. For example her mother’s persistent ways in trying to make her into something she’s not a “prodigy”, as well as making her take piano lessons so she can win against one of her mother’s friend’s daughter in a talent show, and trying to mold her into an obedient child. Her mother then passes away and gives her the piano, Jing-mei speculated that the piano was a present from her mother who was trying to make peace with her, but was that her mother's real desire or was she still lost in her perception of making her daughter into the prodigy that she once envisioned. The story’s main character is a very young Chinese American girl, named Jing-mei, who resents her mother’s strenuous actions towards her and just wants to be herself. On the hand, Jing-mei’s mother was only trying to pursue the American dream, which was based on the achievement of several goals in order to reach achievement and success. The writer tries to dramatize the effect of Jing-mei’s mother by telling us about her background; she came to America in 1949 after losing everything she ever had in life, such as her home, mother, father, first husband, and her two daughters, that were twin babies. The role the mother plays in this story is like any other mother who only wants the best for her daughter, but does not know when to stop bullying her and the limits to stop with this whole stressful situation. The thought of her daughter being a...

Cited: Becerra, Cynthia S. "Two Kinds." Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition (2004): 1-2. MagillOnLiterature Plus. EBSCO. Web. 21 Mar. 2011.
Brent, Liz.“Overview of "Two Kinds". Short Stories for Students. Ed. Ira Mark Milne. Vol. 9.  Detroit: Gale Group, 2000.  Word Count: 1941. From Literature Resource Center.
Tan, Amy.”Two Kinds”. Approaching Literature, second edition. Eds. Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl.
Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2008. 21-22.
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