A Literary Analysis of Two Kinds by Amy Tan
The title of this short story “Two Kinds” is describes the theme of this story. The mother had stated that there are only two types of daughters. “Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind.” (pg 412) Jing Mei did not understand the truth or meaning behind that declaration until after her mothers death. Jing Mei realized that her mother only meant that she could be an obedient child by listening to her mother while at the same time follow her own heart and want her own prodigy in life. The last paragraph in this story also indicates the theme of two halves being equal to one. The two songs “perfectly contented” and “pleading child” was actually two halves of one song. Despite Jing Mei and her mother’s differences they were like the songs, they may disagree but made one stunning song. Her mother only wanted her to use the capability she knew she had. Amy’s story tells me that she regrets not trying to do her best and how she had taken her mother for granted.
SETTING AND CHARACTERS
Jing Mei’s mother believed that you could be anything you wanted to be in America. (p 405) America is where all Jing Mei’s mothers hope lay. She had come to America in 1949 after losing everything in china. The main character of the story is Jing Mei (Amy Tan) who is also the protagonist in the story. Her mother is the antagonist, who is always urging Jing Mei to try new things and discover new talents. Jing Mei feels as if her mother wants her to be something she is not. Other characters in the story are Lindo Jong (known as Auntie Lindo) and her daughter Waverly Jong who is about Jing Mei’s age. Through out the story there is constant competition between Jing’s mother and Auntie Lindo with the daughters. There is also Jing Mei’s piano instructor, “Old Chong”, who she takes advantage of. Jing Mei’s father is also mentioned in the story but does not have as much of a part. It appears that Amy Tan created a story based on a relationship between mother daughter