Amy Tan 's Two Kinds

Decent Essays
Both men and women are faced with the cultural strains of gender norms. Although one can sympathize for both genders, historically speaking, women have faced significantly more repercussions. In Amy Tan’s, Two Kinds, the theme of feminine oppression is represented by the symbolism of the song in which the main character, Ni kan, must recite as a child. The song she recites is called “Pleading Child” and she only realizes that the song has a second half called “Perfectly Contented” until adulthood. The two contrasting pieces of music represent the defiance of women to standards of femininity set by the patriarchy. This is showcased by the relationship between Ni kan and her mother who symbolize women living in a patriarchal society and the patriarchy itself, respectively. Moreover, their relationship reflects the oppression of women by the ideologies of; undermining a woman’s value, denying a woman’s choice and the disagreement between the sexes. The songs “Pleading Child” and “Perfectly Contented” are significant by which their titles represent the characteristics of Ni kan. At times, she is begging her mother to quit piano lessons but also happy and respectful of her mother’s wishes and even personifies her mother’s own desire for success. However, when Ni kan feels that she has disappointed her mother, she associates her lack of success as a flaw in not only her personality but her appearance as well. The contrast between Ni kan’s interchanging personalities
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