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
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Amy Tan had many personal experiences in her story. For example, when Amy Tan was living in Northern California, her mother had very high expectations on her. Her mother wanted her to be with the American society and be the best she could be. Amy Tan had to get a haircut very short to the way other famous children were acting in the United States. Amy’s mother was the one who encouraged this. With that, in the story “Two Kinds,” the young girl named Jing-mei live in a part of California and she had to get a very short haircut. Jing-mei’s mother wanted her daughter to look and act the same way Shirley Temple did. Within both of the girls lives, they each had to act like an already famous person exactly to please their mothers.
“Two kinds” is a story, a Chinese girl whose life is influenced by her mother. Her mother came to America after losing everything in China. Jing-Mei’s mother was immigrated early to America from China who has “American dream”. Her mother had high expectations on her daughter and did not care how it could affect her. It made Jing-Mei become a stubborn and rebellious person. “In the years that followed, I failed her so many times, each time asserting my own will, … for unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could only be me. (104) She expressed her anger by going against her mother's expectations in ‘who I am’, it inferred that such tendency come from her childhood experiences. Jing-Mei was frustrated because she could not satisfy her mother.
Mom tries to point out to her daughter that she knows that she’s not making any effort to be her best. She tried to use reverse psychology on her child but it didn’t work. The only thing that it did was make Ni’Kan more determined not to succeed in becoming a child prodigy.
The title of this short story is called “Two Kind”. The title is referring to the two types of daughter Jing-mei’s mother talked about after Jing-mei refused to take piano lessons after she had failed at the performance show, “‘Only two kinds of daughters," she shouted in Chinese. "Those who are obedient and those who follow
The daughter did not like the idea of playing the piano. “Why don’t you like me the way I am? . . . I am not a genius! I can’t play the piano. And even if I could, I wouldn’t go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!” (492-493). Here, Tan is conveying the fact that parents and children have disagreements on what the child should do, and who the child is to become. For example, parents may have an idea where they want their child to attend their college education. The child, on the other hand, may want to go to a different college as suggested. Ultimately, it is the decision of the child. We cannot live how others want us to live. It is the path of our own making that truly makes us happy.
Waverly was going to tell Lindo of her and Rich’s engagement, but whenever she mentioned him, Lindo cut her off and began to talk about something else. Waverly was convinced that her mother did not have any good intentions, and that she never saw good in people. Due to this, she was afraid of what her mother will say when she would meet Rich. According to Waverly, she and Rich shared a “pure love”, which she was afraid her mother would poison. Waverly planned to go to Auntie Suyuan’s house with Rich for dinner, knowing that her mother would then invite the two over for dinner to her house, and this would give her mother a chance to get to know and warm up to Rich. However, when they went for dinner, Rich did everything incorrectly- he didn’t understand Chinese customs and made several mistakes that were seen as
Culture defines humanity. Culture makes humans different than any other living organism ever known. Culture is what makes humans unique, and yet culture is easily the most misunderstood characteristic of individuals. In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan develops the theme of incomplete cultural understanding leads to an inability to communicate one’s true intentions through juxtaposition and conflict between mothers and daughters and their cultures.
In her short story "Two Kinds," Amy Tan utilizes the daughter's point of view to share a mother's attempts to control her daughter's hopes and dreams, providing a further understanding of how their relationship sours. The daughter has grown into a young woman and is telling the story of her coming of age in a family that had emigrated from China. In particular, she tells that her mother's attempted parental guidance was dominated by foolish hopes and dreams. This double perspective allows both the naivety of a young girl trying to identify herself and the hindsight and judgment of a mature woman.
In Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Waverly Jong is a dynamic character who shows her arrogance, selfishness and insecurities as the story progresses. On the first letter of Waverly’s name, W, sits a Mink, which symbolizes her desire for her mother’s approval. Throughout the novel, Waverly avoids Lindo’s criticism and fears her mother will not agree with her choices. This is evident in “Four Directions” when Waverly shows her mother the mink coat Rich bought her and Lindo responds, “This is no good… It is just leftover strips. And the fur is too short” (Tan 186). Waverly is destroyed by her mother’s criticism. After Lindo points out the coat’s flaws, Waverly can no longer see the good in it; she only values the things her mother values. Next, the “a” is formed by a crab, symbolizing selfishness. During New Year’s dinner at the Woo house, Waverly takes the best three crabs for her family. She does not care that she is a guest or that Suyuan had not planned on Shoshana eating crabs, she takes the best for herself, showing her self-centered nature. After the “a,” the “v” is formed by two dolls, symbolizing her childhood and her love for her daughter. Contrasting her negative traits, Waverly’s unfaltering love for Shoshana shows that she is willing to sacrifice her successes for her daughter’s prosperity, demonstrating that she is not as selfish as she is portrayed. A red candle is embedded in the “e” to highlight Waverly’s ignorance. She believes she is all knowing but does not
In the story Two Kinds by Amy Tan it tells the tale of conflict between a mother Suyuan and her daughter Jing-mei over piano lessons. Two Kinds deals with a clash between a mother’s belief of hard work and persistance and a daughter's belief that being a prodigy is unachievable. Amy Tan shows generational differences among immigrant families negotiating the mythology of the American Dream.
In the short story Two Kinds by Amy Tan, she writes about a child named Jing-mei and her experiences with her mother pushing her to become a prodigy, all while her mother deals with being a Chinese immigrant that just moved to the United States. The two countries obviously share very different cultures and this plays a part in the story as she pushes Jing-mei to live ‘The American Dream’. Her mother strongly believes that in America you can be whatever you want to be. This, to some, may not be true, however this idea is strongly pushed in the Chinese culture. This is shown when Jing-mei fails to do any prodigious task that her mother puts in front of her which leads to her mother being ultimately disappointed in Jing-mei. Her failures ends up causing a huge argument between Jing-mei and her mother. The argument could be called the climax of the story. This confrontation wouldn’t have happened if Jing-mei’s mother didn’t have the huge idea that The American Dream is a legitimate thing, and Jing-mei’s mother wouldn’t have that perception of America if the Chinese culture didn’t present the United States as such a place. Based on Chinese culture and perspectives, there are numerous fallacies concerning the American Dream, and these are displayed in Amy Tan’s short story “Two Kinds”.
“In 2009, 33 million people in the United States were second generation immigrants, representing 11% of the national population. The children of such immigrants in the U.S., also known as "second generation immigrants," experience a cultural conflict between that of their parents and that of mainstream U.S. society” (Wikipedia 1). Amy Tan the author of “Two Kinds”, and the young character in the story both are a second generation immigrants, who have struggled in their life with parents, about the culture they assimilating and their real culture.
For millions of immigrants, America has been seen as the land of opportunity where anyone could become anything he or she wanted to be. A family that believes strongly in the American dream can be found in Amy Tan’s short story, “Two Kinds.” The story centers around the daughter of a Chinese immigrant who desperately wants her daughter to become successful. In the story, the author shows the difficult lives immigrants face when moving to a new culture. In this short story, the theme shows the protagonist’s conflict with her mother on the type of daughter her mother wants her to be. The author establishes the theme of how difficult mother-daughter relationships can be through characterization, setting, and symbolism.