Throughout her entire life, Jing-mei’s mother always pushes Jing-mei to excel at everything she does. Her mother wants Jing-mei to become a prodigy, and originally Jing-mei shares her excitement. However, she quickly becomes overwhelmed by her mother’s constant pressure to succeed, finally deciding, “I won’t let her change me. . . I won’t be what I’m not” (Tan 34). Previously, Jing-mei has always tried to please her mother. She hates to disappoint her, but she can not get over the thought that she will never be good enough for her mother, exclaiming, “I’ll never be the kind of daughter you want me to be” (Tan 142). To which her mother replies, “Only two kinds of daughters...Those who are
For example, she says that “I saw what seemed to be the prodigy side of me-a face I had never seen before. …I promised myself. I won’t be what I am not” (Tan, 2). Through this insight, Jing Mei starts arguing with her mother because she wants to live with her own self-definition rather that ill-fitting by her mother. She obtained American attitude to discover herself, her voice and rebel for what she believes in. While Mr. Woo says in Chinese that “There are Two kinds of daughters. Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind! Only one kind of daughter can live in this house. Obedient daughter!” (Tan 3). Jing Mei defines herself in relationship with her mother is also a way of expressing her attitude as an
The only mistake on the mother’s part is that she has overdone it (going to the extent where Jig-Mei starts to feel unhappy about herself) and neglected the possible uniqueness of her daughter. This is something common at status quo where some families suffer the strain between a parent (or parents) and a child whose concomitant psychological state brought about by a false sense of “I am already a grown up” sows costly conflicts. For this fact, it is submitted that Jing-Mei’s coming of age is insufficient. But is also noteworthy to state that Jing-Mai subsequently embraced her mother’s desire, it is just unfortunate that it came a little bit too late (when her mother was already
Jing-mei felt that her mother was pushing her so hard to be a prodigy that it started to become pointless. Jing-mei states in the story, “‘I’m not going to play anymore,’ I said nonchalantly. ‘Why should I? I’m not a genius’” (Tan 230). The dialogue by Jing-mei explains how she did not want to learn piano anymore because she felt she could not do it, causing tension with her mother. This tension led to Jing-mei arguing with her mother and Jing-mei calling her mother out about her family in China. The narrator explains in the story, “And I could sense her anger rising to its breaking point. I wanted to see it spill out. . . ‘Then I wish I’d never even been born!’ I shouted. ‘I wish I were dead! Like them!’” (Tan 231). This event in the story led to Jing-mei and her mother’s relationship being basically destroyed. The events throughout the story were all affected by this antagonistic relationship that Jing-mei and her mother
She thought long and hard one night and soon decided, “I won’t let her change me, I promise myself. I won’t be what I’m not” (Tan 223). This was the start to a long, tiring battle between the two which would soon, unknowingly, damage them mentally and emotionally, enduringly. She began neglecting her mother’s tricks to help her and started to rebel. After her mother enrolled her in piano lessons, Jing-mei took complete advantage of them and her deaf piano instructor. She “would play after him, the simple scale, the simple chord, and then [I] just played some nonsense that sounded like a cat running up and down on top of garbage cans” (Tan 226). It showed how little effort she put in and how she was going against her mother’s wishes to no extent, wasting her hard earned money just to make a statement. It seemed the harder and more she was pushed, the less Jing-mei believed in herself or her mother’s attempts.
She did not consider the fact that she had a great potential if she tried harder, which her mother clearly see. Jing Mei felt bad in the end when she reminisce her memory of her mother's effort and disregard everything her mother did for her. Jing Mei realize what she did was not the right thing to do. After all she was just another child that is need to be understood just like Sonny. I also felt bad that I did not met my parent's expectation to me. I graduate high school without putting all my effort, I know could have done better. I remember the time my parents keep bugging me to take the SAT they said they will going to pay for it until I passed or get a high score. But I took it once and did not do good because I did not tried to study at all. I did not know what was going on in my mind that time maybe because I was struggling to find what I really want to be with my life. My parents were really disappointed at me but they still encourage me to do the test over again. I did not re-take it, and it was the worse decision I ever had in my life so far.
Showing your True Self Many young people prefer to follow their dreams, than follow their parents’ footsteps. In Alice Walker‘s short story, "Everyday Use,” the older daughter, Dee, had never yearned to follow the country lifestyle of her mother, instead had choose to rebel against it. Meanwhile, in Amy Tan’s short story, “Two Kinds,” Jing-mei Woo had chosen to break away from her mother’s persistence to become a prodigy, and be true to herself. Both females had refused to follow the road that both their family had always pushed them toward.
Eventually Jing Mei stood up to her mother and shouted, “ ‘You want me to be something that [I am] not!’ [Jing Mei] sobbed… ‘[I will] never be the daughter you want me to be!’... ‘Then I wish I [was not] your daughter!’ ” (Tan, 142). At the start, Jing Mei does not appreciate all that her mother does for Jing Mei leading to anger and
The mother is shocked and doesn’t know what to say. “Her chest was heaving even more and her mouth was open, smiling crazily as if she were pleased I was crying” (Tan 231). She is so completely embarrassed her mom is sad she is bursting out crying. The mom is very shocked because all of her friends were there watching and now she feels terrible for bragging about Jing-mei before the show started. “Why had she given up hope?” (Tan 232). She just doesn’t care anymore; she gave up on herself. She wanted to be a prodigy but was not willing to work for it, she just stop caring and gave up because she got frustrated. Her mother’s test that she would give to her and the talent show at the church all accumulated and she just gave up. Her mother tried to do the best for her, but it was up to her to put in the work and be dedicated to be a prodigy and the perfect person that she wanted to
Through this, and other attempts at making little Jing-Mei famous, such as cutting her hair, getting her a piano, and forcing her to play it, Jing-Mei realizes that "...unlike my mother, I did not believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me."(Tan 154)
She seems to be disinterested in learning the piano and doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned about the outcome of her performance during the church talent show. However, what she says seems to reveal that the performance has truly affected her in a negative way. Despite her attempt at seeming unemotional, she is shaken up and blames her disastrous piano debut on a lack of natural talent rather than a lack of effort in order to avoid facing the fact that it was simply the result of her neglect and obstinacy. Even with intensive training, Jing-mei finds herself unable to perform well, and she tries to find excuses to justify that
Today’s society is so blinded by the illusion of perfection that it fails to realize the consequences of trying to become something impossible. This is reflected in the short story “Two Kinds”. The main character, Jing-mei, and her mother immigrate from China to America, where her mother wishes her daughter to become a prodigy. Jing-mei is excited to be a prodigy at first, but begins to lose hope after consistently failing her mother’s expectations. She rebels against her mother’s impractical tests, and Jing-mei’s mother slowly gives up.
In the end she blows a piano recital and believes this is when her mother's last hope for her dies, and a few days later she gets into a heated argument with her mother again where Jing-mei says she wishes she were dead. Leaving it unresolved till years later where they made peace with her mother offering her the piano. Jing-mei’s mother didn’t let her daughter express herself in what she wanted to do and therefore Jing-mei was lost with herself and never tried at anything for fear it was for her mother's pleasing, which is why I believe parents should let their kids find their own way in life but still guiding them in the right
Consequently, she repeatedly spurs Jing-Mei to become a child prodigy, encouraging her to personify her own idea of success. Their mother-daughter relationship is plagued by the cultural differences between Jing-Mei who is American and her Chinese mother. After numerous failures Jing-Mei outright objects to her mother’s aspirations because she no longer desires or believes she is capable of her mother’s high standards of perfection, stating “For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me” (Tan 390). When Jing-Mei is much older she points out that the piano pieces were “two halves of the same song” (Tan 391) in the final line of the story as she comes to understand what her mother desired for her all along: to live a happy, safe, privileged life that she and her children who died did not have in China.
As Jing-mei grew up, she remembers many times when her mom tells her to watch and learn, or when she talks about future goals that she has for her. Jing-mei’s mother made it