Two Halves of the Same Song Essay

758 WordsNov 18, 20064 Pages
Two Halves Of The Same Song One of the crucial components of Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" is her choice of narrator. This narrative voice develops the story by adding to the characters. By using this narrator, Amy Tan allows the story to come alive through the eyes of a child. Jing-Mei, who is the daughter of a Chinese immigrant, paints the picture of her relationship between herself and her overbearing mother. Being the protagonist of the story, Jing-Mei is able to portray what she is going through as the storyteller. This choice of first person narrative allows the audience to look through the eyes of a young Chinese-American girl and take part in her coming of age. If the author chose another character as narrator, the childlike…show more content…
I won't be what I am not"(195). In being able to witness the first person narrative account, the readers are able to hear an honest view of what is happening, therefore Jing-Mei is able to build the trust of her audience. The altercation that Jing-Mei has with her mother after the talent show led to her verbal attacks as she shouts, "I wish I were dead! Like them"(200). The words spoken between Jing-Mei and her mother are realistic and throughout the story the tone is set by anger and disappointment, but nearing the ending it changes directions. The narrator's voice grows from a child into a woman. Jing-Mei's mother offers the piano that they fought over years ago as a peace offering. Jing-Mei finally realizes that her mother never lost hope for her, but only wants her to be the best she could be. Nearing the end of the story and from an adult perspective, Jing-Mei dwells on the piano piece that she had struggled to play at the recital. It is titled "Pleading Child" and proves to be a very slow and difficult piece of music. She later on sees that the title across the page is titled "Perfectly Contented" which proves to be quick and happy. The two halves of this song can be compared to Jing-Mei's life. During her childhood she feels unsatisfied with her choices and only after her mother's offering of the piano she is able to find inner peace and reconcile her failures. The fact that Amy Tan utilizes Jing-Mei as the
Open Document