Having an older sibling is rough already, but having a brother that you have to worry about him breaking in and stealing valuables of your own, that's tough and the main character Gordie Jessup has to deal with the betrayal of his older brother, Chase Jessup everyday throughout Katherine Holubitskys’s novel “Tweaked”. Gordie’s efforts trying to fix his family are overwhelmed by Chase’s drug addiction and money debts he has with his dealers. There are many themes throughout the book.
In the play The Crucible many of the characters learn things about themselves as well as others. Discuss the insight gained by the characters of Elizabeth Proctor, Reverend Hale, and John Proctor.
“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.
In The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Jing-Mei and her mother have a very rocky relationship. Tan develops a relationship between Suyuan and Jing-Mei that is distant in the beginning due to culture differences and miscommunication, but gradually strengthens with time and understanding. Both of them have different backgrounds and have been influenced by two different cultures. Suyuan grew up in China and behaves according to the Chinese culture and her American-born daughter Jing-Mei is influenced by the American culture that surrounds her and wants to become part of it. Their relationship is also shaped by the pressure Suyuan puts on Jing-Mei. She wants her to be a perfect
Some may see the mother trying to live her life through her daughter. She invests time trying to make her daughter a prodigy because she was her last hope. The mother lost two children in China and moves to a new country. Coming to America, she felt that immigrants have to prove that they are as talented as or more talented than Americans. This belief is supposed to be the basis for the determination, that the mother has, for Jing-mei to become a prodigy.
Another aspect of cultural conflict is that humility and obedient are considered as the traditional virtues of the Chinese culture. Children should unconditionally obey their parents because parents have the ability and willingness to teach and control their children. For example, according to Jing-mei’s mother, Jing-mei has to practice piano assiduously. She would not be punished if she devotes all her effort to playing piano. We can clearly see this point in her mother’s word in the quarrel, “Only 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” (461). But Jing-mei cannot understand this, because she is not familiar to Chinese culture. As a consequence of Jing-mei cannot understand her mother, she does not cooperate and has rebellious attitude against her mother. In the story, Jing-mei decided, “I didn’t have to do what my mother said anymore. I wasn’t her slave. This wasn’t China. I had listened to her before and look what happened. She was the stupid one” (460). As described above, Jing-mei cannot understand the humility and obedient of Chinese culture, even they are recognized as the
“My mother believed you can be anything you want to be in America…” Amy tans mom said that in the opening of, Two Kinds, novel excerpt. This story was about a small Chinese girl who moved from china to America searching for a new opportunity. Her mom wants to raise her like how a traditional Chinese mom would raise their daughters. Her mom views
Jing-Mei feels differently though, “Unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to. I could only be me,” (359/80) and she was correct for she had no natural musical talent. Jing-Mei has a desire to please her mother, but an even stronger one to choose her own life. She pacifies her mother by going to piano lessons but puts in no effort. Jing-Mei is “…determined to put a stop to her blind foolishness,” (356/48) but her mother’s desire to create a prodigy to compete with Aunt Lindo’s daughter, keeps her focused on the impossible. That is, until Jing-Mei escalates this conflict to its breaking point in rebellion. Stunning her mother, she shouts “Then I wish I’d never been born! I wish I were dead! Like them,” (359/77) referring to the twin daughters her mother lost in China. Sadly, the mother’s desire to have Jing-Mei conform to her expectations creates a constant battle between mother and daughter, and, in rejecting those expectations, seeing disappointment in her mother’s face all too often causes Jing-Mei to feel, “something inside me began to die” (353/18).
“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan shows the connection and conflict through a mother who is from China and a daughter who was born in America. These two cultures end up colliding and make life at home hard for the main character, Jing-mei (Tan), because of the personal relationship between her and her mother. Jing-mei is seen as having her own personal identity especially when battling her mother’s desires because “[she] was so determined not to try, not to be anybody different…” Jing-mei’s mother’s desires for her were not fulfilled because she just didn’t have the motivation to try. Thus, showing that Tan had a negative outlook on the way her mother was pressuring her to be someone who she did not want to be, especially since the two cultures are making it harder for Tan to find her true self. Not only does Jing-mei have a counteractive frame of mind on her mother’s ways, she has a negative outlook on her mother’s own cultural background.
The biographical connection that the author “Amy Tan” draws in her short story “Two Kinds” with her main character Jing-mei, crosses in more than one side. First of all, they both are Chinese American whose struggle in their identities with their Chinese immigrant mothers. “Due to a cultural conflict and lack of proper understanding of each other’s perceptions” (Priya 1), and as a big gap developed between the two daughters and their two mothers, in which resulted a complex relationship between them.
Primarily, Tan establishes the theme of the story through characterization. The protagonist, Jing-mei, finds it difficult to live up to the high expectations her mother has set for her. After seeing so much disappointment in her mother’s face, Jine-mei “look[s] in the mirror above the bathroom sink and when [she] saw only [her] face staring back – and that it would always be this ordinary face – she began to cry” (Tan 2). This bring Jing-mei and her mother into conflict with Jing-mei eventually screaming at her mother that “‘[she] wish[ed] she were dead. Like them’” (Tan 8). As she matures, Jing-mei becomes a little more level-headed; she then understands her mother only wants the best for her. Through diction and language, the author creates a character that is
Furthermore, Jing-mei discovers, “Old Chong’s eyes were too slow to keep up with wrong notes [she] was playing,”(472). As a result, Jing-mei performs “Pleading Child” miserably at the talent show her parents and all of the members of the Joy Luck Club attended. Jing-mei saw the disapproval and shame on her mother’s face, and decided to stop practicing piano. If Jing-mei’s mother wouldn’t have looked so disappointed and been proud of her daughter Jing-mei wouldn’t have been so discouraged. Jing-mei would’ve still had faith in herself like she did before her performance. “When my turn came, I was very confident. I remember my childish excitement. It was as if I knew, without a doubt, that the prodigy side of me really did exist. I had no fear whatsoever, no nervousness. This is it!” (474). After seeing the dismay in her parents eyes Jing-mei changed her whole outlook on the situation, which weakened Jing-mei’s pride, causing her to fully rebel from being a prodigy. Furthermore, encouraging her to be who she wanted to be.
The short story, “Two Kinds”, written by Amy Tan, is written from the point of view of the character named Jing-Mei. There are three experiences which demonstrate her viewpoint. In the first experience, Jing-Mei is being told by her mom about the “American dream”. At first, she strives to pursue this prodigy. Her mom would test her every night after dinner. Through Jing-Mei’s eyes, she starts to realize that it was not the life she wanted to live. Lines in the story illustrate this when he says “I won’t let her change me, I promised myself. I won’t be what I’m not.” (p.406). In the second experience, Jing-Mei performs in a talent show. Her mother forced her to learn how to play the piano. After seeing a little girl playing the piano