Two Kinds Character Analysis Essay

Decent Essays
A mother’s belief in the American dream causes her to incessantly encourage her daughter to be an Americanized prodigy in Amy Tan’s Two Kinds. An immigrant from China, where she lost everyone and everything in her life, Jing-mei’s mother sets about training her daughter to achieve the best quality of life America can offer. At first excited, Jing-mei, tries everything her mother sets before her. The conflict arises when Jing-mei begins to feel the effects of her failed attempts and her mother’s mounting disapproval. The climax of the story is Jing-mei’s abysmal piano performance, and subsequent fight with her mother. Hurling the most hurtful thing she can think of at her mother, a reference to the sacrifice of her twin daughters in…show more content…
Summarily, Tan would have identified with the cultural gap prevalent in her writing. Another area in which Tan could identify is with Jing-mei’s mother’s incessant meddling in her life. Tan’s mother refused to speak to her for six months after Tan decided to drop out of the college she had hand picked for Tan (Wikipedia). It sounds like Tan’s mother was frustrated with daughters “who follow their own mind[s]!” (Tan 7), as well. Perhaps most interesting of all is, as an adult, Tan found out her mother had actually left a family behind in China: a husband and four children (Wikipedia). Eerily familiar to Jing-mei’s mother’s own story. Furthermore, certain elements of the story play essential roles in understanding the characters, plot and purpose of the story. Through Jing-mei’s first-person narrative, Jing-mei recounts her impression of growing up with her mother’s dream of her becoming a prodigy. Jing-mei and Jing-mei’s mother are both strong willed individuals with a multicultural language barrier. The miscommunication in their Chinese and English understanding of the words, “prodigy” and “genius” are prime examples. In one argument Jing-mi cries, “Why don’t you like me the way I am?…I’m not a genius!” (Tan 3). Her mother’s response, “Who ask you to be genius?…Only ask you be your best. For you sake. You think I want you to be genius? Hnnh! Who ask you!” (3) is rife with misinterpretation of the two terms. In Jing-mei’s
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