Two Kinds is a wonderful little short story about a immigrant Chinese woman in the mid 1950’s to early 1960’s that moved to Chinatown in California to give herself a better opportunity to make it in America. In the story we see the Amy’s mother as a woman who already has dealt with her fair share of pain and disappointment. Jeng-mei mothers entire family seemed to have been wiped out before she came to America from China Jeng-mei explains “ she had come to San Francisco in 1949 after losing everything in China: her mother and father, her home, her first husband, and two daughter, twin baby girls. But she never looked back with regret.”
This was the type of woman Amy’s mother was diligent, unwavering, focus that there could be a …show more content…
I won’t let her change me”. This is where struggle rears its ugly head in her and her mother’s relationship Jeng-mei not being from China lacked an obedience that her counterpart may have had because she was an American child. You see Jeng-mei’s mother did not take into consideration her child being an American was probably not going to be as obedient as other Chinese girls were. Jeng-mei’s mother reason for coming to America was to take advantage of all America had to offer but I don’t think Amy’s mother realized that America gave her daughter her own mind. In conclusion we see through the rest of the story that there was more conflict with the two. Jeng-mei’s mother buys a piano for her daughter to learn how to play and become a prodigy at the piano. Mrs. Tan traded cleaning house with Mr. Chong their deaf neighbor who used to teach music. Amy starts to slack because her music teacher was deaf and not able to truly hear what Amy was playing. This was reflected in the recital and utterly bombed in front her parent, family, and friends. Amy’s mother was disappointed but when Jeng-mei felt that this would be her escape and her mother would not bother her about this prodigy thing she was sadly mistaken Jeng-mei’s mother did not waver from this way of thinking. Jeng-mei then has a fit and becomes like a typical American child and becomes very disrespectful toward her mother and Amy’s mother and her
Jing-mei did not want to have anything to do with her mother's plans for her to become a child prodigy, but goes along because she can't quite say no to her mother yet.
One thing that the author was trying to get across is that people have to fight for what they want. Nothing is simply handed to anyone. In “Many Rivers to Cross”, she goes through a lot of adversity. The divorce with her husband was one, but the main one was her mother’s suicide. Usually after someone dies in a person’s life, a whole new window is opened. The young woman realized a lot after her mother’s death. The effect of her mother’s death was that she knew from then on that she had to live her life the best way she can. She was so tired of letting everyone down. This was her revelation, “And it was to honor my mother that I did fight with my father, that man who could not tell the living from the dead,” she said, “And really it is to honor Mrs. Hazel Griffin and my cousin Valerie all the woman that I love” (Jordan, 68-71). The struggles that the character in “Two Kinds” goes through is continuously disappointing her mother. What was most difficult for her was that she lives in a foreign family, a Chinese family, which most people know that they can be really strict people. Every time her mother set her up to do something that she did not want to do, she failed at it and that made her mother upset. The author is showing the reader the effects of that through the emotion of the child. But she did come to a revelation with herself. She knew that her mother could only do so much
She was my mother,” (31). Jing-Mei says this to her aunts after her mother had died, and she had to take your position in joy luck. She felt like she never really knew her mother because of their miscommunication. Suyuan Woo, Jing-Mei’s mother, had many hopes and good intentions for her daughter. While Jing-Mei wanted to be herself and still please her mother, Suyuan wanted her daughter to be a child prodigy. Always wanting the best for her daughter, Suyuan hoped Jing-Mei would one day become an extraordinary pianist. Although Jing-Mei played the piano, she never put forth much effort into the music because her best was not good enough for her mother. Nonetheless, she stopped playing the piano. “I could only be me,” (154). She could not be something that she was not; she could not live up to her mother’s expectations. This symbolized one of Jing-Mei’s songs, “Pleading Child.” Suyuan continues to put all the pressure on Jing-Mei so that she will not become like her mother for all the reasons she had come to America; hopes for a better life.
In the short story, "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, a Chinese mother and daughter are at odds with each other. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy, while the daughter (like most children with immigrant parents) seeks to find herself in a world that demands her Americanization. This is the theme of the story, conflicting values. In a society that values individuality, the daughter sought to be an individual, while her mother demanded she do what was suggested. This is a conflict within itself. The daughter must deal with an internal and external conflict. Internally, she struggles to find herself. Externally, she struggles with the burden of failing to meet her mother’s expectations. Being a first-generation Asian American,
“Two Kinds” is a short story written by Amy Tan about a young girl attempting to please her mother, but also cultivate her own identity. Ironically, (or most likely intentionally), there seem to be two different types of themes driving the text: the cultural differences between an immigrant and a natural born citizen of America, and a mother and daughter. The mother is an immigrant from China that believes in the American dream; she believes that anyone can make it in American with enough hard work and practice. However, her daughter was raised in American and does not have the same ideology as her mother. Instead, she believes that people should have their own identity and thoughts, rather than trying to be like someone else or impress other people. Her mother refuses to think in such a way, and instead attempts to make the daughter into a child prodigy. Unfortunately, the daughter gives up trying to please her mother, and instead begins to live her own life, to the disappoint of her mother.
The mother in “Two Kinds”, is culturally accustomed to raising a child to be obedient and expects her daughter to bare her extreme parenting measures. With the daughter’s mother coming from China she
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
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.
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.
As she recalls back on this time by telling her daughter what she calls her Kweilin story, Suyuan describes her feeling during this horrible time as “And inside I was no longer hungry for the cabbage or the turnips of the hanging rock garden. I could only see the dripping bowels of an ancient hill that might collapse on top of me. Can you imagine how it is, to want to be neither inside nor outside, to want to be nowhere and disappear?” (22) At this point in her life Suyuan was separated from her husband who is in the military and eventually is forced to abandon her two young daughters. This aspect of Suyuan’s life parallels the life of Amy Tan’s mother. Daisy tan was also married to a military man during the Chinese Civil War and like Suyuan was forced to abandon her two daughters in Shanghai. This was an experience that would affect her mother for the rest of her life and a story she would continue to tell and never forget. The life of Amy Tan is also a parallel to the life of Jing-Mei Woo of “June”. As a young girl June was forced to play the piano and practice constantly to become the best like Amy Tan was as a child. Along with playing the piano Suyuan also had high expectations for June as far as her future. She wanted her daughter to be the best in her class and go off to medical school to become a well educated doctor, the same expectation’s Amy Tan’s mother had for her. Both daughters decided to follow their dreams and
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.
Because this is a retelling of a mother-daughter relationship, Jing-mei is the protagonist and main character of this short story while her mother is the antagonist. Jing-mei is a dynamic character. At the beginning all she wanted to do was please her mother and accomplish her mother's version of the American Dream, but then her epiphany happened: she realized that this is not her dream, thus she rebelled and began to follow her own dream. On the other hand, Jing-mei’s mother is a static character. All her emotions, thoughts, and feelings surround one motive: for Jing-mei to become a prodigy. Although at the end she stops asking Jing-mei to do multiple hobbies, she still believed that Jing-mei had “natural talent [and that Jing-mei] could [still] be a genius if [she] wanted to” (Tan 48). In the end, Jing-mei’s mother realized that she no longer could control her daughter, yet that still did not stop her from hinting that her daughter still had the ability to become a
However, her mother sees it as a way for her daughter to be the best. Meanwhile, Jing-mei decides to rebel against her mother’s wishes. During piano lessons with Mr. Chong she realizes easy ways to get out of practicing.
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