2 Kinds Essay

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“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan is a short story about a girl whose mother pushes her to become a genius, while the girl fights her wishes at every turn. The mother’s largest and final endeavor is for her daughter to learn how to play the piano and become a prodigy. From the subsequent events come heavy dispute between the two as we get a deeper look into the mother-daughter relationship they share. The author writes in such a way that leaves the interpretation and the judgment of the characters and the situation entirely up to the reader, not by leaving out detail, rather giving enough detail to show neither character as entirely in the wrong. Neither is shown to be without flaw, in a quite true-to-life scenario. Major common themes in this story are the generational differences among a family of immigrants as well as mother-daughter relationships, focusing specifically on the relationship between Jing-mei and her mother. 'Two Kinds' is a great example of this differential conflict. "Why don't you like me the way I am?" I cried. "I'm not a genius! I can't play the piano. And even if I could, I wouldn't go on TV if you paid me a million dollars!" My mother slapped me. "Who ask you to be genius?" she shouted. "Only ask you be your best. For you sake. You think I want you to be genius? Hnnh! What for! Who ask you!”? "So ungrateful," I heard her mutter in Chinese, "If she had as much talent as she has temper, she'd be famous now." (Tan 1117) The foundation of Mrs. Woo’s aspirations for her daughter can be learnt from her obsessive belief that America is the Land of Opportunity. She places unreasonable expectations on the shoulders of her daughter. While she may not exactly know where her daughter’s prodigal talents lie, she is nevertheless convinced that her daughter is destined for greatness, by virtue of having been born in America. First, Mrs. Woo tries to model her
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