Amy Tan's Two Kinds

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“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan Many mother-daughter relationships include aspects of rebellion and acceptance, both of which occur at different times throughout their lives. This rebelliousness often comes during a time in a child’s life where they strive to discover who they are and what they want to do with their lives. In the short story, “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, the main character Jing Mei struggles with her mother as she strives to overcome her mother’s persistence on her becoming an entertainment prodigy. As a Chinese immigrant, Jing Mei’s mother has a completely different view of her daughter’s potential and ability, and she never seems to give up on the dream of her daughter being a great pianist. However, the conflict in this story arises in that Jing Mei herself does not believe in that same greatness, and instead protests against her mother’s insistence on practice and excellence. The title “Two Kinds” hints at variations of the same themes of rebellion that all come together in a dramatic climax between mother and daughter. When one thinks of the title “Two Kinds”, we see two kinds of women, one old (the mother) and one young (the daughter Jing Mei). There are also two kinds of cultures, the more rigid Chinese culture versus a more liberal American lifestyle. Most importantly, there are two kinds of life views - the mother’s perspective understands the difficulties of life and the struggle that is part of being successful in life, and the daughter view of life only inside of the cocoon of her own feelings and emotions. It is not until the fullness of time that young Jing Mei better understands that for all of her disobedient words and actions, she would have been better served to be more patient and understand her mother’s wishes in her youth. As the short story begins, Jing and her mother engage in frequent disagreements because of her mother’s

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