two kinds by amy tan Essay

1088 WordsDec 11, 20095 Pages
“A Broken Tradition” The short story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan is about contrasting ideals as the title suggests. A mother and daughter, Jing-mei, disagree consistently as they are divided by old traditions and new age cultures. Jing-mei’s mother has an ideal goal set for her daughter and what her daughter should achieve. Jing-mei resents her mother’s ideals about old traditions and new opportunities. This causes Jing-mei to do less than her best throughout her life as she grows into a Chinese woman of America. “Two Kinds” represents the difficulties o two distinguished views and how they should or should not coexist with each other. In the story, Jing-mei’s mother has set unrealistic goals for her daughter to reach and achieve. Her mother came to America to start over and create something that is great in her eyes. America was seen as a clean slate and Jing-mei’s expectation level is set lower than her mother’s because she sees herself from a different perspective. The quote from the book sets a mood that her mother thinks in America all things happen. “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous”(206). Jing-mei’s mood seems skeptical as she opens the story this way. Her mother came to America to start new because she lost everything in China. A fresh start is what her mother wanted, a chance to begin again. As Jing-mei grows her mother wants her to be the best at something, because that is what it is suppose to be like in America. What Jing-mei fails to see is that her mother only wants the best for her. . “I won’t let her change me, I promised myself. I won’t be what I’m not.”(207) This quote sets the mood of the story later, as a willful

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