Growing up is a hard time, and for the three most important characters in the short stories, “Two Kinds,” “The Bass, the River, and Sheila Mant,” and “Fish Cheeks” it certainly is no different. It makes them feel unacknowledged when all they want is just independence and acceptance of the ones that they find to be important to them. Acceptance is something every person wants to gain from everyone, it just is not something focused on commonly.
This is the classic story between parent and child in Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds.” The theme of this story revolves around a mother who wants nothing but the best for her daughter. Mrs. Woo, the mother of Jing-mei, is a struggling immigrant who had lost everything in China and believes in the American dream by stating, "My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America” (639). She puts Jing-mei into various activities to figure out what she could be good at. The universal theme is conflict between a mother’s desire for her daughter to achieve greatness and a daughter’s personal yearning to find out who she is.
In “Two Kinds”, Amy Tan uses visual imagery to reveal the true tension in of mother-daughter relationships, when parents push their children to their limits, they truly want the best for them to succeed and have no regrets about what they did or did not do in their childhood years. All relationships have their ups and downs, however parent and child relationships have some of the toughest challenges when it comes to pushing their child to be the best they can. Jing Mei and her mother have a hard altercation with one another when Jing Mei cries in frustration about her future and her mother “shouted. “Only ask you be your best. For you sake. You think I want you to be genius? Hnnh! What for! Who ask you!”” (Tan 7). This shows visual imagery
“After losing everything in China…She never looked back with regret.”(Chunk 1 ¶3). Jing-Mei’s mother is a Chinese immigrant with the typical ‘everything is better in America’ mindset. Jing-Mei, being raised in America, had more of an American mindset. “You want me to be someone i’m not…I’ll never be the daughter you want me to be!” (Chunk 6 ¶10). Jing-Mei feels as if she will never be able to please her mother because of their cultural differences. This causes cultural conflict between the two because they will never be able to please each other because they both have different mindsets, which they cannot see past.
Jing-Mei then decides to reunite with her sisters in China, anxiously stating, “I lay awake thinking about my mother’s story, realizing how much I have never known about her, grieving that my sisters and I had both lost her“ (271). At this point in the story, it becomes evident Jing-Mei no longer despises her mother for her distasteful tendencies. Instead, she aspires to see her mother one last time. Remorseful of her incapacity to connect with her mother on a deeper level, Jing-Mei feels inept to fill in for her mother at the mahjong table. Michelle Gaffner also notes the tension put on relationships due to cultural indifferences in her article “Negotiating the Geography of Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club” when she writes, “The mother-daughter relationships in both China and the United States represented in The Joy Luck Club not only provide a link between the past and the present but also suggest how the ability, or the inability, for mothers and daughters to share geographically informed cultural stories influences both mother-daughter relationships and individual and cultural identity” (83). The
One allusion in “Two kinds” and modern day society is Shirley Temple. She gives the mom the idea of making Jing-Mei a prodigy. She was known for singing and dancing. Jing-Mei says,” At first my mother thought I could be a Chinese Shirley Temple” (Tan 70). Her mother thinks she can be just like Shirley Temple except a chines version. She wants Jing-Mei to be able to sing and dance but that is not what Jing-Mei wants. Heaven and Tianne King, they are dancers. Heaven was found on You-tube by Ellen Degeneres at the age of three. Heaven loves Beyonce and that is who she dances to most of the time. Both her and her mom want her to be a prodigy of Beyonce. Both of their parents want them to become a prodigy of somebody. Jing-Mei’s mom wants her to be a prodigy of Shirley Temple.
In the book “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, it’s about a little girl who is pressured by her mother to become something she doesn’t want to be. Jing- mei , the daughter, is forced to become a prodigy(child actress), by her mother, and she doesn’t want to be one. In the story, Jing- meis’ mother uses allusions such as Shirley Temple to push her into becoming a prodigy. Although at first Jing- mei is excited to become a prodigy, she later realizes its something she just doesn’t enjoy doing. Consequently, the uses of allusion in the story help Jing- mei discover to not be a prodigy and that what her mother wants for her is not always important. However, some of the things her mother showed and did got her excited to become this.
"Two Kinds" by Amy Tan is a complex representation of an unsteady mother-daughter relationship. The focal point of the story is oftentimes troublesome yet inescapable and uncovers clashing values. The relationship between Jing-mei and her mother stretches throughout the story. Conflict rises as opposite standpoints in connection with identification surface. Living in America as a Chinese immigrant, Jing-mei 's mother plants her dreams of American success on the shoulders of her daughter. On the other hand, being born into this country, Jing-mei is against wanting to live up to the expectations her mother sets on her. Two kinds reveal two different sides of the cultural spectrum, and their opposing view towards their values. Jing-mei 's mother felt like an outcast existing in a dominate population. Grasping the same idea, she held onto her hard time back in her home. Jing-mei is her last hope to prove that her homeland can be just as talented as Americans. To follow through with this objective, her mother bends over backwards in search of the "right" kind of prodigy for her daughter. Although Jing-mei determinedly upsets her mother 's desires to make her a prodigy, it was as if it were decades afterwards in life that she picks up the understanding into her mother 's basic motives. This exposition will endeavor that "Two Kinds" is a compelling story to bring to light on the issues of identity.
Mother knows best. And yet so many daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club feel slighted by what the matriarchal figures in their lives have in mind for them, or rather, what they believe their mothers have in mind for them. A perfect storm of expectation, true and false, about love, about success, about being Chinese. The souring of mother-daughter relationships in The Joy Luck Club stem from unrealistic or ill conceived expectations that both parties hold for the other.
“Communication is the key to a successful relationship, attentiveness, and consistency. Without it, there is no relationship,” (Bleau). The Joy Luck Club is a novel written by Amy Tan. Set in the twentieth century, this novel depicts the life of four Chinese immigrant women escaping their past and their American-grown daughters. The novel reveals the mothers’ hardship-filled past and motivations alongside with the daughters’ inner conflicts and struggles. Throughout the entire novel, the mothers and daughters face inner struggles, family conflict, and societal collision. The divergence of cultures produces tension and miscommunication, which effectively causes the collision of American morals, beliefs, and priorities with Chinese culture which
The road to prodigy all began when Jing-Mei’s mother desired her to be a “Chinese Shirley Temple” (Tan). After the countless movies watched and the failed trip to the beauty school, that dream came to an end as quickly as it had started. This however, opened the door to many more tests of trial and error. At first Jing-Mei grew in her dreams and desirers to be perfect for her family; “In all of my imaginings
Tan uses and slightly manipulates the emotions of the daughters and mothers. For example, this is seen when Jing-Mei is listening to Auntie Lin talking at the joy luck club, while thinking, “But listening to Auntie Lin tonight reminds me once again: My mother and I never really understood one another. We translated each other’s meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more.” (Tan, 27). The language barrier causes Jing-Mei to not understand her mother's true meanings and intentions, while her mother understands everything she says but cannot communicate with her in a way that she would understand. Translations are never accurate, and so the mother and the daughter know how to word their intentions properly so it can be interpreted. Another example of the emotional distress going on between the daughters and the mothers is when Suyuan’s daughter Jing-Mei goes to see her half sisters in China. This represents the biggest battle of culturally different countries. June (Jing-Mei) sees this constant battle that her mother has gone through, and is upset that Suyuan died before ever seeing her twins. “Jing-mei Woo … becomes the frame narrator linking the two generations of American Chinese, who are separated by age and cultural gaps and yet bound together by family ties and a continuity of ethnic heritage.” (Xu, 108).
As a whole, while the story was very depressing at times, it still has an underlying tone of family ideals, as the relationship between the mother and daughter still remained despite the arguments they had. In my opinion, I think the author’s message that she wished to convey was that despite any event that may occur, family members will always be there support you. This is shown in how, despite Jing Mei’s failures at becoming a prodigy, her mother still supported her and did not give up hope on helping her daughter becoming a successful person. As such, it strengthens the idea that “family will always be there for you”, no matter what hardships come their way. In addition, it helped to add a sense of togetherness in the short story, as it inadvertently revealed how much Jing’s mother actually loved her, despite her tough exterior. Also, the author was most likely trying to convey the idea that everyone has a separate dream of what they want to be when they are an adult. A parent cannot force their child to pursue a career that they do not want to be in because excessively forcing a child to follow a certain life will only make them not enjoy their future; in addition, it could also lead to them caring less about their career, eventually possibly costing them their job. To conclude, I liked the writing style of this short story because while it was depressing at times, it was never fully boring and it had a certain theme of the relationships within families that gave the
The mother-daughter relationship in this novel is unlike the previous one written by Amy Chua. It is evident this relationship is fragile and unhealthy. Amy Tan’s mother forces Amy to practice piano by dragging her from the couch to the piano and yelling. Amy tan, the daughter in the novel, states, “Her mouth was open, smiling crazily as if she were pleased that I was crying”(Tan 141-142). The daughter is frightened by her mother’s harsh mental and physical abuse. She wants to make her mother feel the same way, so she reacts grimly.Without thinking, she shouts, “Then I wish I'd never been born..I wish I were dead, Like them”(141-142). As if on command, the mother leaves the room with a stunned expression covering her normally angry face. These events determine the resentful strict tone throughout the passage. This mother-daughter relationship depicts the exact opposite of a loving and caring
After losing everything dear to her, China represented defeat while America was hope. She settled in San Francisco and never looked back. With little understanding of the American culture she pressured Jing-mei to engage in every opportunity to perfection. Jing-mei never knew tragedy and despair like her mother experienced, but was diversely influenced by the American culture. To Jing-mei America meant freedom to be yourself. The conflict between Jing-mei and her mother was the result of their individual cultural