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.
"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.
“Two Kinds,” by Amy Tan, essentially revolves around the struggle of Jing Mei and her constant conflict with her mother. Throughout her life, she is forced into living a life that is not hers, but rather her mom’s vision of a perfect child; because her mother lost everything, which included her parents and kids, so her only hope was through Jing Mei. Jing Mei’s mom watches TV shows such as the Ed Sullivan Show, which gives her inspiration that her daughter should be like the people and actors. First her mom saw how on the television a three-year-old boy can name all the capitals of the states and foreign countries and would even pronounce it correctly. Her mom would quiz Jing Mei on capitals of certain places, only to discover that
Daughter named Jing Mei was born Chinese prodigy with an high expectation from her mother. "America was where all my mother's hope lay" (18). The mother viewed her daughter with an high hope of prosperous. Seeking only through her own thought, it started to become transparent of mother's cultural identity on having a thriving child for her generation. "Only two kinds of daughters.. those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind" (24).
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.
This shame of having to hide who a person is stems from harassment received with an immigrants’ so called “freedom”. Pressure created to fit in causes most people to completely change who they are, like in the short story Two Kings by Amy Tan. Jing-mei’s mother belief is “you could be anything you wanted to be in America”. (Tan, 133) Jing-mei’s mother heavily believed this and through the story saw famous or talented Americans and tried to turn her daughter into what she saw. It wasn’t enough for the mother to have a simple daughter, so she took every opportunity she had to mold her daughter into a American prodigy that she saw on the
In many occasions the confusion of maintaining two cultures can lead into distress. Robert C. Smith has studied that children of immigrant parents, specifically Mexican-Americans in New York City in the book, Mexican New York: Transitional Lives of New immigrants where he studies the social troubles Mexican-American children face living in New York and having immigrant parents. Smith speaks about the struggles that Mexican American children go through as they live in New York and trying to fit in the city’s environment as well as keeping the Mexican culture at home. When raising these children, Smith showed the struggle Mexican immigrant parents undergo raising in a place that is not Mexico. Wanting what is best for their children, while maintaining culture at home, these parents determine three possible paths their children can possibly take to better their lives.
Immigrants that are new to the American society are often so used to their own culture that it is difficult for them to accept and adapt to the American culture. The language that is spoken, as well as the various holidays and traditions that Americans entertain themselves with, aren’t what most immigrants would deem a neccessity for their life to move on. Nonetheless, they still have to be accustomed to these things if they have any chance of suceeding in a land where knowledge is key. The story “My Favorite Chaperone” written by Jean Davies Okimoto, follows the life of a young girl who along with her brother Nurzhan, her mother known as mama, and her father whom she refers to as Papi have immigrated to the United States from Kazakhstan, through a dating magazine. Throughout the story each family member faces problems that causes them to realize just how different their life is know that they’ve immigrated..
Examining Generational Change toward the American Dream in Two kinds Two kinds, a short story by Amy Tan, explores the relationship between an immigrant mother and her first generation daughter. The mother, who has faith in the American dream, values the belief that to be happy, you have to be famous and change yourself; Ni Kan, the daughter, yearns for a personality of her own. Tan characterize these women as foils to each other. As a result of them being foils, they’re relationship is strained and they never have a close bond until Ni Kan grows older. Tan uses these characters to show that with each generation the American dream is changed.
I have lived in two different worlds. The duality of the immigrant experience is a battle that every first-generation child has to wage. As I conquered my language barrier, a whole new world full of traditions and customs opened up. Seeking acceptance from my peers, it was hard not to adopt their culture and ignore my own in the process. However, abandonment was not an option in a family with a strong cultural identity.
In 2009, the U.S. Census gathered that there were over thirty-three million second-generation immigrants living in America. America is a melting pot, and in this melting pot, it isn’t uncommon for these children, myself included, to lose sight of what our lives could be–and the struggles that our parents faced to ensure that we have more opportunities than they had. As I write this essay, I’m stressing over the things any other American high school sophomore faces– grades, social drama and statuses, and my follower count on Twitter and Instagram. These “problems,” if even that, are minute to what others our age face around the world.
“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!”
But Alejandra came at a young age and had no know ledged of the dangers and how risky it was for her and her mother to crossed the border. Alejandra does not remember how her life in Mexico was; she doesn’t know what she was leaving behind. Although they both have different backgrounds, they both shared one thing in common: the “American dream” the right to have equal opportunities to achieve success regardless of immigration status. Although they both have not achieved the “American dream” they acknowledge how grateful and privileged they are. They appreciate the hard work their parents have done for them and for their family and for this county.
Jing-mei alludes to the future life and memories the sisters and she will form as a result of this overdue family reunion. In addition to completing her own journey, Jing-mei also completes her mother’s journey. By sharing all the stories and memories from her mother’s life in China, her mother was in a sense, right aside her in