The Rebellious Daughter: Analyzing the Theme of Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” The story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan explores the deep familial emotions between a mother and her daughter. Jing-Mei’s mother had left China to come to America after losing her family, and had been raising Jing-Mei in America with her second husband. Despite her mother’s grand hopes for Jing-Mei to become successful in America by becoming a child prodigy, Jing-Mei did not share the same opinions.
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.
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).
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.
In conclusion, “ Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, was about Jing-mei and finding herself, even without her mothers help. Shirley Temple and Peter Pan were good moments in the story, but helped discover that just because they were happy moments, doesn’t mean that’s all a prodigy does. Jing –mei thought all the stuff her mom did help her, but it didn’t. It made her think about herself and her life. This is how Two Kinds of allusion affected Jing
“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
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. For Jing-Mei in the story “Two Kinds” acceptance is not something often found in their family.
Jing-Mei comes from China and Chinese background has to adapt comfortably with being in American culture. “Only two kinds of daughters, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind; only one kind of daughter can live in this house, obedient daughter.” What I interpret from this text is that the obedient daughter in Jing-Mei's mother’s case is the Chinese daughter, while the daughter who follows their own mind is the American daughter. The mother wants Jing-Mei to be the obedient daughter. Culture can detrimentally change a
One dynamic that false expectation strains is the relationship between Suyuan and her daughter Jing-Mei. In a vignette told from the perspective of the latter, Suyuan has the notion that Jing-Mei should be able to perform something at the level of a prodigy. She begins
“Two Kinds” a short story out of Amy Tan’s book “The Joy Luck Club” is a representation of the pressures immigrant children face from their parents. In the story, we follow a young girl named Jing-Mei as she embarks down the road to becoming a Prodigy. Her mother believed that “you could be anything you wanted to be in America” (Tan). For Jing-Mei that meant her mother believed she could become instantly famous. “Of course, you can be a prodigy, too”, her mother told her (Tan). For a nine-year-old who wants nothing more than to make her mother proud this was exciting. In the beginning, we can see her excitement and desire, “in the beginning I was just as excited as my mother, maybe even more so.” (Tan). However, as we follow the story we see her excitement quickly fade to sorrow and anger. The high expectations immigrant families place on their children is still a very relevant social issue and can be witnessed throughout the United States. In this short story, we witness how a parent’s good intentions can ultimately lead to the destruction of their child’s motivation.
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.
“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!”
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
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.
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