Character Analysis: Two Kinds By Amy Tan

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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.

In the beginning of “Two Kinds”, Jing- mei and her mother were watching TV and Shirley Temple was on. Jing- mei and her mother were watching something they thought was magnificent. Jing- meis’ mother said, “ Ni Ken – you watch”, she said this to Jing- mei because she thought they were like training videos to help her become a famous child star.
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When she was doing her hair she turned it into a afro. Jing -Mei’s mom said, “ You look like Negro Chinese”, because her afro was a style for African Americans. Then instructor advised that they

should use a Peter Pan style haircut. The instructor said, “ The haircut is very popular these days”. When Jing –mei got her new cut she was excited, but later realized it was harder than it seems.

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
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