Two Kinds Short Story

867 Words4 Pages
Corrine Babin
Essay on “Two Kinds”

The Misfortune of Change
“My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America” (Tan 220). Amy Tan, author of the short story “Two Kinds,” began her story with this line, presenting the expectations the mother had for her child to be great. As the story progresses, protagonist Jing-mei, and her mother start off on a great note, but their relationship continues to deteriorate and transfigure at the same time as it faces many challenges and fights; each breaking and battering it more than the last. Throughout the story, Jing-mei experiences numerous changes, including changes dealing with the way she feels towards her mother, causing her to act in a harsh way. At her lowest, most despondent point in her adolescent life, the protagonist was very brash, yelling hurtful words at her mother to spite her. Jing-mei states, “‘Then I wish I’d never been born!’ I shouted ‘I wish I were dead! Like them’” (Tan 231). This quote explains a momentous part of the story, giving background information about Jing-mei’s mother while also showing the horrific fight that the story was leading up to. After the fight, many years of silence and resentment followed, stemming from both Jing-mei and her mother, until one day her mother offered Jing-mei the piano, resembling forgiveness and acknowledging that they have put their history in the past. The narrator explains, “Last week I sent a tuner over to my parents’ apartment and had the piano
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