Two Kinds Short Story Essay


ENG 204|Introduction to LiteratureThemes (Essay)

Two Kinds

By: Amy TanFiurin out the theme o! a story must start "y as#in onese$! %hat the author is tryin to con&eythrouh the character and e&ents' In T%o #inds o! Amy Tan the mother had stated that there are on$y t%otyes o! dauhters' *Those %ho are o"edient and those %ho !o$$o% their o%n mind'+

,in-.ei did notunderstand the meanin "ehind that dec$aration unti$ a!ter her mother/s death' ,in rea$ied that her mother on$y meant that she cou$d "e an o"edient chi$d "y $istenin to her mother %hi$e at the same time!o$$o% her o%n heart and %ant her o%n rodiy in $i!e' The tit$e itse$! *T%o 1inds+ reresents the centra$ theme o! the &oracious $o&e "et%een mother and dauhter and the demandin ourney that one a$ready has ta#en and the other %i$$ ta#e "oth !or herse$! and !or her mother' It is a ourney o! se$!-disco&ery made throuh ain!u$ yet "$iss!u$ connections',in-.ei retraces "ac# the memory o! the ast and creates a community to it' T%o 1inds adds its o%n&ersion o! !emininity and ethnicity to the %ider narrati&e' For it i&es the commona$ities o! 3hina andAmerica to %hat the characters "eha&ior' .oreo&er in T%o 1inds t%o di!!erent asects o! immirant $i!eare resented' First the emhasis is on the $oss o! searation !rom mother *distance "et%een mother %ho%as "orn in 3hina and thus ha&e "een cut o!! !rom her nati&e cu$ture !or decades+ and $ater the emhasisshi!ts to the ensuin cometiti&eness o! the re$ationshi *her American-"orn dauhter %ho mustneotiate the t%in "urdens o! her 3hinese ancestry and American eectations !or success+' The ir$cannot re$ate to her mother "ecause she %as raised in a di!!erent %or$d' No matter ho% much the mother cares !or her or ho% much the sacri!ice to ma#e her ir$s/ $i&es "etter the dauhter is sti$$ "$ind to her mother/s ain and !ee$ins'.oreo&er the theme o! t%o seemin$y oosite sides o! a erson is sym"o$ied in the t%o musica$ ieces',in-.ei sho%s antiathy to%ards her mother/s treatment to her %herein she %as !orced to do the thinsshe doesn/t %ant to do' 5o she $eads to do thins on her %ay articu$ar$y %hen it comes to her ho""ies'Li#e other chi$dren simi$ar %ith her ae ,in-.ei %ants to "e acceted as %ho she is and o"tain aninstant rati!ication on e&erythin she does %hich is reresented "y the asect o! *6$eadin 3hi$d+'7o%e&er eo$e a$%ays see# an immediate roress8 in the story *But sometimes the rodiy in me "ecame imatient'+ 5o I thin# hastenin thins o!ten hindered !rom achie&in oa$s'Amy Taneem$i!ied this rea$ity durin ,in-.ei9s terri"$e iano recita$ and her tension-!i$$ed re$ationshi %ith her 

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The short story, “Two Kinds”, written by Amy Tan, is written from the point of view of the character named Jing-Mei. There are three experiences which demonstrate her viewpoint. In the first experience, Jing-Mei is being told by her mom about the “American dream”. At first, she strives to pursue this prodigy. Her mom would test her every night after dinner. Through Jing-Mei’s eyes, she starts to realize that it was not the life she wanted to live. Lines in the story illustrate this when he says “I won’t let her change me, I promised myself. I won’t be what I’m not.” (p.406). In the second experience, Jing-Mei performs in a talent show. Her mother forced her to learn how to play the piano. After seeing a little girl playing the piano…show more content…

She believed that you could be anything you wanted to be in America. Unlike Jing-Mei, her mother felt like this was the prodigy that Jing-Mei should live up to. She would have done anything to make sure Jing-Mei would become a piano genius. In the second experience, she expected her daughter to play astonishing, which was quite the opposite of what it really was. It was obvious that Jing-Mei’s mother was very ashamed and embarrassed of her daughter. She probably wished that her daughter cared and wanted her to do well on her performance. In the third experience, Jing-Mei’s mother was treated like she was a horrific one. She was reminded about the two babies that she lost when she left China. After Jing-Mei used this information against her mother, she probably felt awful. Being reminded of this tragic event made her speechless.

In my opinion, Jing-Mei’s point of view was sufficient to understand this short story. Knowing how she felt in each situation was important to and helped understand each event that followed after. Whatever happened in the story happened because of Jing-Mei’s feelings and her point of view benefited the reader’s understanding of those feelings. All the experiences were strong evidences of Jing-Mei’s personality and her weaknesses and strengths. These experiences revealed that she was independent, but also stubborn. This short story, “Two Kinds”, gives a

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