Two Kinds By Amy Tan Literary Analysis

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Amy Tan’s short story “Two Kinds” describes the dysfunctional relationship between a controlling mother and her daughter. The story begins when a family from China moves to America after losing everything back home in China. The narrator, Jing-mei is always in a constant struggle with her mother over her identity. Her mother makes many attempts for her daughter to become this so-called prodigy child. From beauty training school and ballet to naming capitals and predicting the daily temperatures in Los Angles, Jing-mei still shows no potential in any of those areas. Tan clearly illustrates the dynamic relationship between mother and daughter through her use of characterization, dialogue, symbolism, and theme in her story. First of all,…show more content…
She didn’t get straight A’s, become class president, or didn’t get into Stanford. She states that “Unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could be only me” (382). And for her thirtieth birthday her mother showed her forgiveness by giving her the piano as a peace offering. Her mother giving Jing-mei the piano shows that she realizes that she can’t make her daughter into someone she wasn’t meant to be. So she finally releases hold of her dream of that Jing-mei will be a piano prodigy and gives her the piano as a symbol of surrender. It was only after her mother died that Jing-mei noticed the music that never looked at for years discovered something that she never realized before. On the left-hand side of the page the song is called, “Pleading Child” and the one on the right is called “Perfectly Contented.” When she played both these songs she realizes that they are the two halves of the same song. “Pleading Child” probably represents Jing-mei pleading to her mother to be just herself and it mentioned that is was “shorter but slower” could mean the Jing-mei’s pleading did not last long because finally stopped making her into something she was not, but took a long time to forgive. Then “Perfectly Contented” represents how Jing-mei was contented with her mother’s apology and happy the burden was finally removed off her shoulders. The fact that it was “longer but faster” could mean it was long for her mother to forgive but faster to accept the

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