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Literary Analysis

Essay by   •  November 23, 2010  •  1,220 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,685 Views

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In the short story "Two Kinds," by Amy Tan. Amy Tan displays two different kinds of daughters, the ones who are obedient and the ones who aren't obedient. I believe that the story is about the differences between the mother and the daughter. Jing-mei's mother was born and raised in China. But left because she believed in America that you could be anything you wanted to be. She left behind her mother, father, her family and home, and two daughters that were twins. She left them and never looked back. She left in hopes of a new life, a new start.

She soon remarried and had a child who she named Jing-mei. Jing-mei remembers sitting in front of the TV as a little girl and her mother forcing her to watch Shirley Temple movies, because she wanted Jing-mei to become a Chinese Shirley Temple. Her mother kept telling her you could be whatever you want but Jing-mei didn't want to be famous, she didn't want to be a genius, she didn't want to have a talent, all she wanted was to be normal. Jing-mei's mother would test her daily in hopes she knew the answers but after so many tries she stopped. Jing-mei saw the disappointment in her mother's eyes and this hurt because she felt that she couldn't do anything. Every time she looked in to her mother eyes she could see that she was a disappointment and this was killing her inside. Her mother had all these dreams for her but every time her mother tried, she would let her down. Until one day, "I looked in the mirror above the bathroom sink and when I saw only my face starring back--and that it would always be this ordinary face--I began to cry."(126) this shows that Jing-mei wanted to impress her mother but every time she tries she just disappoints her. She wants to have her mother proud of her, she wants to have to have trophies and she wants her mother to brag about her to her friends but she can't because she feels she's a disappointment to her mother and everything she does isn't right.

Jing-mei's mother sees this nine year old Chinese child playing a piano on TV, with the peter pan hair cut and she thinks to herself why couldn't Jing-mei also be on TV playing the piano. Jing-mei thought to her self, "I wasn't worried. Our family had no piano and we couldn't afford to buy one, let alone reams of sheet music and piano lessons."(127) Jing-mei's mother remembers that Mr. Chong who lived on the first floor of their apartment building was a retired piano teacher who had a piano in his living room. Her mother arranged for Jing-mei to have piano lesson every day for two hours. In a way I think that Jing-mei hated her mother for this. Jing-mei was continuing to disappoint her and this would just be another disappointment. Jing-mei realized that Mr. Chong was deaf like Beethoven. This meant that Jing-mei could goof around and just pretend that she was playing. It was going okay until her mother entered her in the talent show at the church hall and Jing-mei's mother invited everyone she knew because for once she could show how talented her daughter really was. Jing-mei's parents were so proud that they were saving their money so they could buy her a used piano, piano bench, with music books. Until the night came where Jing-mei had to perform and there was no turning back. "When my turn came, I was very confident...I had no fear whatsoever, no nervousness...I looked over the audience, at my mother's blank face, my father's yawn, Auntie Lindo's stiff-lipped smile, Waverly's sulky expression...As I sat down I envisioned people jumping to their feet and Ed Sullivan rushing up to introduce me to everyone on TV."(129) This shows that for the very first time Jing-mei can think of herself of not just being ordinary as being talented. She felt for the first time in her life that her mother was proud. That everything was going to be okay. But once she got on stage that's when everything

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