Main in Analysis of 'Two Kinds'

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Many parents out there push their children to be the best that they possible can be, but some parents can take it over the top, ignoring the wants and needs of their child. In Two Kinds, by Amy Tan, the young Jing-mei gets to experience this type of parenting first handedly, as her mother tries to control her life. As she grows throughout the story her views of her mother change significantly following ups and downs. Jing-mei started out as a naive little girl who was being fed propaganda by her mother so that she could be a prodigy child, and she was “just as excited as (her) mother, maybe even more so”. She believed in her mother’s vision that she had for her. She would blindly follow her mother’s commands and wishes because, at first, it’s what she wanted. Her mother had painted such a pretty picture of what being a child prodigy would mean. “I would be beyond reproach. I would never feel the need to sulk, or to clamor for anything”. And this idea that her mother had implanted into her brain is what drove her to do all the things her mother wanted her to do.

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Night after night of disappointing her mother she began to realize this isn’t who she was or who she wanted to be. She had decided that I won’t let her change me she started to become disobedient and stopped putting her full effort into the things her mother had been forcing upon her. She was trying to become her own person, with her own thoughts and dreams. She had become bitter towards her mother, lashing out saying things like, “I wish I were dead! Like them.” She had been smothered by her mother, and she felt that she needed to rebel against her and say those awful things so she could be truly happy.

Years later Jing-mei had finally come to understand where her mother was coming from and she is “Perfectly Contented”. All she ever wanted was for her to be successful and live a good life. We are able to tell because of the way she says she feels “proud” about her mother giving the piano to her and how she describes it as a “shiny Trophy”.She no longer feels the bitterness towards her mother that she did when she was younger. Jing-mei’s opinion of her mother changed as she morphed throughout the short story. She first was mesmerized by the ideas that her mother had for her, which quickly turned into hatred for making her into something she wasn’t. In the end however, Jing-mei was finally able to see that her mother wasn’t doing it for selfish reasons, but because all she truly wanted was for her to be the best that she could be.

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