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Two Kinds by Amy Tan

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In the short story, "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, a Chinese mother and daughter are at odds with each other. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy, while the daughter (like most children with immigrant parents) seeks to find herself in a world that demands her Americanization. This is the theme of the story, conflicting values. In a society that values individuality, the daughter sought to be an individual, while her mother demanded she do what was suggested. This is a conflict within itself. The daughter must deal with an internal and external conflict. Internally, she struggles to find herself. Externally, she struggles with the burden of failing to meet her mother’s expectations. Being a first-generation Asian American, I have faced the same issues that the daughter has been through in the story.
"My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America" (491). This ideology inspired Jing-mei’s mother to work hard to create a better life for herself and her family in a new country. The search of the American dream exerts a powerful influence on ne...


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...ading Child,” called “Perfectly Contented.” It turned out to be lighter and slower. It is a much happier song. Jing-mei’s determination to be herself, “Perfectly Contented,” corresponds with this song. “And after I played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song.” (499). Like the ying-yang and the songs, Jing-mei’s relationship with her mother may seem disastrous and apart, but together they share a strong bond that makes them whole. Even though the two disagree, like the songs, they form one beautiful song.

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