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The Character of Jing-Mei in Two Kinds by Amy Tan

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The Character of Jing-Mei  in Two Kinds


While trying to understand the reasons for her mother wanting Jing-Mei to be great, Jing-Mei discovers the real meaning of two kinds. “Two Kinds” is written by Amy Tan. Jing-Mei, a young Chinese girl, grew up in America with her mother, a member of the Joy Luck Club. Through this, Jing-Mei’s mother pushes into being a prodigy. With this, her mother has the idea of Jing-Mei playing the piano.

Initially, Jing-Mei doesn’t have the drive to succeed as her mother does. Her mother has many ideas for her to succeed. At first, it was to be a Chinese Shirley Temple. Then, it was anything out of Ripley’s Believe it or not, or Reader’s Digest. Jing-Mei’s mother would also give her tests—but she failed them all. Eventually. Jing-Mei began to perform listlessly and pretend to be bored. Then, when her mother saw a little Chinese girl playing the piano on the ED Sullivan Show, she got the same idea for Jing-Mei.

After learning to play the piano, Jing-Mei learns easy ways to get out of practicing. As she took lessons from Mr. Chong, who was deaf, Jing-Mei found out that he was just like Beethoven. Jing-Mei discovers that she could fool him and make it look like she was playing and get away with mistakes. If she hit the wrong key, Jing-Mei wouldn’t correct herself. She was determined not to try.

At the talent show, Jing-Mei’s practicing habits show, and she truly learns what her mother wants. She was supposed to play “Pleading Child.” In getting ready for the show, Jing-Mei would cheat and never really listen to what she was playing. When it came to the recital, Jing-Mei was so confident that she could pull it off that she started hitting wrong notes and realizing it. She had felt her mother’s shame. As a result of the talent show massacre, Jing-Mei didn’t want to play the piano anymore. Then, when her mother wants her to practice, she decides that she defiantly won’t.

As an adult, having her mother offer her the piano again, Jing-Mei appreciates the encouragement given by her mother. Instead of throwing the piano away, she has it tuned and taken care of. This shows that Jing-Mei has respect as one of two kinds of people. There are ones who try and ones who don’t. Jing-Mei is a little of both.

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"The Character of Jing-Mei in Two Kinds by Amy Tan." 17 Sep 2014

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