Two Kinds by Amy Tan

Better Essays
Two Kinds is a story about mother-daughter relationship – Suyuan and Jing-mei. Suyuan believed that America is where her dreams will be fulfilled. She thought that her daughter, Jing-mei, would be the one to realize them. Jing-mei, on the other hand, was a confused child at first. She was led to believe that she can be someone. At first, she followed her mother, but when she felt that her mother was already forcing her and stealing her youth, she told herself that it was the end. The story is a clash between two individuals from two different generations and beliefs (Suyuan who basically grew up in China; and Jing-mei who was born and raised in United States).

The theme of the story has so much to do with Amy Tan's own experience – particularly her relationship with her mother. It tells the struggles of mother and daughter to understand each other. Though the incidents in the story never really occurred in her life, they were very close to reality. And she said in her interview that it was the closest thing of describing her life. Also, we see not only the cultural differences but the immigrants' need to prove that they certainly have a place in the United States and that they were as talented or as more talented than Americans.

I. Literary Approach

Biographical and Marxist/Sociological Approaches are the most appropriate tools to better understand the story. As aforementioned, Amy Tan's life is very similar with that of Jing-mei's. Tan was born in Oakland, California to parents who immigrated to the United States from China. Thus, this made Tan...

... middle of paper ...

...not reach perfect contentment without her mother giving her the chance to realize what she really wanted. The two songs maybe the opposites but as Jing-mei played them, she noticed that they were two halves of the same song. Suyuan and Jing-mei like the songs are pretty much alike, but still they make a perfect melody. It means that without the other, one can never be a better person. Both of them shaped each other.


Amy Tan's Interview. Retrieved January 2, 2007, from the World Wide Web:

Critical Approaches to Literature.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Two Kinds by Amy Tan. Anti Essays. Retrieved January 4, 2007, from the World Wide Web:
Get Access