This study guide will help you analyze the text “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.
Two Kinds" is a short story by Amy Tan, which is a part of her book "The Joy Luck Club." The story revolves around the complicated relationship between a Chinese-American mother and her daughter, Jing-mei. The mother, who has high expectations for her daughter's success, tries to push Jing-mei to become a prodigy. Inspired by stories of child prodigies, the mother attempts to find her daughter's hidden talent through various activities such as piano lessons, memorization tests, and quizzes.
Jing-mei, however, resents her mother's high expectations and pressure, leading to a strained relationship between the two. This conflict culminates in a heated argument where Jing-mei insists that she will never be the prodigy her mother desires. After the argument, the piano lessons stop, and the mother's attempts to push Jing-mei to success subside.
Years later, as an adult, Jing-mei reflects on her past and the expectations her mother had for her. When her mother offers her the piano as a gift, Jing-mei starts to play again and realizes that she had more potential than she thought. In the end, the story highlights the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, the generational and cultural gaps between immigrants and their children, and the struggle for identity.
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