Amy TanS Two Kinds Essay Research Paper

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Amy Tans? ?Two Kinds? Essay, Research Paper Amy Tans? heartbreaking story, ?Two Kinds?, is a powerful example of conflicting personalities and needs that cause a struggle between parent and child. In every family, parents have, at one point, imposed their failures and expectations on their children, and in worse cases have even tried to live through their children. At times, it can be in the best interest of the child to have a parent motivate them in a specific direction, but as in this story it can sometimes backfire, and the child can be left with feelings of disapproval and questions of ?self-worth.? Instead of enforcing these standards parents should let their children be individuals, and have them learn through their own conscious decisions, and only interfere when the

child is headed in the wrong direction. Of course, family values and morals should be taught to a child at a young age to prevent any disastrous situations, and help the child determine between right and wrong. Jing-Mei stands for this individualism in the story, and the mother represents that obtrusive unwanted force. Amy Tans? message in this passage is clear. Frequently imposing standards on a person throughout their life can greatly affect their actions, feelings, and attitudes. The major conflict in this story is between Jing-Mei and her mother. Ever since Jing-Mei was a little girl her mother has believed she could be a prodigy. Her mother would watch television or read articles in magazines to get ideas from other amazing children. Then she would test Jing-Mei tirelessly

to try and find something she would be best at. At first Jing-Mei seemed to enjoy her mothers intentions, ? In fact in the beginning I was just as excited as my mother, maybe even more so? (386), but as time went on the tests started to get harder and Jing-Mei kept failing repeatedly. After constantly having to see her mothers disappointed face, Jing-Mei?s attitude and feelings began to change, ?I hated the tests, the raised hopes and failed expectations.? (387) She began to see a new side of herself; a strong powerful girl with willful thoughts and lots of won?ts, ? I won?t let her change me, I promised myself I won?t be what I?m not.? (387) So throughout the rest of her life she asserted her right to fall short of her mothers expectations, believing that she could never be

anything she wanted to be, she can only be herself. Jing-Mei is the protagonist in this story; we read the story through her eyes and her point of view. She makes herself seem more like a victim of her mother?s expectations rather than what she really is, a hurt little girl who does not understand why her mother does not accept her for who she is. Jing-Mei has to deal with both external and internal conflicts. The internal being her feelings of accepting who she is and how she would like to live her life, and the external being her mothers constant pushing of her pseudo images of what she believes Jing-Mei should be. Jing-Mei?s upbringing in a society that highly values individualism and autonomy has had a great effect on her feelings and actions. This influence has enabled her

to make the decision that she cannot abide by her mother?s expectations anymore, and it has helped her stand firmly behind it. The mother is the antagonist in the story; she does not realize what she is doing to her daughter. In her mind she is just helping Jing-Mei to strive for the best, by Jing-Mei opposing her it makes her feel that her daughter is ungrateful and disobedient. This wanting and pushing for the best stems from their current situation, of having little money, and from the mother?s past experiences. ?America was where all my mother?s hopes lay.? (386) This is the country were she wants her daughter to have a better life than she had. She was born in China where she lost everything: her mother and father, her family home, her first husband, and her twin baby girls.