In class today we read a short story written by Amy Tan, called ”Two Kinds”. The story is written in her successful first book, The Joy Luck Club. The book is often referred to as a novel.
Tan intended the book to be read as a collection of interrelated stories. “Two Kinds” was published in 1989, one month before the book was released. Like all the stories in the book, “Two Kinds” is about the complex relations between mothers and daughters. In particular, Tan’s theme is the distance between mothers who were born in China before the communist revolution and about the way they have been cut off from their native culture for decades.
The actual the plot of story. Two Kinds” is the story about a mother and her daughter, and their life in America. The mother believes that you can be anything you want in America, and she is obsessed with the idea of her daughter being the best she can be. The mother makes her daughter do pointless tests that she sees other genius prodigy children is doing in magazines, such as remembering world capitals.
One day Jing-mei`s mother buyes her a piano. Jing-mei began taking lessons with mr. Chong, a deaf ex-pianist. Jing-mei do not want to play the piano. She hates that she always has to prove something to her mother. “Why don’t you like me the way I am?” she says. “I’m not a genius! I can’t play the piano.” The mother slapped her daughter. “Who asks you to be genius?” she shouted. “I only ask you be your best. For your own sake. You think I want you to be a genius? Hnnh! What for! Who asks you!”
Jing-mei was a little rebel, and she has a teacher with disabilities who gave her the ability to play the way she wanted to, and she did not learn how to play right. A few weeks later Jing-mei`s mother makes her participate in a talent show. Jing-mei played a song called “Pleading Child”, and she did absolutely terrible. She thought her mother would be mad at her because the whole town where there watching. Surprisingly to Jing-Mei, her mother said nothing to her. Later, her mother asks if she was going to the piano lessons. Jing-mei refused to play. They ended up having a big fight, and in the end Jing-mei said “I wish I had never been born; I wish I was dead!” This left a blank face on her mother, horrified by what her daughter had remarked. The piano lessons stopped and she didn’t have to do any of the tests her mother had forced her to do anymore.
More than twenty years later, her mother died and now Jing-mei was an adult. Jing-mei realizes the intentions her mother had for her upbringing. When she sees the old piano that her mother had bought her, she notices for the first time something that never caught her attention before. The song on one side of the page is titled “Pleading Child”, while the one on the other side is titled “Perfectly Contented.” Suddenly, Jing-mei realizes that the two titles are two halves of the same song.
The literal effects in “Two Kinds” are many. The theme in the short story I belive is about the mothers difficulty of accepting the daughter as she is. The story is written in chronological order, witch means that it`s written in order of occurrence in time.
I think “Two Kinds” is a very beautiful story. It leaves me thinking after I finish reading it, it truly was catching to me. The story brings forward an important massage: The importance of accepting yourself and others as they really are.
If you are interested in a good analysis of the short story I do recommend this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnI7aEGLHpc
Thank you for reading my blogpost, I hope you liked it.