Cultural Differences In Amy Tan's Two Kinds

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Children, since able to think for themselves, have wanted to aspire to be their own person. Parents, however, don’t always agree with the direction their child has chosen to follow in life. In Amy Tan’s Two Kinds, Jing-Mei is a Chinese-American girl. Her Chinese mother wants her to be a prodigy, which Jing-mei finds herself not wanting to be. Despite her mother’s efforts, Jing-mei doesn't seem to be good at anything except piano, but she refuses to excel at it. As her mother slowly takes away her freedom to be her own person, Jing-mei stunts her own progress. Using cultural differences, family relations, and a flash-forward, Amy Tan demonstrates that without the freedom to be themselves, children stop their own progress because it’s the only freedom they have. …show more content…
My mother and father would adore me.” (p. 236) Jing-mei wants her parents to notice and adore her, but more importantly, make her parents proud. After seeing her mother’s disappointment for failing once again, she decides to give up on being what her mother wants her to be: a prodigy. The shame Jing-mei feels from disappointing her unsupportive mother causes her to restrain her ability to excel.“I failed her so many times, each time asserting my own will, my right to fall short of expectations.” (p. 243) Jing-mei says this in a brooding way, as if she regrets what she’s done with her time. She’s also confessing that she stopped herself from achieving anything prestigious during her life because it was the only liberty her mother hadn’t robbed her

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