Difficulties In Mother-Daughter Relationships In Two Kinds By Amy Tan

Superior Essays
‘Two Kinds’ is portrayal of difficulties in mother-daughter relationships in San Francisco’s China-town. The focus of the story is the often troublesome but unavoidable “interval between mothers who were born in China before the communist revolution and thus have been cut off from their native culture for decades, and their American-born daughters who must find a way to work through the twin burdens of their Chinese ancestry and American expectations for success”. While the protagonist and narrator of the story Jing-mei consistently resist’s her mother’s desires to make her a musical prodigy, it was only later in life that she understands her mother’s true purpose. This essay will strive to support the view that ‘Two Kinds’ is a strong reveal …show more content…
In Two Kinds, Amy Tan builds up the romantic concept of cultural origins and lost ethnic quintessence in order to completely collapse and change the notion of an ethnic essence. The mother-daughter relationship is represented by the analogy of native-foreigner. Jing-mei’s narrative keeps alive a memory of the past and creates a social group. Two Kinds adds its own version of femininity and ethnicity to the broader narrative. Moreover, in Two Kinds, two different interpretations of immigrant life are presented. First, the emphasis is on the loss of separation from mothers, and later the emphasis shifts to the consequential competitiveness of the relationship. In the words of Amy Tan scholar Harold …show more content…
For example, Waverly Jong feels that her mother feeds off her chess achievements with an appropriate amount of pride, while Jing -mei feels her mother, driven by a rivalry with Waverly’s mother as well as the unwisely assumption that in America one can achieve anything, pushes her beyond her talents, at least beyond her desires. The familiar cry “You want me to be someone that I’m not!” accelerates to “I wish I wasn’t your daughter. I wish you weren’t my mother.” and finally to “I wish I’d never been born! . . . I wish I were dead! Like them.” The “them” are the other daughters her mother had been forced to abandon in China. This story of Jing-mei moves toward the kind of softened conclusion typical of most of the daughter stories: “unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be, I could only be me.” There is the idea that this “me” lacks some significant aligning, the cultural energy that would provide its

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