Two Kinds In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club

Amazing Essays
Assignment Option 1: Single Character Analysis “Two Kinds” is a chapter in the book “The Joy Luck Club”, written by Amy Tan in 1989. The story, which somewhat mirrors Amy Tan’s own childhood and upbringing, tells of the difficulties in mother-daughter relationships, specifically the conflict between a Chinese immigrant mother, Mrs. Woo, and her American-born daughter, Jing-mei.

In the story, we quickly learn that Mrs. Woo believes that America is the “land of opportunity” and feels that her daughter, Jing-mei, can be whatever she wants to be. At first, Jing-mei is excited about the prospect of becoming a child prodigy. She believes that this will make her “perfect” and give her the adoration of her parents. After several attempts
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Woo began testing Jing-mei to see where her talents might lie. Time and time again, Jing-mei failed the tests her mother gave her, and “After seeing my mothers disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die” (Tan, 1989, p. 638). At this point, Jing-mei started to give up hope that she would ever be the star that her mother wanted her to be. She became willful in her stubbornness, developing an “I won’t…” attitude, and began performing her mothers tests “listlessly” until Mrs. Woo began to give up …show more content…
Though her mother held the strong belief that you could be anything you wanted to be in America, Jing-mei believed she could only be herself. Jing-mei felt as if her mother didn’t like her just as she was – an ordinary girl. When Jing-mei reached the point of full resistance, she determined not to let her mother change the person that she was. Jing-mei’s attitude of independence contributed to her not being able to live up to what her mother hoped and dreamed for her. As the story continues, we learn another one of Jing-mei’s character traits: Jing-mei is full of self-doubt. As her mother tested her for talents of different shapes and sizes, Jing-mei failed time and time again. The repeated failures made Jing-mei feel like a disappointment to her mother. She feels like a failure again when her cousin Waverly, the chess champion, taunts her saying “You aren’t a genius like me” (Tan, 1989, p. 641). Jing-mei becomes impatient waiting for any kind of talent to surface, and her self-doubt hinders her from becoming what her mother wants her to

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