Why Don T You Like Me The Way I Am?

Improved Essays
Register to read the introduction… The author tries to meet her mother’s expectations at first. She decides not to respond to her attempt of finding her prodigy after seeing her mother being disappointed with her poor performance at her piano recital (Tan, 391). There is a moment where she has a shouting match between her and her mother when she cries out “Why don’t you like me the way I am? (…)” and it is implied that she doesn’t feel that her mother likes her (Tan, 389). It very well could be that she has a very deep fear in her subconscious that her mother will not like her unless she is a child prodigy. Eventually, she rebels and starts to disobey her mother and stops following her instruction as a way to protest her endless list of expectations. However, it is obvious that she still cares very much about what her mother thinks of her. This becomes obvious when she reveals what devastated her at the piano recital was her mother’s expression, which was a “quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything.” (Tan, 391). This demonstrates how much her mother’s emotions can influence her despite her determination to not be changed anymore. What the author truly hates is failing her mother’s expectations, not her mother herself. The readers can then understand the process in the author’s mind where she decides that she will just become an average kid in an immature attempt …show more content…
In the beginning of the story, it states that the mother thinks that anyone could do or be whatever they wanted in America (Tan, 386). Her mother’s optimistic attitude about the feasibility of achieving one’s personal dreams makes her put the same amount of high expectations in her daughter, in her own way trying to help her have a successful life. Her mother shares her beliefs with her and pushes her into trying many different things. This is how she shows her love to her daughter in her own way. Her response to the narrator’s objections to taking piano lessons of “Who ask you be genius? Only ask you be your best. For you sake. (…)” emphasizes her true reason for pressuring her daughter to learn new skills (Tan, 389). Also, with her stating that there are “only two kinds of daughters, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind” reveals that what she truly desires is for her daughter to listen to her and regard her opinions as good advice (Tan,

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Jing Mei’s mother tries to provide every opportunity she can to help her daughter become successful. She exchanges house cleaning services with Mr. Chong for piano lessons. Even though it was difficult for Mr. Chong because is blind and deaf he teaches Jing-Mei the basics to playing the piano. Jing Mei would purposely play as bad as she could to try and prove a point to her mother. Despite the fact Jing Mei was uncooperative and fought the thought of being a successful pianist her mother boasts about her daughter which only caused Jing Mei to resent the idea even more.…

    • 719 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    When Jing was a young child, she could be pictured as a “Pleading Child” because of the way she argues against her mother’s plan by turning her into a child prodigy. She wants to become her own individual, and not have her mom make her someone that she is not. Moreover though, as she gets older she becomes “Perfectly Contented” because she realizes that her mother never intended to upset her or make her feel inadequate in anyway. In the end, the mother just wanted her daughter to become happy and successful. As an adult, she realizes this when she looks at the piano and feels “proud”, as though it were a trophy that she had “won back.” Likewise, she has a final clear understanding of her mother’s motivation.…

    • 1326 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Because Jing-mei’s feeling started to change with her mother she didn’t really want to play the piano anymore. “In fact, in the beginning, I was just as excited as my mother, maybe even more so” (Tan 221). At first Jing-mei was very happy but then her mother started pushing her to where she didn’t want it anymore. Jing-mei’s mother started to take it more serious than she had planned. “I hated taking tests, the raised hopes, and the failed expectations” (Tan 223).…

    • 706 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    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…

    • 1281 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    On the contrary, Waverly’s feelings for her mother changes as her mother demonstrate a lack of knowledge of American culture. In the beginning, she would follow her mother 's rules and behave well, but becomes embarrassed as her mother grew proud of her. She feels as if her mother is showing her off like a trophy. In fact, Waverly’s feelings changed but Sophie’s feelings didn’t change. Sophie never liked her grandmother from the beginning, but even if she wants to change that she couldn’t because in the end they hardly have contact with each other.…

    • 838 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jamaica Kincaid's Girl

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages

    On the contrary, the daughter continuously ignores the teaching from her mother and prefers to behave like a slut. The author stresses on the consequences of a failure of a child to adhere to the parent’s advice. However, the mother is already worried that her daughter has chosen her path and that she does not have much to do to change her attitude. The mother is full of love, as she…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The mother starts to criticize the music the child was producing on the piano saying that the child had talent but the music has something that was missing. Jing-mei was upset when she made a personal connection with the child and made a statement saying that the child was doing good enough questioning why the mother was criticizing the child. The mother then says that the child is talented, but has potential to be better, just like Jing-mei. At the end of the story, the piano becomes the symbolism and representation of Ni khan's mother. The faith the mother had for the daughter to become more that was available to her.…

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jing- Mei’s mother had many ideas of changing her to be “Shirley Temple” or to be like “Peter Pan”. In reality, her mother wanted her to be optimistic and perseverant and she was just going about it the wrong way. Each time Jing- Mei was tested and failed it caused more self- doubt and low self-esteem to her confidence. She said, “If you don’t hurry up and get me out of here, I’m disappearing for good, and then you’ll always be nothing.” (Tan 1) As the failed expectations piled up, Jing- Mei fought to not let her mother try to make her be what she was not. Due to this self-doubt, this builds up an internal conflict with herself to where she fears she will never be special to her mother, and she will never be worth her mother’s sacrifices.…

    • 715 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She now knows that the “Pleading Child”, can finally be “Perfectly Contented” and know that her mother was only trying to give her daughter the life she deserved. [The ability to look through Jing-mei’s eyes gave us the sense that, yes she was having a hard time with her mother but in the end she realized what her mother was trying to…

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    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…

    • 725 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics