For a lot of us growing up, our mothers have been an integral part of what made us who we are. They have been the one to forgive us when no one else could. They have been the one to comfort us when the world seemed to turn to evil. They have been the one to shelter us when the rain came pouring down. And most importantly, they have been the one to love us when we needed it the most. In “Two Kinds,” by Amy Tan, Jing-mei is a young daughter of a Chinese immigrant. Growing up she had to endure being raised by an overbearing mother as well as deal with psychological struggles within herself. She had to learn how to become a woman on her own terms.
Throughout the story, her mother repeatedly pressures Jing-mei to be something that she is not. She wants Jing-mei to somehow become a prodigy child. She has such high hopes for her daughter that she doesnt realize the amount of distress she causes Jing-mei. Like all good mothers, she only wants the best for her child.
Since immigrating to America, she believes that anything can be accomplished and she uses her daughter as her outlet to prove it. She continuously gives Jing-mei numerous tests to memorize bible passages and world capitals, and eventually coerces her into taking piano lessons, which becomes the prime focus of her perfect daughter determination.
Jing-mei reacts extremely negatively to this pressure. This is only exemplified when she states, “I wont let her change me, I promised myself. I wont be what I am not.” She is forced to take a stance against her mother primarily because she doesnt want to be forced into becoming something that she is not. Jing-mei feels she must become her true self, a person whom she feels her mother is not to determine for her.
Jing-mei feels uncomfortable with her mother putting so much pressure on her. She is on a continuous struggle within herself to find who she really is. She is constantly distraught over torn feelings of wanting to become her true self and making her mother proud. Still, as time goes on it proves to be better to go against the tide, go against her mothers wishes. “And after seeing my mothers disappointed face once again, something inside of me began to die. I hated the tests, they raised hopes and failed expectations.” This quote only exemplifies her troubled feelings of inadequacy that her mothers expectations created. She sobbed and said during an argument, “Ill never be the kind of daughter you want me to be!” She asked, “Why dont