So today I will try to analyze the short story “Two kinds”.
Two kinds is a short story written by Amy Tan. The short story is set in the USA in 1989. This was under the cold war and we follow a mother and daughter who fled from China. This was after the mother lost her whole family there.
So since it’s a short story there are few main characters. The main character is the daughter. We follow parts of her childhood in the USA and her relationship with her mother. She is a girl with an inner conflict and we get to know her through her feelings. The mom is a very strict mother which only accept the best from her daughter. She never wants her to become the best in anything, but to do her best in everything, she tries to do. As the story progresses, we see that the characters change in their personality. This is because of their relationship between each other. Both of the characters seems realistic as they show that change in their behavior.
The plot itself is about how the mother tries to learn her daughter a lot in at a very young age. The daughter is a rebellion against her when she feels forced to do it. She does badly in her mother’s teachings at purpose. She stars to play piano with a deaf and half-blind teacher. She enters a concert and does horribly. Everyone loses faith in her and her mother gives up on her. This sounds like a really sad story, but very believable. This is because of the conflicts that daughters and mothers usually have. This just got to a point where they couldn’t take it anymore.
The author of this story has chosen to speak as the main character. We see everything from the main characters eyes, but still the author manages to make us sympathetic for the “enemy”.
When the daughter does horribly at the piano concert is definitely the climax of the story. The narrator says how she feels super confident before she starts playing. When she starts she can’t play anything nice and everyone around her gets really disappointed.
The theme is the fight between the life of the American dream and the strict Chinese regime. Her mother has a look at life that makes the daughters American vision not compel to her.
I really liked the text and it made me sympathize with both characters.