Two Kinds By Amy Tan Essay Conclusion Examples

More coursework: 1 - A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I - J | K - L | M | N - O | P - S | T | U - Y

Two kinds of girls

A person spends most of their developing years under the guidance of their parents or guardians.

They affect how we think, how we feel, and how we act. These are among the people who hold the

greatest influence. Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" and Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" both deal with the relationship

between a young girl and the guiding force in her life. Amy Tan tells of a mother's expectation for her

daughter to be a child prodigy. Jamaica Kincaid tells of an unknown person describing to a girl how to be

a "good" girl. Both essays illustrate an authority figure that has expectations for a young female and why

and how those expectations will come about.

As young children growing up without a care in the world, we cannot comprehend why authority

figures dictate how we should behave. In "Two Kinds", the daughter is expected to be a child prodigy

because her mother believes "you can be anything you want in America". The mother sees other children

with amazing talents and thinks her child could be just as talented, if not more so. She continually places

pressure on her daughter to be some kind of prodigy. The daughter is expected to be a great beauty with

unmatched dance abilities, an untapped wealth of useless information, and piano-playing skills like no

other. In "Girl", the expectations are much lower, but just as stringent. The girl is expected to do a

myriad of chores and to become a "lady". She is advised on how she should act and how she can avoid

being a "slut".

In "Two Kinds", the mother has high hopes; she believes a person can be anything they want in

America and she wants a daughter who excels in some area. All of the mother's hopes lay on the

daughter. Her hopes are bolstered by stories about remarkable children with incredible talents. If they

can succeed are such a young age, surely her child can as well. The mother wants her daughter to be the

best she can be, but she has unrealistic expectations. The girl in Jamaica Kincaid's essays is not being

held to such high hopes and dreams. The expectations placed on her are not as high, but are equally

unforgiving. Her authority figure wants her to be the perfect "traditional" girl. She is expected to cook,

clean, iron, and not assert her independence.

Children, though, are naturally independent and free-willed. For the authority figures to have

their way, the girls must be obedient. Obedience and denigration are the methods in which these

expectations are supposed to met. In "Two Kinds", the mother states, "Only one kind of daughter can live

in this house--obedient daughter!" The daughter does not want to live up to outside expectations, but she

does not want to disappoint her mother; part of her feels obligated to be loyal. The mother compares the

daughter to other children, which makes the daughter feel worthless. The mother talks about a three-year-

old who knows the capital of all the states. She forces the daughter to watch television shows featuring

talented youngsters. She implies her daughter is not as good as the other children. In "Girl", the girl is

given two choices - be a girl or be a slut. Essentially, she is being told what she must do; there is no room

for debate. In between being told what to do, though, the authority figure also reminds her she could well

be on her way to becoming a slut.

In both essays, the girls come full circle. They both go through a period of being told what to be

and what to do. Both girls resent the pressure and expectations put on them in their adolescence, but in

the end, they choose paths that lead back to their beginnings. Amy Tan's girl spends a good portion of

her youth hating practicing piano. As an adult, she plays an entire piece of music and is marveled by the

beauty of it. In some respects, she becomes the child her mother wanted. Jamaica Kincaid's girl spends a

good portion of her youth protesting the label of "slut" placed upon her. In the conclusion, she becomes

the kind of woman she swore she was not.

Source: Essay UK -

Not what you're looking for?

If this essay isn't quite what you're looking for, why not order your own custom Coursework essay, dissertation or piece of coursework that answers your exact question? There are UK writers just like me on hand, waiting to help you. Each of us is qualified to a high level in our area of expertise, and we can write you a fully researched, fully referenced complete original answer to your essay question. Just complete our simple order form and you could have your customised Coursework work in your email box, in as little as 3 hours.

Linda Senior Lecturer in Economics, Essay UK Researcher Team.

Analysis of Two Kinds by Amy Tan

  • Length: 1425 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Analysis of Two Kinds by Amy Tan

In the story “Two Kinds”, the author, Amy Tan, intends to make reader think of the meaning behind the story. She doesn’t speak out as an analyzer to illustrate what is the real problem between her and her mother. Instead, she uses her own point of view as a narrator to state what she has experienced and what she feels in her mind all along the story. She has not judged what is right or wrong based on her opinion. Instead of giving instruction of how to solve a family issue, the author chooses to write a narrative diary containing her true feeling toward events during her childhood, which offers reader not only a clear account, but insight on how the narrator feels frustrated due to failing her mother’s expectations which leads to a large conflict between the narrator and her mother.

By stating how other people behave or interact, the author offers a great chance for readers to interpret fairly for themselves what the reason for any conflict may be, or the nature of any essential contrast between the narrator and other adults in the story. In the story, there are many self-righteous opinions from people, which seem to be ironic to the readers; For example, her mother’s aggressive attitude of showing off her daughter, her piano teacher’s self-praise claiming him as “Beethoven.” All of the narrations including conversation clearly depict a different characteristic between the narrator and other people. For instance, a conversation occurs between the narrator and her mother when the mother criticizing a girl who seems similar to the author on TV which reveals dissimilar understanding for both of them to each other’s behavior. At first, the daughter speaks out for the girl by questioning her mother by saying “why picking on her […] She’s pretty good. Maybe she’s not the best, but she’s trying hard.” The daughter actually is defending for herself and reflecting that she feels uncomfortable with her mother’s disregard of her hard work. She wants to get her mother’s compliments instead of her criticisms. However, her mother response of, “just like you,” and, “not the best. Because you not trying.” Here, her mother doesn’t really answer her question, instead wants her put more effort on trying, neglecting how much she has tried before. However, in her mother’s perspective, she has never tried hard enough. By narratively stating the conversations she has encountered, readers perceive a strong implication of the reason for a future conflict between her and her mother.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Analysis of Two Kinds by Amy Tan." 10 Mar 2018

LengthColor Rating 
Amy Tan's Two Kinds and Julius Lester's Spear Essay - Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” and Julius Lester’s “Spear” are two short stories that manifest themes of pressure amongst the main character and internal conflicts concerning their identity. Most people feel pressure some point in their life, especially if a lot is required of them. Some stand strong and don’t let the pressure weigh them down. On the other hand, there are those that cave in and let others define their identity for them. There are many social forces that exert influences on people. The main character in “Two Kinds”, Jing-Mei, fit’s the description of the strong group that rebels against those that try to rectify her identity, mainly her mother....   [tags: Short Story Analysis, Comparisons]1184 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Amy Tan's Two Kinds and Maggie Scarf's The Beavers' Scale of Family health and Competence - Why are children, pianos, and bad mothers a recipe for disaster. Maggie Scarfs essay” The Beavers scale of Family health and Competence” may be able to answer this question that haunts many families. Maggie Scarf compared and contrasted many families and was able to come up with the Family scale that puts these families on 5 different levels. Level 5 being the worst while level 1 being the most docile and best family unit. Using Scarfs essay we will be able to help the reader understand the level 4 family type to explain Amy Tans essay called” Two Kinds” were Jing-Mei battles her mother for self-control and her own social freedom....   [tags: books analysis and comparison]841 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on Two Kinds by Amy Tan - Two Kinds is a story about mother-daughter relationship – Suyuan and Jing-mei. Suyuan believed that America is where her dreams will be fulfilled. She thought that her daughter, Jing-mei, would be the one to realize them. Jing-mei, on the other hand, was a confused child at first. She was led to believe that she can be someone. At first, she followed her mother, but when she felt that her mother was already forcing her and stealing her youth, she told herself that it was the end. The story is a clash between two individuals from two different generations and beliefs (Suyuan who basically grew up in China; and Jing-mei who was born and raised in United States)....   [tags: mother, daughter, family, relationships]
:: 2 Works Cited
1835 words
(5.2 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Success and Failure in Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay - Amy Tan, a child of Chinese immigrants, wrote the story “Two Kinds”, telling the tale of a Jing-Mei’s rebellion against her mother’s desire to change her into a prodigy. As Jing-Mei’s mother continually tells her she does not try hard enough to succeed, the conflict between Jing-Mei and her mother escalates. Jing-Mei grows more stubborn, making every effort to resist her mother, and the relationship devolves into a standoff where mother and daughter both refuse to budge from their position. “Two Kinds” shows the irony in Jing-Mei’s relationship with her mother; while her mother believes Jing-Mei does not try hard enough to succeed, Jing-Mei succeeds in her struggle for identity by refusing t...   [tags: Two Kinds by Amy Tan]
:: 2 Works Cited
1878 words
(5.4 pages)
Term Papers[preview]
Essay on Two Kinds by Amy Tan - "Two Kinds" is truly an amazing work; it captivates readers with by telling a story of a young girl trying to find herself. Amy Tan does a phenomenal job, not only by portraying a very real mother-daughter relationship, but at showing how much a young girl can change. Jing-Mei evolves throughout the story in a way that many people can relate to; crushed hopes, obeying your parents even if it means doing something you don't want to do, and finally standing up for what you believe in. Since "You could be anything you wanted to be in America" (Tan 348) Jing-Meis' mother thought that meant that you had to be a prodigy....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]1057 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay - In “Two Kinds,” Amy Tan explores a theme of independence. Jing-me is an impressionable nine year old girl living in an apartment with her parents. She struggles with the high expectations of her mother, to become a prodigy. The conflict results in a rebellious independence. Tan develops Jing-me’s character as willful, defiant, and insecure. To begin, Tan demonstrates that Jing-me’s willfulness stands in the way of her success. For example, after failing many of her mothers prodigy tests, she begins to hate them....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]
:: 1 Works Cited
660 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay on Two Kinds by Amy Tan - In the short story, "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, a Chinese mother and daughter are at odds with each other. The mother pushes her daughter to become a prodigy, while the daughter (like most children with immigrant parents) seeks to find herself in a world that demands her Americanization. This is the theme of the story, conflicting values. In a society that values individuality, the daughter sought to be an individual, while her mother demanded she do what was suggested. This is a conflict within itself....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]966 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay - In the story 'Two Kinds'; by Amy Tan, we are shown the struggles of a young girl Jing-Mei. Her struggle is that of a young girl growing up and trying to find her own sense of identity. Her troubles are compounded by her mother, who convinces her that she can become someone important. Because of her mother's constant overbearing behavior, Jing-Mei does everything she can to annoy and displease her mother even to the point of being a failure. This fight to find her own identity against her mother's wishes shows how parents cannot control their child's life; they can only point them in the right direction and let them make their own choices....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]507 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
East Meets the West in Two Kinds by Amy Tan Essay - Amy Tan‘s ―Two Kinds‖ is a tale of a young Chinese girl‘s life as an adolescent and the influence that her mother has on her growing up. Coming from a first-generation immigrant Korean family, I can‘t help but completely relate to growing up around that type of ―support.‖ Although my parents were fairly westernized in their way of thinking, we had an aunt living with us whom we affectionately called the Tiger Aunt growing up. Having no natural children of her own, she treated my siblings and me as if we were her own children and pretty much had free rein to direct us and help to raise us in any way that she wanted, which was with a very traditional and old fashioned perspective....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]
:: 1 Works Cited
1250 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Essay about Mother Daughter Relationship in Two Kinds by Amy Tan - I’m not You, I’m Me For many of us growing up, our mothers have been a part of who we are. They have been there when our world was falling apart, when we fell ill to the flu, and most importantly, the one to love us when we needed it the most. In “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, it begins with a brief introduction to one mother’s interpretation of the American Dream. Losing her family in China, she now hopes to recapture part of her loss through her daughter. However, the young girl, Ni Kan, mimics her mother’s dreams and ultimately rebels against them....   [tags: Two Kinds, Amy Tan]430 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]

By looking through the narrator’s eyes, readers are able to understand her stress and struggle from her standpoint. At first, the narrator keeps trying to reach her mother’s expectation. She decides not to response to her mother’s attempt of finding her prodigy after seeing her “mother’s disappointed face once again,” and feel, “something inside” her “began to die.” The “thing” which dies is her confidence and pride, and also part of her responsibility which she puts on herself in response to her mother’s expectation. In a conversation between her and her mother when she is sent to a piano lesson, she questions, “Why don’t you like me the way I am? […],”which reveals that she doesn’t feel her mother likes her. This example points out a deepest fear in her mind that is what if her mother doesn’t like a normal kid like her. As a result of her frustration and lack of concern from her mother, she begins to stop following her mother’s instruction, as a mean to protest her mother’s endless expectation. However, she cares tremendously what her mother thinks of her. For example, she reveals that, after the piano recital, what “devastated her” is “her mother’s expression,” which is “quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything.” This shows how much her mother’s emotion can influence her even after her assertion not to be changed by her mother anymore. Readers can then realize that the narrator never really “hates” her mother; instead, she hates to fail the expectation from her mother. By standing in the narrator’s shoes, readers can then understand the origin and the process of her decision to become a “lazy kid,” and shows that the “evil part” of the narrator is actually an immature attempt to make her mother accept her, she does this by defining herself as a normal person.

The author depicts her mother’s characteristics through the philosophy her mother has revealed to her and the conversations between them. It states her mother’s belief in the early beginning that she thinks people “could be anything you wanted to be in America,” and “there were so many ways for things to get better.” Her mother’s optimistic attitude toward a large feasibility of reaching personal dream makes her mother puts the same amount of expectation on the daughter, in a sense of helping the daughter to have a successful life. Therefore, her mother shares explicitly her belief to her and even pushes her to “try” new stuff; this is a mean to love her in the mother’s point of view. However, the author arranges few arguments conversation which indicates what her mother’s true expectation of her is. She response to the narrator that “who ask you be genius?” and shouted that “only ask you be your best. For you sake. […]” Here her mother emphasizes her real purpose of pushing the narrator to learn and try new skill. Moreover, when her mother shouted to her that “only two kinds of daughters, those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind,” it reveals what her mother’s truly desire is to have the narrator listen to her and consider her opinion as good advice.

Although the author never shows her opinion throughout the story to let readers know what have she enlightened from the whole conflict between her and her mother, she implies what she believes now as a grown-up and put those thoughts into the story as a reference to give readers a direction to look into. For example, she indicates that, “so maybe I never really gave myself a fair chance. I did pick up the basics pretty quickly, and I might have become a good pianist at that young age.” This gives the reader a regretful feeling for not attempting to learn. And also, she tells readers in the end of the story that she hasn’t even notice the song she used to play is incomplete, which not only lets the reader know she doesn’t concentrate on learning, but also is a symbol that she leaves her prodigy part of her unused. In contrast of her regretful message to readers, she gives several clues which function as excuse to those misunderstanding which the author has on her mother during her childhood. For example, she mentions in the beginning the hardship her mother has experienced back in China, which makes her mother “lay all of the hope” in America, more specifically, on the narrator herself. Also, it surprises the narrator that when she finds out her mother has no “accusations and blame” on her when she messes up the recital. This part reveals that her mother doesn’t blame her about the “disaster at the recital”, an event which makes her mother act as though she “lost everything”; instead of punishing the narrator, her mother still keep pushing her to learn piano after the recital, which is a sign that her mother doesn’t really only care for herself, but her daughter’s future. The author intends to contain part of her further understanding inside the story so that the reader will not feel it’s all about an accusation to her mother.

By looking into the narrator ‘s fantasy of being famous, her frustration when failing expectation, her awareness of self-consciousness, her resistance of being changed and even the way she describes others, the reader becomes more sympathetic to the narrator and the further understanding a desire of being loved which lead to her misbehaving with her mother. As a consequence, the story suggests that both of the narrator (daughter) and mother have their standpoint, and they all behave based on their best belief and decision. Therefore, a style of critical review or an evaluation to work on the story will not be suitable. Rather than giving such an instructional textbook guessing about what is right or wrong, a narrative style of writing may be the best reference to look into for readers to judge by ourselves and generate solutions based on readers own experience and belief.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *