Two Kinds Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Jing-Mei refuses to practice piano after the talent show, she tells her mother, “Why should I? I’m not” what?

2. What word from the story means coolly unconcerned, indifferent, or unexcited?

3. How does Jing-Mei describe Mr. Chong’s eyes as always looking when she began piano lessons with him?

4. What does Jing-Mei say she never really did while she practiced for her talent show?

5. By what name does Jing-Mei refer to Mr. Chong’s mother as in the story?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Jing-Mei describe Mr. Chong when she begins piano lessons with him? What does she secretly nickname him?

2. How does the conflict that marks the climax of the story begin? How much time has passed since Jing-Mei’s performance at the talent show?

3. What “transformation” does Jing-Mei undergo while looking into the mirror as a child?

4. In what ways can the reader see early in the story that Jing-Mei’s ambitions (and her mother’s) are misplaced?

5. What does Jing-Mei overhear her mother saying about her to Auntie Lindo midway through the story?

6. Why does Amy Tan employ the techniques of oral tradition in “Two Kinds”?

7. How does Jing-Mei respond to her mother’s news that she will be taking piano lessons?

8. How does Jing-Mei describe her performance at the talent show?

9. How does Jing-Mei describe Waverly Jong in the narrative? What has Waverly gained recognition through?

10. What does Jing-Mei discover about Mr. Chong’s disabilities as she studies with him? How does this discovery influence her actions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe and discuss the genre and tone of the story. Define these terms in your response and discuss how “Two Kinds” could be categorized into different genres. How does the author establish the tone of the story in the first pages?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze and discuss Suyuan Woo’s idolization of Shirley Temple in “Two Kinds.” What did Shirley Temple symbolize to the American people (and others) during the Great Depression? Why does she hope for her daughter to share these qualities? How does she go about molding Jing-Mei after Shirley Temple?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the imagery and symbolism of Jing-Mei’s transformation that occurs when she cries in the mirror. How does the image of Jing-Mei’s reflection give her strength? What does she do with this strength? What does this moment signify in Jing-Mei’s life?

(see the answer keys)

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