Two Kinds Essay

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Brent has a Ph.D. in American Culture with a specialization in American cinema from The University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer/editor and film critic and teaches courses in American cinema. In the following essay, she discusses the mother-daughter relationship in "Two Kinds."

The central struggle in Amy Tan's story "Two Kinds" is a battle of wills between the narrator, a young Chinese American girl, and her mother, a Chinese immigrant. "Two Kinds" is a coming-ofage story, in which the narrator, Jing-mei, struggles to forge her own sense of identity in the face of her strong-willed mother's dream that she become a "prodigy." Jing-mei is caught between her Chinese mother's traditional ideas about how to raise a daughter, and her own development as a Chinese American girl straddling two cultures.

Like many immigrants to the United States, Jing-mei's mother has created idealized visions of her...

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This section contains 1,999 words
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Buy the Two Kinds Study Guide
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