Two Kinds Essay

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Kate Bernheimer received her M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of Arizona and is the author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales (Anchor Books, 1998). In this essay she discusses the mother- daughter bind and how it hinges on notions of abandonment and identity.

"I wish I were dead," the protagonist and narrator of Amy Tan's "Two Kinds," the young Jing-mei, yells at her mother, watching her blow away in response like a leaf, "thin, brittle, lifeless." In this moment Jing-mei's empty battle for self has been won, though the victory is also a death, symbolized by her mother disappearance from the scene. The crisis between Jing-mei and her mother in Amy Tan's "Two Kinds" is grave and of a classic type of interest to psychoanalytic theorists: the peculiar love/hate entwinement between mother and daughter which hinges...

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This section contains 2,100 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Two Kinds Study Guide
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Two Kinds from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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