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Joy Luck

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mssasha08
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The title of Amy Tan’s novel, Two Kinds (Tan, 2009), is a reference to two different kinds of daughter, as defined by the narrators mother (Tan, 2009, p. 412). One kind, the obedient daughter, embraces her mother’s wishes and willingly follows the path the mother has chosen for her. The other kind, the disobedient daughter, rejects her mother’s wishes and willfully follows the path she has chosen for herself. I really had a difficult time with part two of question number one. From my perspective, there was no discernible connection between the first sentence of the story; “My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America” (Tan, 2009, p. 405) and the last sentence of the story; “And after I played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song” (Tan, 2009, p. 414). I believe that in the beginning, Jing-mei felt her mother was selfish, in her determination to mold her daughter into a piano prodigy. However, in the end she realizes that it was Mrs. Woo’s faith in her daughter’s potential that motivated her to push so hard (SparkNotes Editors, 2003). Furthermore, I think that for Jing-Mei, the piano was a symbol of her mother’s expectations, than disappointment and ultimately rejection, in the beginning of the story. By the end of the story, the piano becomes a symbol of Mrs. Woo’s acceptance (Tan, 2009, p. 413). This was essentially the lesson Jing-Mei had to learn in order to find inner peace.

Jing-Mei briefly refers to her mother’s suffering, in the beginning of the story (Tan, 2009, p. 405). She provides the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’ and I was left wondering about the circumstances that led to Mrs. Woo’s tragic losses. Later in the story, Jing-Mei uses her mother’s loss as a weapon during a heated argument, by stating; “Then I wish I’d never been born!” I shouted. “I wish I were dead! Like them.”(Tan,…...

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