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Jing-mei's mother escaped Communist China and wants everything for her daughter that she never experienced. She witnesses child prodigies such as Shirley Temple and believes that because she and her family live in American that her daughter, too, with enough hard work can be famous or highly successful. So, at first Jing-mei's mother is motivated by the promise of America--what it can do for Jing-mei and her family. Later, she demonstrates that she was also motivated by wanting her daughter to have a better life than she did, a life in which Jing-mei works hard but is also rewarded for that hard work and is content with her life.
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