Why is Jing-mei grateful that her mother is beginning to give up hope, yet later frightened by her mother's loss of hope in "Two Kinds"?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jing-mei hopes that her mother will give up on the idea of turning her daughter into a prodigy.  She says some terrible things to her mother.  Yet when she realizes how much she has hurt her mother, she is saddened.

In the story, both Jing-mei and her mother say things to hurt one another that they later regret.  They are matched in stubbornness, and neither wants to give in.  When Jing-mei’s disastrous recital results in everyone knowing that she cannot play, her mother does not give up, and she also does not give in.

No accusations, No blame. And in a way, I felt disappointed. 

Jing-mei has made a fool of her before all her friends.  She has been a disobedient daughter.  Jing-mei’s mother is frustrated, but not just with her daughter.

I had assumed that my talent-show fiasco meant that I would never have to play the piano again. But two days later, after school, my mother came out of the kitchen and saw me watching TV. 

Jing-me’s mother decides that she is going to play, no matter what.  In the violent struggle with her mother, she says she wishes she were dead, like the twin babies she lost in China.

Neither of us talked about it again, as if it were a betrayal that was now unspeakable. 

Jing-mei’s mother is saddened by the turn of events.  She regrets not having her daughter be successful, and she does not really understand how her daughter could disappoint her.


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