‘‘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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