After the daughter in "Two Kinds" grows up, her mother offers her the piano for her birthday. What does this act show about the mother?

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it shows that Suyuan is apologizing to Jing-mei.  The events in "Two Kinds" broke the relationship between mother and daughter.  Suyuan pushed Jing-mei so far that Jing-mei wished that she was dead like the other daughters.  

And I could sense her anger rising to its breaking point. I wanted see it spill over. And that's when I remembered the babies she had lost in China, the ones we never talked about. "Then I wish I'd never been born!" I shouted. “I wish I were dead! Like them."

Just a few lines before that, Jing-mei said that she wished that she wasn't her mother's daughter.  It's a clear break in their relationship, and that break never quite healed.  The sequence is a coming of age story, but it is also the story of a broken relationship.  

I believe that Suyuan's gift of the piano is an olive branch of sorts.  She is hoping for peace and forgiveness between the two of them again. She is forgiving Jing-mei for what was said.  

I saw the offer as a sign of forgiveness, a tremendous burden removed. 

The gift worked too.  It seemed to melt away those years of bitterness and anger from Jing-mei.  In the text, Jing-mei admits that seeing the piano now gives her sense of pride.