Determine a part in "Two Kinds" where an idea or topic is left uncertain. Why do you think these ideas or topics were left uncertain?

Quick answer:

In "Two Kinds," Jing-mei's mother's feelings regarding her daughter's success, or lack thereof, are uncertain. Jing-mei feared her mother's disappointment, but her mother's words when she offers Jing-mei the piano Jing-mei played as a child make it seem as though her mother has always believed in her, even if Jing-mei hasn't believed in herself. We do not always get resolutions to these questions, and that uncertainty is something we have to live with when our parents are gone.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Jing-mei feels that she disappointed her mother many times. She describes her mother's disappointed face when she would test Jing-mei over and over, attempting to figure out if Jing-mei had any special skills. Jing-mei's genius never did emerge. She feels that her mother must have been disappointed often throughout her life, such as whenever she became willful, fell short of her mother's expectations, did not get all A's or get elected class president, didn't get into Stanford, and eventually dropped out of college.

However, she never reports that her mother expressed such disappointment; in fact, before her mother's death, the two of them avoided discussion of the disastrous piano recital and the horrible fight that happened after it. Jing-mei never asked her mother, "Why had she given up hope?" and she seemed to believe that her mother had, in fact, lost hope in her because she never forced Jing-mei to resume the piano. However, when her mother offered her the piano years later, Jing-mei felt forgiven, and her mother told her, simply,

You have natural talent. You could be a genius if you want to [....]. You just not trying.

Whether or not her mother was disappointed or did give up hope is never answered certainly, though it seems that Jing-mei was wrong for all those years. Likely, this is left resolved because that is how real life is sometimes. Often, we don't get resolution to such questions, and that's just something we have to live with.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial