“Two Kinds” by Amy Tan explores her own relationship with her Chinese immigrant mother. The story is told as a flashback with the adult Jing-mei looking back at the beginning of her problems with her mother.
Tan’s mother had come to America in 1949 after she lost her entire family. Her mother never looked back at this painful time because she believed in her life in America. She remarried and had Amy with her second husband.
Tan knew her mother’s story. Her mother believed that a person could be anything she wanted to be in America. Jing-mei's mother believed the same thing. In many ways, the story harks back to Tan's own upbringing.
Her mother decided that Jing-mei could be a prodigy in some area. She began by trying to make her into a Chinese Shirley Temple. But she did not have the right kind of hair for it. Initially, Jing-mei liked the idea of being a prodigy. She understood that if she became perfect that her parents would love and adore her.
(The entire section contains 641 words.)