What does Jing-Mei's mother want her daughter to become? Why? What does she make her do in order to reach her goal?  

Expert Answers

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

Suyuan, Jing-mei’s mother, wanted her to become a child prodigy like Shirley Temple and Lindo’s daughter. Suyuan urged her daughter to attempt practicing certain skills in order to establish and develop a special talent. Her daughter was initially receptive to the idea but eventually gave up on the quest to become a child prodigy like her mother wanted.

Suyuan enrolled Jing-mei for piano classes after she watched a young Chinese girl playing the piano on the Ed Sullivan Show. Suyuan settled for Mr. Chong as Jing-mei’s trainer. However, Mr. Chong was tone deaf and unable to hear the mistakes Jing-mei made while at practice. Jing-mei was not truly interested in learning to play the piano. She participated in a talent competition and failed miserably at her performance. Her mother was disappointed, but she did not give up on the piano lessons. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial