"Two Kinds" is a first-person narrative in which Jing-mei tells the story. It is important to remember that we are reading the child's description of her mother, rather than that of an omniscient narrator, who could be expected to have an more balanced perspective and to focus less on the relationship between mother and daughter.
Jing-mei, like many children, finds her mother exasperating. The generation gap is exacerbated by a difference in cultures, as well as by her mother's unrealistic expectations.
Jing-mei's mother lost everything in China. Partly because of this, she has a very positive view of America as the land of opportunity, especially for the young. Optimism (indeed, an unreasonable degree of optimism) and energy are central to her character. She is always hatching new schemes for her daughter to be famous and successful and is disappointed (and inclined to blame Jing-mei) when these plans fail to bear fruit. She is ambitious and competitive, with her main competitor being...
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