Two Kinds Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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Please describe Jing-mei's mother's character in "Two Kinds."

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"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...

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Jing-Mei’s mother has had an immensely difficult life, having been dispossessed not only of her native country but also of her two earlier babies. In this respect she is worthy of sympathy. It is natural that she would want to make up her losses through Jing-Mei. We are given only an objective view of the mother, however, even in paragraph 78, where her deepest feelings are described. Much is to be inferred from this paragraph. Although Jing Mei does not express regret about the violence of her childhood feelings, her memories indicate that at the story’s end she has been emotionally reconciled with her mother.

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