In the story "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan, in what scenes do you sympathize with the daughter? Also in what scenes do you sympathize with the mother?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I most sympathize with the mother, Suyuan, near the end of the story.  As a parent, I understand the desire to see my children perform well.  I understand the desire to see my kids pursue similar interests to mine.  I know that both of those things are not always possible; however, I feel that Jing-Mei went too far when she told Suyuan that she wished she wasn't her daughter and would rather be dead. 

"Then I wish I weren't your daughter, I wish you weren't my mother," I shouted. . .  Then I wish I'd never been born!" I shouted. “I wish I were dead! Like them."

I can't imagine the pain that Jing-Mei caused her mother with those words.  I have a vague idea of how I would feel if my own child said that to me, and I would be devastated.  

On the flip side, I do sympathize with Jing-Mei at times too.  When I was growing up, there were times when my parents pushed me hard to perform better.  Deep down I knew they were right, but I still resented it.  At other times my parents pushed me to do things that I had zero interest in.  Looking back at it now I understand why, but I didn't understand it when I was 14.  Those feelings that Jing-Mei has when her mother is pushing her to play piano, I've been there.  I get that.  It's why I root for Jing-Mei at that point in the story.