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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.
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