Tell how the image of “Chinese Shirley Temple” indicates the themes of the story.

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The story "Two Kinds" has various themes that run throughout, but the idea of a "Chinese Shirley Temple" reflects themes dealing with fame, fortune, materialism, and/or the American Dream. Readers are clued in to these thematic topics at the start of the story when the narrator tells readers about her mom's beliefs about America.

My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. You could open a restaurant. You could work for the government and get good retirement. You could buy a house with almost no money down. You could become rich. You could become instantly famous.

The quote shows that Suyuan has a very specific definition of what it means to be successful. She has the optimistic idea that simply working hard will result in great things. This is a great example of the standard belief in the American Dream. Unfortunately, Suyuan also equates that American Dream to owning things, becoming rich, and becoming famous. This is what Suyuan wants for Jing-mei. Suyuan sees the real Shirley Temple as the quintessential example of her personal beliefs and values, and Suyuan wants her daughter to have and be the same thing. She wants a "Chinese Shirley Temple" in order to fulfill a certain image of what it means to be a successful person in America.

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