In "Two Kinds," how does the mother feel about life in America? 

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The mother thinks that America is the land of opportunity. There is the potential for a variety of different kinds of success. In coming to San Francisco, the mother had the highest hopes. 

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 mother takes great efforts to make her daughter into a prodigy. At first, she wants to groom her as the next Shirley Temple, the most famous child actor of her day. The mother is quite impressionable. She will be enchanted by any notion of a child success story. When she sees something of the kind in a magazine or on a television show, she is inspired to groom the daughter in the direction of some new talent. It is the mother's intention to live vicariously through her daughter and therefore, for her daughter to achieve the success that she (mother) believed was possible in America. Even when the daughter fails at the piano recital, her mother wants to continue the piano lessons. The mother's hope for her daughter in this land of opportunity trumps every setback. Although it is not overtly mentioned, the mother probably recognizes that life in America is more difficult for an immigrant. But the mother will accept no excuses. If the daughter is obedient (one kind), there is no reason she shouldn't succeed in America. 

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