In "Two Kinds," what is Jeng-Mei's mother's personality like?

Expert Answers
accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The biggest characteristic concerning Jing Mei's mother that stands out is how she wants the best for her daughter, wanting her to make the most of the opportunities she has in America, their new home. However, unfortunately, this emerges in her mother placing Jing Mei under intense pressure to conform and to work hard at what her mother sets her to do. For example, receiving inspiration from the television, her mother sends Jing Mei to a beauty training school, which ends up in a hilarious accident when Jing Mei's hair is cut terribly. A magazine story about a three year old who knows the capitals of the states and many European countries starts off a host of tests on Jing Mei to improve her memory, until finally her mother sees a young Chinese girl playing the piano.

So, Jing Mei's mother undoubtedly loves her daughter very much, but she expresses that love in a way that pressurises Jing Mei and makes her feel constrained and trapped, thus heralding the conflict that we see between them in this excellent story.