What actions or speeches bring out the character traits of Jing-Mei in Two Kinds.

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What is crucial to remember when studying this short story is that Jing Mei is a first generation migrant - that is she was born in a country where her parents have emmigrated to. Therefore a lot of the conflict in the story comes from the conflict between the Chinese attitudes and beliefs of Jing-Mei's mother - particularly with regard to how daughters should behave towards mothers - and Jing Mei's finding her own path in American society.

To me, you have to examine the concert with its disastrous climax. Jing Mei has planned to ruin the concert to "put a stop to the foolish pride" of her mother after hearing her gossiping about her. The shame that this causes her mother and the shouting match they have where Jing Mei says she wishes she was like her stillborn brothers and sisters. This clearly shows an incredible defiance and resistance to authority. This is Jing Mei forging her own path in life, and asserting her right to "fail" - "my right to fall short of expectations". However, of course at the end of the story we see the end of the conflict and the acceptance of Jing-Mei of her mother and of herself.