In the story "Two Kinds" what is the conflict between Jing-Mei and her cousin Waverly?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jing-Mei and Waverly have grown up together and have constantly been competing about one thing or another all their lives.  Waverly is a champion chess player, but Jing-Mei, tired of the constant comparisons between herself and her cousin, determines not to play the one-upmanship game anymore, and just be herself.  The two girls' mothers pressure them relentlessly to excel, in part so the mothers can have bragging rights, and it is this pressure which undoubtedly is behind the contentious relationship between Jing-Mei and Waverly.  Waverly, however, basing in her mother's praise, has become obnoxious and stuck-up, to Jing-Mei's chagrin.  After Jing-Mei's disastrous performance on the piano, Waverly just shrugs and tells Jing-Mei, "You aren't a genius like me".

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Two Kinds

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