Two Kinds Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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What does Jing-mei say to defeat her mother in "Two Kinds"?

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Jing-mei says she wishes she wasn’t her mother’s daughter and she was dead like her baby daughters.

We all say things we wish we didn’t say and don't mean, especially in the heat of argument.  This is definitely true in parent-child relationships, which can get very heated.  “Two Kinds” is the story of a mother and daughter who often have difficulty communicating, even though they love each.

Jing-mei wants to please her mother, and her mother wants what’s best for her daughter.  The keys to this story are in the first paragraphs.  First of all, the story starts with Jing-mei explaining to us how important the American dream is to her mother.

My mother believed you could be anything you wanted to be in America. …You could become rich. You could become instantly famous.

One of the reasons it is so important to her is because she is an immigrant from China.  In China, she lost everything.  She had a very difficult childhood, but more important than this is what she left...

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