What does the piano represent and how does its symbolic meaning indicate a realization Jing-Mei has about her relationship with her mother in "Two Kinds"?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The piano represents June’s mother’s wish that her daughter succeed.  To June, her mother has unrealistic expectations that she be a prodigy, so the piano is a communication barrier between them.

In “Two Kinds” from The Joy Luck Club, June’s mother wants her to be a prodigy like Waverly, who plays chess.  She selects a variety of talents for June to try, but none of them stick. 

"Of course, you can be a prodigy, too," my mother told me when I was nine. "You can be best anything.” 

The piano teacher is deaf, so he assumes June is playing in tune—but she isn’t.   She is...

(The entire section contains 330 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team