In the story "Two Kinds," Jing-Mei, the protagonist, constantly hears advice from her mother, who wants her daughter to become a prodigy of some sort. Finally, when Jing-mei thinks that she cannot live up to her mother's wishes, she has an outburst and accuses her mother of not loving her for who she is. Her mother responds:
"Who ask you to be genius?...Only ask you be your best. For you sake. You think I want you to be genius? Hnnh! What for! Who ask you!"
Her mother is telling her that she only wants her daughter to work hard--which is positive advice--but her daughter does not hear her mother's message. Instead, she thinks she has to be perfect to please her mother and gives up playing the piano until her mother dies. Then, she tries playing again, and thinks, "I played a few bars, surprised at how easily the notes came back to me." She realizes that she is actually adept at playing. She also realizes that the two songs she is playing--"Pleading Child" and "Perfectly Contented" are "two halves of the same song." In other words, she comes to know that she could've been more contented all along. She realizes in the end that her mother's advice was meant to be positive, but that she always interpreted it as negative.