What is the main conflict in "Two Kinds"?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main conflict in the story Two Kinds was the struggle between what the daughter wanted and what her mother wanted for her, based on the background and cultural differences between the two. The mother was an Asian immigrant who aspired to live the American dream through her Asian American daughter. Although the story brought to the fore the common mother daughter conflict, it went further to elaborate the different beliefs and aspirations between the two characters.

The mother arrived in America after a horrific exodus from China where she was forced to leave behind her twin daughters. On arrival, she worked extra hard to ensure her daughter, June, would live a more fulfilling life based on her idea of the American dream. She tried to train her daughter into a prodigy, enrolling her in different courses, in an attempt to develop her skills towards the goal. At first the daughter supported and believed in her mother’s dream, until she realized that she needed to live her own life. This created conflict between mother and daughter with the daughter resisting the prodigy training her mother was focused on.