The short story “Two Kinds” is actually an excerpt from a larger book called The Joy Luck Club, which is the story of Chinese-American mothers and daughters.
The main character in this story is Jing-mei. She is a daughter of a Chinese mother who does not seem particularly talented at anything, but tries to please her mother until she blows up from frustration.
Jing-Mei’s mother, Suyaun, wants her to be a child prodigy. She desperately wants her daughter to distinguish herself and be special. She pushes her daughter and does not consider her feelings.
Old Mr. Chong is the deaf piano teacher who tries to give Jing-mei lessons and does not realize how bad she is doing.
Father is pretty much absent from the story.
Waverly is the little girl who is a chess prodigy, and the reason Jing-mei’s mother wants her to become a prodigy so she can impress Waverly’s mother, Lindo Jong.