Two Kinds Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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What is the theme, or central idea, of "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan?

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The theme, or main idea, of this excerpt from Tan's novel The Joy Luck Club is that parents and children have difficulties understanding one another. Parents want the best for their kids and sometimes parents push their children in ways that the children resent. Children may fail to understand that this is not their parents' attempt to change them but is an effort (perhaps a misguided one) to help them become their best selves. Children want to feel loved by their parents, and sometimes they lack the perspective to understand that their parents push them out of love; children often want to rebel against their parents' expectations in general, and parents can feel hurt and confused by this rebellion when they know that all they want to do is help their children.

Suyuan, Jing-mei's mother, just wants to help her daughter to be as successful as she can be. She believes her daughter could "be a prodigy, too" and become rich and famous. Having lost everything in China, Suyuan places all her...

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