Two Kinds Questions and Answers
by Amy Tan

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What are three possible themes for Two Kinds

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"Two Kinds" certainly seems to convey the theme that mothers want their children to achieve their potential, even when it is very difficult.  When Jing-Mei's mother buys her a piano and brings it home, she says, "'Who ask you to be a genius? . . . Only ask you be your best.  For you sake."  She is interested in helping her daughter to be her best for her own sake .  In fact, Suyuan's resolve to make Jing-Mei continue to practice the piano after her talent show disaster seems to prove this.  She knows her daughter is not a prodigy, so it is not about showing her off.  She simply wants to teach Jing-Mei the value of practice, perseverance, and patience with herself.  In the end, when Suyuan offers the piano as a gift, Jing-mei says that she could not be a genius at the piano as her mother claims.  Suyuan says, "'You just not trying. . . .' And she was neither angry nor sad.  She said it as if announcing a fact that could never be disproved."  She only wanted to see her daughter...

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