In what ways does the mother pressure her daughter to change?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, one of the ways the mother pressures her daughter, Jing Mei, to change is by requiring her to watch old Shirley Temple movies as if they are "training films." Jing Mei's mother even forces Jing Mei to have her hair cut so that she can look like the child star. However, the results fall flat, and Jing Mei ends up having to have most of her hair cut off.

Each night after dinner, Jing Mei's mother also subjects Jing Mei to tests to determine what she will excel in. As a matter of practice, Jing Mei's mother will read aloud to Jing Mei stories that tell of gifted children and their exploits; then, she will ask Jing Mei a list of questions. The tests are supposed to determine what kind of prodigy Jing Mei is most suited to be.

Finally, Jing Mei's mother settles on the decision to turn Jing Mei into a piano prodigy. She makes Jing Mei take piano lessons from a retired piano teacher, Mr. Chong. However, because of his age and inability to hear well, Mr. Chong proves to be an ineffective teacher. In the end, to spite her mother, Jing Mei performs badly at a piano recital. This leads to an emotional argument that results in Jing Mei being allowed to quit her piano lessons.

So, in the story, the mother pressures her daughter to change in the numerous ways described above. However, she does not bargain for her daughter's strong response against her bid to transform her into a child prodigy.