In Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, Jing-mei's mother really wants her daughter to be a prodigy at something. Suyuan believes that in America, anything is possible, and that Jing-mei will become extremely talented and even famous at something just because of that possibility.
As the family is watching The Ed Sullivan Show one evening, a young Chinese girl comes on to play the piano. Suyuan thinks that she has now found just the right thing for Jing-mei: piano lessons.
Jing-mei does not want to take piano lessons. She knows full well that she is not a genius, but her mother insists, and Jing-mei begins lessons with Mr. Chong, who is mostly deaf. Jing-mei actually doesn't learn much. She makes all kinds of mistakes and plays all kinds of wrong notes, yet Suyuan remains certain that Jing-mei is a true talent at the piano.
Then comes the talent show. Jing-mei plays horribly, and she knows it. People try to be polite, but the extremely embarrassed Jing-mei makes up her mind that she will not play the piano ever again. Her mother tries to force her, and the two end up in an argument. Jing-mei says that she will never be the kind of daughter her mother wants. The piano lessons end at this point. Jing-mei is tired of trying to be something she is not, but she is also a little rebellious from being pushed too hard.